Will Smith’s ‘Welcome to Miami’ is playing as I enter this north Hackney café. It’s no coincidence: everything at Clapton’s latest Instagram paradise is achingly stylised. From heart-shaped sugar cubes to strategically plated food, Café Miami is one big brunch-based photo-op.
It’s incredibly well curated. The retro furnishings and hand-picked condiments are all guaranteed to look great on social media. There’s nothing wrong with that; but for me, substance well and truly trumps style. Alas, this place flew off on a golden-winged emoji and left behind an average menu of underwhelming toasted sandwiches. Elsewhere, a weekend ‘special’ of coconut pancakes was nothing special at all: flavourless and pedestrian. A waffle burger (heart-shaped, of course) was much more exciting, with chorizo, avocado and bright orange hot sauce, but too small for £9.50. Homemade strawberry pop-tarts completed the Americana party and, yes, they looked extremely clickable.
So ask yourself: What does brunch mean to me? If it’s all aesthetics and uploading your waffles on the house wifi, then Café Miami is an ideal pastel-toned canvas. But if you like catching up with friends and eating tasty and cheap – albeit perhaps less photogenic – food, then go elsewhere. Actually, Miami #IRL is lovely this time of year.