230 Burton Road
Manchester, M20 2LW
All cupcakes: £1.50-£2
Hot chocolate: £2.20
It seems safe to take a stand and declare that what was previously the cupcake fad is now here to stay. The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon, a deliberately charming cafe in middle-class paradise, provides an excellent introduction to what I had long considered jumped-up versions of fairy cakes (and I've lived in America, too, where cupcakes are king).
The Black and White Bomb was, deliciously, a moist chocolate sponge dotted with pockets of semi-melted chocolate chips, topped by a whirl of creamy vanilla and chocolate butter cream icing. Crowning this whirl was a chocolate button. An excellent combination, and worth the £1.50 (there's a stall in the Arndale Food Market where cupcakes are £1, though).
The hot chocolate was thick and chocolatey, tasting of actual chocolate rather than the powdered and over-sugared stuff usually served elsewhere. It came in a normal glass, which was a little disconcerting and prevented immediate imbibement as I didn't want to leave Dish with only burning blisters for fingerprints.
Although my friend L and I arrived at Dish half an hour before it was due to open, the staff obligingly let us come in, sit down, order and gossip loudly about boys, when they could have sent us packing back into the rain. Between the excellent service, the beautifully presented and moreishly edible cakes, and a hot chocolate that tasted of the real thing, I thoroughly enjoyed my first step on the road to cupcake conversion.