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Of Course Cronut Creator Dominique Ansel’s New London Restaurant Makes Pudding a Performance

No cronuts, but plenty of foliage, cascading tiramisu, and balayage sticky toffee pudding sauce

Sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and custard poured from on high onto a white plate Felicity Spector/Instagram

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is funny because it’s true.

News of the week

And just like that, Dominque Ansel’s House With A Tree In Its Walls is open. The morsels of information that had been put out into the world before launch suggested something at once very London 2020 — fresh pasta! fancy bakes! — and a degree of faintly surreal weirdness that, if not actively off-putting, was certainly eyebrow-raising. Now that the full menu is available for all to see, that still feels a pretty good summary of where things are. Haute-70s vol au vents? Yes, please! Gnocchi with multiple cheeses? Sure! Sticky toffee pudding that definitely looks pretty un-sticky but is then submerged in dual toffee-custard sauce? Um, OK! A ‘cascading’ Tiramisu that detumesces tableside in a gooey spurt? As long as everything’s good with the chef’s brain, Dom! It’s a lot, basically — but what did London ever expect from the man whose original creations effectively ushered in the first wave of Instagram idolatry? Bring it on, the more whipped cream jizz the better.

Storm-proof fare of the week

Cold, wet, windy outside = prime broth, braise and pie territory, with some fried stuff thrown in for good measure.

Not storm-proof frontage of the week

RIP to the Great Wall of Clapton.

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Sad day. Not the message you want to wake up to.

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Ready meal of the week

Belligerently dressed green salad, glass or two of wine, job done.

Aggressively seasonal produce of the week

Fun fact: radicchio can be forced — grown in the dark until it emerges from the soil in search of precious light — just like rhubarb. And just like rhubarb, its pretty colours are everywhere right now.

Optical illusion of the week

Anyone else just see a load of prosciutto?

Optical intrusion of the week

When life gives you lemons, etc.

Probably legit rebrand of the week

Can’t see the famously un-litigious Disney / Lucasfilm estates having a problem with these.

Cursed menu of the week

In which every single item sounds like a euphemism for a sex thing.

Dish of the week

What even is this? Is it legal to put this many appealing-sounding things together on a single plate? How can it appear right here, right now? If the purpose of all great art is to provoke as many questions as it answer ... This is undeniably great art.

Shot of the week

Some pretty serious skills are required to capture an egg at the exact moment of its rupture. But what to call this pioneering technique? Starter for ten: The Humpty Dumpty?