Saturday, 7 March 2009

Tina, we salute you

Popped by after a hefty meat feast.

Steve, it was great to see you again!

If you're really seeking some kind of attention, I suppose you could scribble your name here.

Class A* Macchiato

Even men are partial to cupcakes.
Terrific maple syrup and honeycomb deliciousness.

A* Flattie.
Both coffees were made by one of the prettiest baristas I've set eyes on.
Lou, thank you.

Home to one of the best cake gods in town
Grade A Flat White made by Melbourne lad, Lee. Like Gwilym Davies, Lee has his own signature attire (cap and all); he's got massive potential! Cheers mate.
A slice of the Danish cake.
So named because it was baked by Steve for one of his customers (a Dane no less) whose Mum was visiting London. (Forgive me if I got the facts distorted) This desiccated coconut cake was nothing short of "Well, blow me down"!


To be honest just as well this place is a little out of reach for me, otherwise I would be spending my entire time here- it's that brilliant!

I’m hereby immeasurably contented with life in London, I’m thus so because I can eat and drink (coffee and tea that is) well without any limitations on the choice of places to go to. The proliferation of destination coffee bars are now rife and for reasons that are all satisfyingly beneficial. London is no longer the u-bend capital of bad coffee anymore! Period*. Cue the most bodacious named café of the noughties.

Tina, we salute you; came by way of an announcement on The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert immediately came to mind, I assumed the name Tina had some kind of tie up with the film. How as usual and by name as well, wong I was!

The café is owned and maintained by two excellent chaps Steve and Danny (both Brits!!!) who used to run a cupcake stall at UpMarket on Brick Lane. The boys had a permanent picture or painting of a beautiful, dark and sultry woman with the part and parcel pouting lips to identify and signify the stall.

That woman on the picture is Tina and she has now been transported to this bespoke café in Dalston. It’s to the testament of the said lady that the café is so named.

For a West End geezer like me, Tina proved a challenge to get to initially- I’ve decided that Bus 30 from Marble Arch is the best way to get there with the added bonus of a scenic route thrown in. This café is gregariously bright and relatively compact (I’m reckoning on comfy seating for up to 12 peeps). The black and white murals (nudes as opposed to Darwinesque persuasion) reminded me slightly of Lantana in Fitzrovia and I’m sure Germaine Greer wouldn’t mind more pictures of the scantily clad Tina hanging on the wall. Midday, the place was suitably packed with an exclusive turnout of lovely dudettes, I was the only bloke in there (hooray no end!).

There was one seat left in the room and that was the lone Eames RAR Rocker Chair. I daresay the chair will become as iconic as Tina is for the café especially if their website highlights it.

Oh, just don’t rock too much with a cup of piping hot coffee near your nether region!

The all important raison d’être, Flat White. That rosetta is making one hell of a statement. Great tasting and a resolute Grade A cup! We’re now one step from…

Get the freshest white bread, slice it really thick; sandwich it with slices of wonderful chorizo and the creamiest and most unctuous duck egg mayo one can muster.

We’re now in weekend brunch heaven! Cracking sarnie.

The boys come from a ‘cake’ background, the least I could do was to increase the sugar fix.

The spectacular Maple Syrup Cupcake- stonkingly good, it was fresh, moist and dangerously too-easy eating! We are now beyond paradise!

I always have a second cup when I visit a place for the first time. The Long Black confirmed my first findings on the Flat White, serious and a brilliant tasting cup.

Oh this was also to my knowledge the first place to offer a serving of milk on the side to go with the Black- nice touch.

The barista and the machine demonstrating full synergy.

Making wondrous creations like this Soy Mocha.

There were more womenfolk coming in and waiting patiently for spare seating. I vacated the Eames and readied myself for the bus trip back to Marble Arch. Friends, get down here soon for a wonderful experience. Steve, Danny, guys and of course Tina; I take my trilby off and
a full salute to you all! Highly recommended.

47 King Henry's Walk
London N1 4NH

*Our Aussie and Kiwi café pioneers in London deserve praise and recognition for this phenomenon. True the Italians gave us caps and $tarbucks gave us skinny lattes, but they can’t match the Antipodes with their prowess when it comes to a perfect cup of caffeine hit! This influence alone I’m proud to say put this great city firmly on the map.


kerstin said...

Looks great must check it out. See you tomorrow at one!

bellaphon said...

Will do ;0

Rodwellian said...

I live opposite "Tina". I was so thrilled when they opened -- only 3 weeks ago. The only thing I would like to see is a few more choices on the menu. However, I love it!

Great write up and pics.

bellaphon said...

Hey Rods! Thanks for the comment. Lucky you to reside so close to Tina, whereas my abode is besieged by the likes of S'bucks and MickeyD.

Anonymous said...

This place is fantastic, although the picture shown is actually of the amazing "crunchie" cupcake and not a maple syrup one. However, sorry to correct but King Henry's Walk is actually in Newington Green, not Dalston, although it is not far from there.

bellaphon said...

Anon- thanks for the clear up!

I heart cupcakes said...

I'm going to try and get to this place either this week or next - it sounds right up my street and the cupcake looks fab!
I think you and your blog are going to have me schleping all over town for good coffee and cake!

bellaphon said...

IHC- I'm sucker for places like Tina. Steve's cupcakes, there's something magical about them, perhaps it's due to the fact that he made them, so they must be awesome (perhaps psychologically)! Do prompt me if you discover places I haven’t been to. In fact I'll follow your blog ;-)

Anonymous said...

You could put a blind fold on Lee and he'll still whip out an A grade Coffee!

Pingu said...

I moved to NZ recently and of course we get reet good coffee here, but Tina, We Miss You!