Situated on a quiet side street off Kensington High Street, Cafe Phillies is in a great location close to the shops and Holland Park. Hidden away from the hustle and bustle the cafe has its own upbeat, friendly and relaxed charm and serves high-quality modern European cuisine.
The owner and Head Chef is Ilir Havolli, who migrated to London from Kosovo in 1992, and has been in charge of Cafe Phillies together with his brother, Enis for the last ten years. He has kindly agreed to share with us his secrets for the delicious and popular dishes that everyone can cook at home
Salmon and Spinach Benedict
- 125ml of white wine vinegar
- Half a lemon
- 10-15 black peppercorns
- Fresh tarragon (a few leaves)
- Good quality 250g unsalted butter
- 6 free range eggs
- 1 Banana shallot
- Handful of washed spinach leaves
- 180g of good quality smoked salmon
- Start by thinly slicing the shallot and heating it in a small saucepan with the white wine, peppercorns and a few leaves of Tarragon together to a gentle simmer. Squeeze the half lemon and let it simmer for a couple of minutes very gently to allow it all to infuse, then put it aside and then strain it.
- Place all 250g of butter in a separate sauce pan over an indirect heat (so just place the pan close to a heat source) until the butter separates/clarifies.
- Break and separate the egg yolks and put them in a large bowl (if you have a food mixer this would help a great deal). You can use the left over egg whites for meringues or other things so nothing goes to wast
- Start whiskinggently (almost like making mayonnaise) then continue to whisk whilst pouring in the clarified butter and reduction of vinegar. Whisk until you get a smooth sauce like consistency – that’s your hollandaise done.
- Now poach the eggs in simmering hot water that has a table spoon of vinegar mixed in. It is important to swirl the water in the sauce pan with a spoon and then crack the eggs in! The water will stop boiling and depending on how well cooked you like your eggs then just keep an eye on them until done to your preference! In the cafe we cook them so they are nice and soft in the middle so that the yolks are still a little runny (this action takes about two minutes from the point when the water has started re-simmering.
- It is very important to have a good quality crunchy breakfast muffin and we recommend you cut in half, butter it and then toast it in the oven or just pan toast a bit.
- Wilt the spinach in a frying pan with some olive oil and butter, then season with salt, pepper and ground nutmeg.
Arrange the muffins in the middle of the plate, then layer the spinach and the smoked salmon on top and now pour some lovely hollandaise sauce over the eggs! Volia…serve immediately and enjoy!
Flourless Orange and Almond Cake
- 6 free range eggs
- 250g ground almonds
- 250g caster sugar
- 2 whole oranges
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Firstly boil the oranges for 2 hours over simmering heat
- You will need two large mixing bowls; in one of them, break 6 whole eggs and whisk. In the other bowl put in the dry ingredients consisting of all the ground almonds, sugar and baking powder.
- Drain the whole oranges and place in a food blender (with skin on) and pulp to a smooth consistency.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
- Mix the orange pulp with the beaten egg mixture and then mix this with the dry ingredients.
- Grease a 12 inch (30cm) round cake tin and lightly dust it with icing sugar, then pour in the cake mixture.
- Place the cake in the oven for 30- 40 minutes (on a constant 180 degree heat).
- Cooking time can vary depending on the oven so check if the cake is cooked through by inserting a flat knife, and if the knife comes out clean then your cake is cooked.
- Allow cake to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing, then serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.