Dandy Café (CLOSED)
Time Out says
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Natural wine-focused east London café, in shipping containers.
Please note, Dandy Café is now closed. Find its follow-up restaurant Dandy in Stoke Newington. Time Out Food & Drink Editors, May 2017.
If the hipster is dead, what’s the deal with the dandy? One thing’s for sure: Dandy Café in London Fields is alive and well. It’s an operation by a trio of friends, one of whom plays keys in Alt-J. Housed in shipping containers by the railway arches, its main focus is on natural wine (wait – forget what we just said about hipsters).
They’ve made the narrow space stunning. Blue doors and the container’s corrugated iron give way to rough timber, hanging baskets and jungle-like shoots of greenery. French posters pretty up bare brick, while world music and pendant lighting soften the mood. At the front is all that wine; our waitress placed our appley Austrian white there to chill, retrieving it for impeccably timed and unprompted top-ups. So staff are as natural as the plonk, and their enthusiasm – especially for the food – is palpable. Understandably so; we were just as excited by a simple menu of just four small and four large dishes.
A stack of the prettiest carpaccio-style beets hid smooth goat’s curd underneath, the whole thing drizzled with honey. Peas, pistachio and labne was another satisfying veggie offering, along with a plateful of firm, fresh legumes and peppery greens. We wanted to set up a happy home with buttery (and we mean buttery) ’nduja fried potatoes, with a punchy flavour that matched perfectly with our impressive main of beef brisket and grilled gem lettuce.
The only downfall was how chilly it got at night: we kept our jackets on throughout our meal and dinner got cold quickly. While the British weather is to blame, the team should start thinking about provisions for the colder months ahead. Because we loved it here, really, and hope to see it move through the seasons in dapper style. Long live the dandy.