Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Olga Stores Angel Islington Italian provision store - fresh Portuguese egg tarts and salt cod croquettes

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Address: 30 Penton St
London N1 9PS
Tel: 020 7837 5467
Nearest Tube station: Angel
The craze for Portuguese egg tarts hit Singapore when I was a teenager. While custard tarts had been around for some time, the crusty puff pastry version took the tiny isle by storm when it arrived on our shores and suddenly every other bakery were churning out their own versions albeit with varying success.

Wife called me at work the other day and she could hardly hide her excitement. "Hey, do you remember this Italian store on our way to Myddeltons Delicatessen?" Sensing my puzzlement, she carried on,"Anyway, it has really decent Portuguese egg tarts!" Now, that got my attention. With the fickle weather these days, I can really do with a nice warm Portuguese egg tarts. Just thinking of its wobbly slightly burnt custard with the flaky tart base gets me all worked up.

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I made my way there the very next day. The Italian store turned out to be The Olga Stores at the intersection of Penton Street and White Lion Street. Its somewhat tacky signboards announced that it sells not only "Italian wines and spirits" but also "English and Foreign foods". In case you have trouble reading, there are pictures parmesan, salami and provolone plastered all over for good measure.

Once inside, I was treated to a galore of wares. Olga Stores aren't kidding about doing both retail and wholesale. It has a bit of everything - preserved and fresh food, and toiletries and other household items. It must have been a feat just to keep everything on the shelves.

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My attention was naturally focused on the platter of Portuguese egg tarts on the counter. Hmm, another platter of croquettes was just beside it. A friendly staff promptly informed me that those were salted cod croquettes made from the salted cod, which was also available in store, when she caught me staring. Minutes later, we walked out with some tarts and croquettes, heated up by the obliging staff.

Boy, the Portuguese egg tarts were good. They didn't even survived till the next junction. The salted cod croquettes could do with a bit more salted cod than potatoes but we did like its consistency.

Guess that we have found yet another pit stop on the way to Exmouth Market for our weekend breakfasts.

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