For the discerning reader, please know that I'm a cafe sort of guy. An academic from the early 90s onward, like many scholars, I have spent more hours of my life in cafes than almost anywhere else. I long to find the perfect spot, where the bakery items, food, coffee, espresso, setting, friendliness of the staff, everything come together. Trust me when I say that this is the real deal. R & H Cafe is my favorite cafe in the world, maybe tied slightly with a great place on Rue de Abbesses in Paris, called Cuillier.
I have eaten there about six times in the last two weeks. I can tell you that the people working here are some of the nicest cafe owners I've ever met. The baked goods are made fresh weekly and offer some of the most unique and interesting recipes I've encountered in cafe. I highly suggest their moist and decadent banana bread. Even I'm not sure how banana bread gets that delicious.
Hopefully, when you get there, they will have the carrot cake loaf, which is completely unlike American carrot cake (thank goodness). The R & H version lacks raisins and nuts baked into the load. Instead, it has a light frosting that hints of maple, and then has black sesame seeds on top with a few walnuts. The taste is exotic.
Second, I highly suggest the Apricot Pistachio cake. I don't normally like dried fruits and nuts in my dessert and this may be one of the best items I've eaten in my London travels.
The raisin cookie is surprisingly great, considering I do not even like raisins. And that should really tell you something: I don't like dried fruits in bread and order theirs. I don't like raisins but order their raisin cookie. My point being that this place does everything so well that I trust them. I want to see what amazing things they do with ingredients.
If they have fresh made saffron bundt cakes: order one. Pair it with either their great Nude espresso or cappuccinos.
Oh, and as if all of this wasn't enough: they make incredible savory egg dishes! I had the one with pinto beans in a Persian spicy sauce. Blew me away how great it was.
They have a fantastic, small gallery upstairs. And if you live in the area, they seem to also have prefix menu nights when they cook dinners. I didn't have one of their dinners, but I know wine enough to see that the bottles they have up on the wall are very thoughtfully considered.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about this place, the ladies who work there, the cuteness of the ambiance, the fantastic Iranian and Sufi music they play, and more than anything else: the baked goods and espresso drinks.
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