Cafe On in The Guardian’s 10 top street food guide
“Not traditional street food, but I had to include On Cafe. Sweet tooths will be delighted by the mouth-watering macaroons. Regulars at the Real Food market (as before), they also cater for events around London serving the most beautiful, Japanese-inspired macaroons.
I tried the black sesame, and the jasmine and charcoal macaroons, and was blown away. Honestly, follow these guys everywhere they go.”
Watch the clip of our Macaron Magic class, made by Implausible Blog right here:
“On”在中文里是“温”的意思，这个字的意义很直白，作为华人，我们觉得有职责传递我们中国文化到我们的品牌精神里。我们想利用“On”作为我们的“姓”，不管以后我们推出什么样的新服务或者产品，我们都可以用“On”来叫命名它，比如：On Cafe，On Patisserie，On Cookery School烹调课堂等等。
Macarons are taking over the world but don’t confuse them with macaroons, the small chewy coconut cakes loved by grannies. These are the psychedelic mini-meringues from France.
These brightly coloured gems went mainstream when Ladurée, the Paris-based cake maker, came to Harrods in 2005. Then last year, French pastry chef Pierre Hermé started selling his macarons at Selfridges, with flavours such as carrot, orange and cinnamon.
This sweet sophistication isn’t confined to the French. Zumbo – a recipe book by 30-year-old Australian pastry chef Adriano Zumbo – was published in Britain this month. With his piercings and his renegade attitude, Zumbo is hardly your archetypal pâtissier. His flavours are as outlandish as Heston Blumenthal’s, with the likes of strawberry bubblegum, chocolate marshmallow… vegemite sourdough. Even the book’s chapter titles – the likes of ‘Doggy Style’and ‘Cereal Killa’ – will make you blush.
The On Patisserie’s Christmas range of macarons at Harvey Nichols’ fifth-floor foodmarket is another bold departure from the norm. Award-winning chef Loretta Liu, formerly of Raffles Hotel in Singapore, has produced flavours such as jasmine tea and charcoal, and mango with yuzu cream cheese.
So why such exotic experimentation? Liu, who worked at Raffles with the legendary French chef Pierre Gagnaire, says: ‘I’m from China and my training was as a kitchen chef, not patisserie, so I’ve a lot of understanding of savoury flavours.
‘I can introduce challenging flavours here because macarons came to the British market around eight years ago, so there’s no real history, whereas in France they like plain chocolate and pistachio – they won’t change their habits. If I introduced new flavours for sticky toffee pudding here, no one would like that.’ Macaron-making is becoming more popular in Britain thanks to the likes of the BBC’s Great British Bake Off. Last year’s first Bake Off winner, Edd Kimber, aka The Boy Who Bakes, was rated one of ‘20 foodies to follow on Twitter’ by MSN.
In October, Kimber launched the Pudding Parlour at the Athenaeum in Piccadilly and teaches monthly macaron classes at the Miele Gallery in central London.
Unlike Ladurée, which has become a global brand, Kimber, Zumbo and Liu are more about playful home-grown imagination. But Liu, who also runs a cookery school in Clapham, south London, says there are limits to her radicalism. ‘I’m very respectful of the past,’ she says. ‘I’d never do a bubblegum or ketchup flavour. I think Gagnaire says: “Face tomorrow but respect the past.” This is what I try to do.’
Among her more unusual flavours is a charcoal macaron, which Liu designed for a friend who was suffering from cancer. ‘I got a charcoal coconut husk and steamed it and ground it into a powder. People associate charcoal with barbecues but this is more about using something that won’t hurt the body. Charcoal absorbs impurities and toxins.’
Then there is Liu’s alcohol series, which includes a margarita and an amaretto sour. ‘Champagne and peach are most popular,’ she says. ‘We use fruits from east Asia a lot. I’m not English so I’m not going to try to be. I like using yuzu, the bitter orange from Japan.’
While Zumbo’s bold flavours suggest a more edgy approach, it’s not all anarchy in his kitchen. At 19, he began a four-year apprenticeship in Sydney and represented Australia at the Pastry World Cup in Lyon. Zumbo then worked in Paris and rose through the ranks as a pastry chef in various five-star kitchens. He knows his cul-de-poule from his cutters.
Liu releases a new macaron range at Harvey Nichols, from £1.75 each. www.harveynichols.com.Her macaron classes are £48pp. There is a £5 reduction for the first 100 Metro readers to apply; email firstname.lastname@example.org; www.oncafe.co.uk
Zumbo (Murdoch Books, £20). See http://theboywhobakes.co.uk/classes/
On macarons, the French patisseries with modern Asian flavours are available exclusively at their counter in our Fifth Floor Foodmarket, Knightsbridge.
Created by award-winning chef Loretta Liu, On macarons are made using handmade purees in the shell, as well as in their fillings, setting them apart from traditional French-style macarons.
Inspired by Loretta’s Singaporean heritage, her French cooking discipline and her British surroundings, flavours range from jasmine tea and charcoal with jasmine infused buttercream to dark chocolate with salted caramel Cornish cream and Valrhona chocolate ganache, and are all hand-decorated to reflect their flavour.
Also available from the counter are On’s savoury macarons, which give a delicious and original twist to traditional cheese and biscuits. Still using traditional meringue ingredients, On add savoury elements to the shell mixture and then a slice of La Fromagerie cheese is sandwiched between the shells. Flavours include fennel, nutmeg, charcoal and Szechuan pepper.
These distinctive and beautiful macarons have developed a cult following amongst those in the know and On have been rated by Time Out as one of the best macaron makers in London (March 2011).
Available exclusively at Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge from 22 October for three months. Prices starting from £1.75 each
Our biggest-selling weekend was at the wildly wonderful Hyper Japan, a celebration of Japanese culture held at Olympia in Central London.
It all started off quite sedately on the Friday morning. Little did I know what was going to happen next. These girls cooed at our macarons (don’t they all!) and I couldn’t resist asking for a photograph. Loretta laughed when I asked why there were so many people in fancy dress. “Haven’t you heard about Cos Players?”
A huge phenomenen in Japan where recreational dressing up, imitating characters from anime, video games, manga or tv series is….errrr…..a common occurence in public.
But Hyper Japan allowed a whole village of UK Cos Players to mingle with others of their kind, culminating in the parade on the Saturday.
These girls are apparently part of the Lolita movement. Lolitas host tea parties, and revel in their girliness, often looking like a cross between Little Bo Beep and a Victorian wax doll.
We met the lovely Zoe who gave us a great write-up in the Vogue blog
But wow, we were rushed off our feet and sold, sold, sold! What with Nintendo’s release of Unleashed, the Cos Players and the awesome Taiko Drummer http://www.hyperjapan.co.uk/friday-focus/313-joji-hirota-taiko-master.html, they couldn’t get enough of our yummy macarons!!! To our new fans xxxxx
We had a great day last week during the NUT strike – what an opportunity to host the trial cookery class for children!
8 kids, ranging from 8-12, having such fun learning how to make pasta from our teaching Chef Ben Harris, who’s worked with stars such as Aldo Zilli and Gino D’Campo.
We’ve uploaded a couple of pictures so you can see for yourself what can happen during 2.5 hours!
And of course the kids had a delicious fresh pasta meal, with the freshest tomato sauce. We’ve since heard from parents that their children have volunteered to cook a meal for them!!
That’s the aim – give parents a night off!
Classes will start from 25th July, focusing on Chef Ben Harris’ repertoire of fine Italian cooking – pastas, sauces, breads and pizza.
In September, our syllabus will grow to include Macaron classes by Chef Loretta and Asian cooking classes as well, for adults and children.
We’ll keep posting!