Date: Mar 17th 2014 9:28a.m.
Contributed by: siennapc

Wildly successful in its execution, Spoonful of Sugar is everything a café should be. The ambiance is exceptional and the food and drinks are both special and delicious. Away from the hustle and bustle of Sanlitun, Gulou or even 798, this is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.

Spoonful Cafe Interior 1

The hutong café vibe is a bit similar to Alba, but SOS is bigger and sunnier. The renovated courtyard space has lots of tucked-away tables for an afternoon catching up with friends, as well as plenty of outlets for the laptop crowd. Limited-edition prints by contemporary Beijing artists add visual spice to the walls, and there is not one, but two clean toilets—a hutong miracle.

Spoonful Cafe Interior 2

Be warned that the savory food is portioned specifically in order to leave you room for dessert. The sandwiches (RMB30-45) are tiny, but delicious and cheap enough that you can order two. We relished every bite of the “Jew Yorker,” made with thick slices of lightly smoked salmon, with pickled vegetables and a perfect cream cheese and caper spread. It’s served on a homemade baguette that’s almost too good—you’ll be made overly aware of how tough Beijing baguettes generally are.

There are three equally appealing kinds of quiche (RMB30). We tried the one with bok choy, zucchini, onion and tomato and liked it just as much as our other favorite Beijing quiche, at Modo.

Spoonful Cafe Food

But it’s really all about the desserts here, which are fairly low on sugar yet very enjoyable. The standout for us is the kumquat and oatmeal cookies (RMB6). We took home a bag for RMB20 and finished it in less than a day. The brownie (RMB18/28) is full of flavor, topped with crunchy bits of chocolate and hazelnuts. Less sweet is the spiced ginger cake ...

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