Leaving the legendary Chez Panisse restaurant for Dalston may sound like madness on the part of Claire Ptak, but California’s loss is Hackney’s gain. The prodigiously talented pastry chef started out selling her prettily iced cupcakes at Broadway Market before opening a café near London Fields in 2010. Cupcakes are still the highlight here (in spite of a strong challenge from the whoopie pies) & come in flavours that change with the seasons. The rhubarb, the mango & the violet varieties all have charms aplenty, but are pipped at the post by the completely irresistible salted caramel cupcakes. For something savoury, there’s a brief daily menu, usually a sandwich on St John sourdough (Comté & red onion chutney, or fennel & robiola, for instance), a quiche & a salad.
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