Ciao Chow Canine Bakery – an inter species dinner

A tweet from @Ciaochowbakery had caught my eye – a bakery for London dogs and their human companions! Their mission statement even more tempting:

‘In response to years of Frappucino envy, a Kickstarter campaign is helping London’s canine population to fund a café to call their own. No longer will they be ignored, leashed to a lamp post (or worse yet, confined to a handbag) while their caregivers scoff biscotti and swill skinny lattes. Dogs in the know will be making tracks for Ciao Chow Canine Bakery.’

So when we found ourselves in central London on a dreary Sunday afternoon with our pooch in tow I decided to check out this ‘pop up bakery’ for canines in Frith Street. Designers Mark and Piper wanted to set up a place for dogs and their owners to enjoy a healthy baked treat (or a coffee in the case of two legged guests) and a place where to buy handmade posh accessories such as leather collars, beds, pillows and greeting cards. Run as a pop up in the heart of Soho over two weeks to get the word out, we really hope Ciao Chow can come back on a more permanent base soon!
Ciao Chow Dinner
Cute greeting cards and food
We got chatting to Mark and he then asked the three of us to join a special dinner the night after. An experiment, in his own words: a 5 course meal for humans paired up to a 5 course meal for dogs: similar ingredients, just different chefs and different.. techniques! 
Ciao Chow Dinner
Ciao Chow have partnered up with young Italian chef Gian Paolo Ilari – he prepared a great menu to match the dog bakes, inspired by his home region’s food too. The company was fun and quirky to say the least: a bunch of humans and three dogs: Coco, a beautiful elderly brown Labrador, Beethoven a 2 years old giant poodle with great table manners and our Amber who was also turning 11 months on the night. She did sniff the wine with some interest! 
Ciao Chow Dinner
Polenta ‘bruschetta’

Sitting at the table with the two species side by side, with table settings to match (little bowls for dogs, wine glasses for us) was quite hilarious. Being in a fish bowl people outside were clearly quite puzzled by this Mad Hatter’s tea Party-like bunch of people and dogs all sat together at a shiny golden table top, with candles, glasses and gold rimmed crockery. Our first course was Melon and parma ham for us, melon for the pup: she’s fussy and she doesn’t like fruit…! 

Ciao Chow Dinner

We then snacked on freshly cut Parmesan, grapes, walnuts and a gorgeous honey, while Amber chomped down quite quickly a Garlic and Parmesan cookie. We enjoyed a ‘bruschetta’ made with polenta, fresh tomatoes, mint and grated coconut, she equally enjoyed her matching course of an oreo like biscuit with a mint puree inside (for fresh breath!). 

Ciao Chow Dinner
Sbrisolona, delicious

She wasn’t convinced by the following dish, very nicely served (a pumpkin puree with brown rice crispy bits). Instead, she slurped @bmcboy’s pumpkin and pea frittata! Coco and Beethoven also loved the frittata – a success for all species! I loved how the following dog course was presented – a really cute donut like cookie full of sunflower seeds, which the pooch polished off quite quickly. We on the other hand found an extremely light focaccia with seeds. 
Finally, dessert time. Canine version was a peanut butter biscuit, while we got to try  individually sized sbrisolona cakes, made with almond and peanuts, to match the canine dish.

It was a really fun and certainly different night – a good concept and worth pursuing for Ciao Chow as there is a market out there for places where dog owners can feel at ease and bring their pets to.

Catch Ciao Chow at 23 Frith Street, Soho, until 20 September.  

Thanks Mark and Piper for such a different experience.

2 comments Ciao Chow Canine Bakery – an inter species dinner

Rosana says:

Amber looks so happy! Rx

Oh yes she had fun!

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