Dessert Comes First

An obsession with dessert and other unabashed opinions of a food writer

Magnum White King
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Draft’s Devastating Bread Pudding

posted by in Others, Restaurants

And I eat the whole thing by myself.

I’ve been to Draft many times of course. It’s an outstanding restaurant that’s faithful to its vision of being a gastropub. Service is always accommodating, never veering into the “studied nonchalance” territory of waiters who think they’ve seen it all and are too cool to care. I’m crazy for the Fully-Loaded Burger, my Bin is weak for their Mussel Pots, succulence and an aphrodisiac in a receptacle: how convenient. Their Fish & Frites are fabulous and their Pulled Pork Sandwich isn’t half-bad, though it skimps on the barbeque sauce.

As far as alcohol goes, I only drink wine, can’t drink beer, so I’m confident that Draft’s impressive line-up of libations satisfies their clientele. Naturally, as desserts go, I venture to say that Draft’s Sticky Date & Toffee Pudding blows the competition away and though I love it, I’m not here to talk about that.

What I’ve really, REALLY got eyes for at this pub is the Bread & Butter Pudding (P220). A block of bread sits, coarse-edged and tight, bits and pieces of it blitzed together to make a dense whole. Lavishly coated in a trinity of eggs, sugar, and cream, it soaks and drinks in this luxury, plumping up pleasurably. When baked, every crevice of itself secretes a treasure of custard, its tender doughy-ness defined. Plunging a fork into this pillow yields a decidedly compact texture, concentrated as it needs to be for its killer component: the caramel sauce.

Let me tell you about this caramel. Eternally more fascinating than golden brown, this is golden amber, the collision of sugar and water, coalescing then caramelizing. Fate, in the form of a skilled cook’s watchful eye and quick hand, kills the heat that consumes this partnership. Quickly now, so quickly, like a whirlwind affair, cream is introduced, and so is vanilla and a hit of butter to meld and mellow. Mmm.

I’ll be the first to admit that this caramel, gilded glory on the tongue it is, might actually be too sweet. Spoonfuls of this sauce signal a twitch in the back of my throat, a tightening in the hatch. “Yo, hold up a little, would’ja?” Is the thought my brain sends out. Less hardy dessert digestions would falter, but they don’t call me the mistress of dessert for nothing…

A forkful sinks down easy, this combination of bread pudding cosseted in caramel. The fact that lukewarm sauce is served with cold, cold ice cream is almost deliciously painful. Oh, contrasting temperatures, what teases you are! In the mouth, it’s like eating silk, its knife-edge intensity of sweet assuaged by bits of bread then slaps of shiver. I sit, spooning this sauce in, and savor. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I have a niggling notion that I should offer, maybe share some of my bread and butter pudding bliss with my dinner companion.

But I kill that thought as quickly as this dessert has killed me.

~~
Draft
Unit C., The Fort Entertainment Center,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
906 248.1214

11 Responses to “Draft’s Devastating Bread Pudding”

  • Lori, your writing gives me goosebumps! Brilliant! :)

    I love that paragraph about the caramel and that ending that I can relate to so well.

    What can I say, another exciting must-try to add to my list :)

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Maro-
    Thank you. It makes me shiver again just thinking about that caramel sauce… Do try it. Soon.

    –lori

    [Reply]

  • This is seriously a good use of the word “devastating”. :P After reading your post, I will not walk leisurely but RUN to their place with my husband in tow (who’s a fan of desserts and like you, can’t drink beer)! Thank you so much Lori for the superb post as always. I loooove how you write. :)

    P.S. Always been a fan of your writing and finally got the courage to post the 2nd time. :D

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Hi Christine-
    I’m grateful that you’re commenting more now. Thanks for your words and wow, glad you liked how I used “devastating.” It’s one of those words that I reserve for when foods hit me with maximum impact.
    –lori

    [Reply]

  • I swear I had a whole bowl of ramen in my tummy TEN seconds ago. Then I read this and WHOOSH! My stomach is doing an Oliver Twist –”please, may I have some more?” as if it’s empty–ayayayay…

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    K-
    If that ramen hasn’t made a dent in your stomach, then it means you haven’t had dessert. Go have this bread pudding now to keep the ramen company.
    –lori

    [Reply]

  • Hey Lori, amazing writing, accompanied with such a *beautiful* photo (merits a centerfold – haha). Like most (or is it all) readers, I am salivating.

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Chickle!
    Great to hear from you here. Thanks for commenting.

    –lori

    [Reply]

  • Amazing writing and good witty humor. Your writing is as good as that pudding, Lori!

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Thanks very much, Pam! Have you tried this pudding?

    –lori

    [Reply]

  • oh my god!…just oh my god!

    [Reply]

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