If I were ever on Death Row, or stranded on a desert island, or only allowed to eat one dish for the rest of my life, it would have to be a savoury, UMAMI loaded something. No question. In fact, it would most likely be my mum’s BIRIYANI. One Eid day I ate 5 plates of it over a 3 hour period, much to the horror of a few guests who didn’t know me (or my greed) very well, and my mother (who was ashamed at how they found out). I digress. The main thing to understand is that my palate leans very heavily towards the (very heavily) salted side and I only really like sweet things when they’re not too sweet, or consist mainly of chocolate. However, every now and again I will come across a place so wonderful, that even a steak-eating-cholesterol-ridden-salt-hound such as myself, cannot resist. Lanka is one such place. A French/British/Japanese patisserie run by chef Masayuki Hara who aims to bring quality pastries based on French recipes, to the people. And the people are ready to eat.

I was joined on my dessert journey by the Etymologist and the Lady Cod. We arrived at Lanka and it was just so damn pretty and clean looking, we were all three of us taken over by far more sophisticated versions of ourselves. A beautiful image which I immediately ruined by taking too many photos and asking numerous questions which were solely aimed at finding out exactly what I could and couldn’t eat. The two ladies were incredibly helpful and pointed out which of the cakes and pastries had gelatine and alcohol in them, and it turned out there were only a few that I couldn’t have (rum baba, mont blanc and all of the glazed fruit). Freshly baked on-site (the place smells great all the time), each beautifully presented cake, pie or macaroon was hard to resist.

Probably the most delightfully arranged free food I have seen in a while, these brownies were Fudgy, soft and just so damn chocolate-y! Its worth getting a whole one.

After smelling various types of Ceylon (Sri Lankan) tea, the Etymologist and I decided on Deluxe Quality (flower blended with marigolds, rose petals and honey and vanilla liquid), whilst the Lady Cod chose Royal Delight (marigold again, with mango bits, grapes and wild strawberry liquid).

Freshly brewed DELUXE QUALITY tea.

A very nice tea (I don’t know much about tea). It went well with my…


Light, not too sweet, soft and tasty, with layers on layers of whipped cream, fresh strawberries and moist, green tea flavoured sponge. I peeled off the forbidden fruit, and handed it to the Lady Cod. Oddly enough, I particularly enjoyed the absolute bottom of the cake. It was slightly chewy with a concentrated cakey-taste, like eating the crunchy bits that fall off of deep fried things, or the rice at the bottom of a bowl of bibimbap. That kind of nice.


This was the Etymologist’s so I restrained myself enough to take only one bite. I can’t really remember much about the green-tea-to-chocolate ratio but I do remember that I liked it.

MACAROONS! (gluten free)

and Earl Grey…

I don’t really like macaroons. And even though this tasted lightly of Earl Grey and was so ridiculously pretty I could hardly stand it…I didn’t like it. I wish I did. I just, don’t like macaroons.

Everything else, was perfect. Even the company.

Finchley Road, 9 Goldhurst Terrace, London NW6 3HX (close to Finchley Road station)

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