176-178 Fortis Green Rd, Muswell Hill, London N10 3DU
Judges comments - September 2018
'Preceded our visit with a phone call to cafe owner Josie to talk through allergens and which items might be safe for us. She was hugely helpful and entirely unfazed by my questions - she gave me all the info I needed. She said the cafe was free from 'our' allergens (peanut, egg, sesame) and showed a clear understanding of the issues allergy consumers face - she very much took my queries seriously. So top marks to begin with!
The cafe is billed as 'allergen free' and is certainly free from gluten, dairy, egg, peanut, sesame and soya. She sources her bread from a 14 allergen free bakery, which is marvellous.
There is a nice menu selection of breakfast and lunch dishes and snacks, although again it's not clear at first glance which dishes contain what - I did have to query again. It is very pricey - two oat milk cappuccinos and two banana pancakes came to £22 and then cupcakes start at around £3 each.
They were very warm and friendly and it is a nice place to sit and have a natter. For those with dairy/gluten issues (plus potentially other allergies) I would say a resounding 'yes'. Top marks for catering so brilliantly for multiple allergies; I would like to see Josie praised and rewarded for this. It is a rarity to find a genuinely allergy friendly place that considers peanut, sesame, egg, soy allergies alongside dairy/gluten. They also deliver via Uber Eats too, which is great.
However - sadly, although everything is presented beautifully and the place is spotless, our pancakes were a bit bland and grainy. They are made from oats and banana but the oats are not fine-milled so the texture is a bit odd. Covered in maple syrup and with fresh bananas and berries they were fine but probably not on their own. Meanwhile, the whipped rice milk cream was overly sweet as were the cupcakes, even thought they were billed as refined sugar free. And the brownie was overladen with coconut cream. On the plus side the cakes had a good flavour - we tried a chocolate cupcake and a vanilla cupcake - and looked very pretty. They would make a rare treat for someone with multiple allergies. I felt confident, despite the presence of tree nuts on site, that these would be free from cross contamination.'