Friday, 8 August 2014


London has an abundance of patisserie and finding a good one is a simple thing. Located just minutes away from Finchley Road station, Lanka is a heaven for those with a sweet tooth and an added bonus for those who loves a hint of Japanese in their food.

Run by Masayuki Hara, a French and modern British cuisine chef with years of experience in Michelin restaurants under his sleeves, Lanka serves an amazing variety of French pastries which captures not just your eyes but your taste buds as well. Serving Ceylon tea, the tea infusions in Lanka are great compliments to a sweet indulgence.

A small tea saloon with only less than 10 seats, stepping into Lanka makes one spoilt for choice. Decorated with a minimalist touch, Lanka is a wonderful place to enjoy a pastry and pot of tea with soothing jazz music playing in the background. Bring friends along because trying only one or two slices is a torture.

Really, really spoilt for choice

Having friends together makes trying more pastries easier!

Three visits within 2 weeks in a failed attempt to try all the pastries before leaving the UK. Kindly scroll down and drool!

Green Tea Eclair @ £4.10
Oblong choux dough baked to perfection glazed with green tea icing and filled with green tea cream and regular vanilla fresh cream. A real green tea festival in the mouth! The pastry is soft and rightly baked to the right texture. Perfect pastry coupled with the rich green tea cream and icing, every bite of the green tea eclair feels like a party in my mouth. The best of French pastry fused with the classic Japanese green tea! 

Green Tea Strawberry Cake
Green Tea Strawberry Cake @ £4.50
Fluffy sponge layers infused with green tea sandwiched between fresh cream and strawberries. Looking great with the subtle contrast of green and red, there is nothing much to shout about this slice of cake but it always leaves me wanting for more. Carrying a hint of bitterness from the green tea and a slight sourness from the strawberries, the touch of sweetness from the fresh cream creates the amazingly ordinary yet perfect dessert. 

Green Tea Pannacotta @ £4.30
Velvety smooth mascarpone and rich green tea beaten to perfection. Set on a green tea cookie base with a small ring of sweet red bean paste penetrating through the middle of the pannacotta, the green tea pannacotta is another perfect infusion of Japanese green tea in French pastries. Bittersweet from the generous green tea used, the pannacotta is completed with the smooth red bean paste. Another match made in heaven for French 
pastry and Japanese flavours.

Rum Baba @ £4.10
A partially glazed sphere of sponge generously soaked in rum and filled with fresh cream. The light plain vanilla sponge soaks up the rum generously, a little too much for my liking. Every bite is filled with a strong taste of rum. A heaven for those who love alcohol in their dessert but just not my kind of dessert.

Passion Fruit Tart £4.30

Tart crust filled with rich flavoured passion fruit mousse beaten to perfection. The passion fruit taste strongly dominates the tart filling with a strong sour taste from the passion fruit. Combined with the slightly sweeter crust, the sourness from the passion fruit mousse is balanced to create the right taste though sour is still the dominant taste.

St. Honore @ £4.30
A classic French pastry done with a circle base topped with fresh cream and small cream puffs. The Saint Honore in Lanka is topped with 4 tiny cream puffs topped with a caramel glaze and decorated with glazed macadamia and sunflower seed. Looking like a beauty, the small cream puffs were soft and generously filled with fresh cream. However, the circle base is slightly too hard and difficult to cut through even with a knife. The glazed nuts is a great addition albeit being too hard. With Saint Honore being one of my favourite French pastry, this is definitely not the best I’ve had.

Green Tea & Azuki Pudding @ £4.10
Strongly infused green tea pudding with a generous amount of red beans (azuki) baked to perfection and topped with a dollop of cream. A much more compact dessert than the rest, thus creating a denser texture. As I prefer lighter cakes, despite the right combination of flavours, the green tea & azuki pudding didn’t make it into my favourites.

Coconut Pineapple Tart @ £4.50
An unconventionally square shaped tart crust filled compactly with sweetened desiccated coconut topped with glazed pineapple and a dollop of cream. An extremely hard crust topped with a whole lot of sweetness. The coconut pineapple tart comes across to me as too sweet with all layers of ingredient being extremely sweet. Only for serious sweet lovers.

Chocolate Pear Tart @ £4.10
Tart crust filled with rich chocolate and topped with glazed pear slices. Didn’t have a taste of this but my friend who ordered had no complaints.

Macaroons @ £1.60 each
The macaroons come in a variety of flavours with some infused with the classic Japanese elements. Not one of the best place for macaroons but the green tea ones is rich with the taste of green tea and had the right hint of bitterness.

One of the best part of the visits to Lanka is the complimentary tasters served by the chef Masayuki Hara himself. A great way to try more of his work without stuffing myself crazy with dessert. Amongst the things given complimentary were peach sorbet and macaroons.

Lovely macaroon samples
Peach sorbet
There is a variety of tea infusions available as well as coffee. The Ceylon tea leaves are matched to perfection. Before ordering, have a sniff at the tea leaves samples on the shelves and choose your best pick. My favourite is Green Tea Rose Petals, classic green tea infused with rose and Green Tea Paradise, a fruity infusion with Ceylon green tea. A pot of tea for 2 is only £2.20. If you love them, you can even buy the tea leaves home for only £4.80 for a pack of 20 tea bags or 100g loose tea leaves. I hardly drink tea but their infusions are so good that I pack a couple of boxes home.


Located a little off the busy central London, Lanka is a great place to unwind and enjoy some good pastries. The staff is extremely attentive and friendly. Though on one occassion, one of them was a little concerned over the amount of photos I took of their food.

Besides the regular pastries available in store, Lanka also offers bespoke services and take pre-order on whole cakes. In conclusion, Lanka is a tea saloon that is small in size but big in quality and taste!

Open from 10.30am to 6.30pm from Mondays to Fridays and 11.00am to 5.00pm on Sundays.

Find out more about Lanka on their website and pay them a visit here:

Lanka • Finchley Road
9 Goldhurst Terrace,

London NW6 3HX

Nearest tube station: Finchley Road (Metropolitan Line, Jubilee Line)
GPS Coordinate: 51.545967, -0.179453

Food rating: 8.5/10
Service rating: 9/10
Ambience rating: 10/10
Overall rating: 9/10

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