February 27-28, 2014
I had a work jaunt to Sydney and found myself staying within walking distance of the Mad Hatter Cupcakery, a newly opened vegan bakery in Darlinghurst. I'm not a huge connoisseur of cupcakes, but Rosalie's post had got me excited to sample the vegan pastry offerings on my walk to work.
It's a cute little shop with a couple of tables and a few stools at a high counter - I imagine most of the business is in takeaways. I think the menu gradually expands through the day as owner Jessica keeps baking - on the first morning I arrived before the croissants were ready and had to make do with a scroll ($4).
It was very sweet and quite cakey -not quite the crumbly pastry I was hoping for, but still warm and delicious, with the cinnamon and sugar working their magic. I went back the next day to try my luck again and managed to turn up at the right moment to grab a freshly baked croissant ($4).
This was a bit more pastry-ish, but still heavier and more cake-like than I want from a croissant - it's clearly a challenge to reproduce flaky pastry without butter and Mad Hatter is doing an okay job of it, but it won't fool a non-vegan. Mad Hatter is a lovely addition to Sydney's veg scene, providing a similar service to Crumbs or Mr Nice Guy in Melbourne. Some of the stuff on their Facebook page looks incredible, so you're probably better off turning up a bit later in the day when the full range is available.
The rave review on quinces and kale alerted me to this place's existence, while Little Vegan Bear, gemsandplains and Vegan in Sydney have all enjoyed the previous incarnations of Mad Hatter at the Glebe Markets or Broadway shopping centre.
Mad Hatter Cupcakery
24 Flinders St, Darlinghurst
basic pastries $4, cupcakes $3
Accessibility: There's a very small step on entry into a reasonably spacious interior. You order and pay at a high counter and have the option of low tables or high benches to sit at. I didn't visit the toilets.