Lanka is a Japanese café and coffee shop near Primrose Hill, on Regent’s Park Road. It has a stylish interior, with a brick wall and bar for customers to sit at, including bamboo placemats that give the café an authentic Japanese feel. Japanese gourmet chef Masayuki Hara owns Lanka. I saw Hara today walking around the café chatting to customers about new cakes that he was making, he seems like a chatty guy but as it was my first time and I knew nothing of his food, I just watched in awe as regular customers made friendly comments about his past cakes and creations.
As for the coffee and my search for London’s best latte, Lanka is one of few places in London that serve Monmouth coffee and so I was expecting quite a high standard. The latte lived up to expectation, it was neither too strong nor too weak, it was the perfect combination of sharp coffee taste and creamy latte flavour.
Lanka also serves a wide range of cakes and even serves brunch and an all day breakfast. I had a green tea strawberry cake as it looked the most appetizing, but there were many nice looking cakes to choose from. Chef Hara specialises in French cuisine and worked at a 3 star Michelin restaurant, so I’m sure you can imagine the calibre of traditional French cakes on offer. There are even macaroons wrapped in plastic bags ready to take away and Halloween themed pumpkin tarts. As for the green tea strawberry cake, it was heaven at first bite. It was garnished with three dots of strawberry syrup, a dollop of vanilla ice-cream and sprinkled with icing sugar. The staff were ever so polite and attentive, they apologised for making me wait for the cake to be served to me (a maximum wait of 2 minutes, hardly a disaster!) and then swiftly excused themselves as they took the plate away the moment I’d finished.
Lanka: 71 Regent’s Park Road, Primrose Hill.