Friday, 30 April 2010

Fernandez and Wells : Do They Sell the Best Egg Custard Tarts?

When we had our extended stay in Hong Kong a couple of years ago, I went a bit mad on trying to find the perfect egg custard tart. In Hong Kong I think I did. They were being sold by the Tai Cheong shop. 
A fantastic place in the Mid Levels, which was within easy walking distance of where we were living at the time. This small shop was made more famous by the then Governor Chris Pattern, who used to stop there on his way to work to buy a few for his mid morning snack.

I’ve tried a few places here in Chinatown, but they really are poor by comparison of their Hong Kong counterparts. But that is Chinatown all over really. Save that rant for another blog. I can feel it coming soon though.
Now, Fernandez and Wells, which have been trotting along for the last 3 years, delivering great food, and great coffee to the wonderful people of Soho.
I reckon, through reading a lot of blogs about the place. I have to be the only person who hasn’t eaten one of their sandwiches. No idea why I haven’t tried them, but so far I have been a bit shy on that front. Although I was tempted this morning by a Cumberland sausage roll, but the guy in front of me took the last one. Ho hum.
What I have to say though, is about their egg custard tarts, or to give them their Portuguese name pasteis de nata. These tarts were being baked in the 18th Century in Belem, Portugal.
I cannot actually remember eating any on our trip to Lisbon, but we must have. I mean it’s like going to France and not eating frogs’ legs. Oh yeah, done that. Shameful I know.
We did however, in our few days in Macao eat a shed load. Very good and tasty. Quite Portuguese in a Chinese sort of way.
After a few recent trips to Fernandez and Wells on Beak Street. I have come to the conclusion that I am now at peace in my egg custard tart adventure. These are really, really, really very good.
The pastry is of the puff pastry persuasion, but it’s the interior that has driven me to new highs of egg heaveness. The filling is soft, smooth and sweet. It’s a delight in the mouth. I think I can now die a happy man. But I will continue to look for one better, but that may never happen. It would be excellent if it did.
Their double espressos are strong and not bitter. They give me that needed pick me up when I need it. Especially after wandering around the “do-shop”. I really want to buy everything in that place. Such stylish and decadent gifts for the home. Makes me cry that I cannot afford everything. Actually some of it I don’t need, but I want it all anyhows.
I’ve also had a lovely and warming bowl of Catalan stew in the St Anne’s Court bar. It did not remind me of Catalonia but it was a very good bowl of pork stew. The meat was so tender it melted on my tongue. Yummy.
All in all Fernandez and Wells has it all. Great coffee, good food and a nice ambience. It really is made for Soho.
Long may it continue to serve us fantastic produce.

PS - I went into the St Anne's Court branch again at lunch time today. Finally had one of their rolls. A spiced chorizo and aged manchego one. Awesome. Enjoyed every last bit of it... Will be returning sooner rather than later for more.

Fernandez & Wells on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Su-Lin said...

Have you tried the pasteis de nata at the Patisserie Lisboa up on Golborne Road?