From drinks to food to atmosphere, the creative drive and enthusiasm of the Spoonful of Sugar team is palpable. Based on the concept of “upcycling,” Lin Lin Jacobs and her design firm Jellymon have repurposed a former factory for electrical relay devices into a cafe space where the food is imaginative and ever-changing.

The organic coffee menu offers the standards but also specialties like the ginger mocha (RMB 33), which has a welcomed zing, and options with an alcoholic punch like the Irish Lover (RMB 45). The team from Migas has swung south from Sanlitun to captain the kitchen, from which lighter food options are available in the form of sandwiches, quiches, omelets and toast sets.

Visionary minds are hard at work here, though there are some kinks to be smoothed out. The bread is made in-house, but suffered from a touch of staleness when served cold on The Jew Yorker (RMB 45), a sandwich of smoked salmon with pickles, cream cheese and capers. It fared far better on The Mighty Duck (RMB 40) where the warmed baguette cradles duck breast and pickled green peppers with a blanket of melted cheese and a smear of superb, intriguing kumquat star anise jam.

Cookies (RMB 3-6), cakes (RMB 20) and chocolate bonbons (RMB 6) are provocative and challenging, with flourishes of star anise, beer and goji berry. But if you want to mainline sugar, grab a handful of the white chocolate with chili and mandarin (Hot Chicks) or dark chocolate with Erguotou (Gan Bei) bonbons.

Spoonful of Sugar
Daily 9.30am-6.30pm. 59 Tieshu Xiejie, Dashilanr, Xicheng District (6308 3971)
850m southeast of Hepingmen station (Line 2)

Also try: Backyard Cafe, Moka Bros

Photos: Sui

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