Search for the perfect cupcake - Mad Espresso, Albert Lane, City

Sometimes looks can be deceiving.

Take Mad Espresso in Brisbane's newest food destination, Albert Lane, for example. It looks like any other small takeaway joint crammed into a small space serving coffee, sandwiches and cakes.

But take a closer look and you'll find some of the top food names in the cabinet and a chef in the corner turning out delicious sandwiches and muffins.

It was, of course, the cupcakes that first caught my attention. 'New York style' they screamed, so despite the fact that the likely hood of eating it was a long way off, I bought one. I had intended to have it for dessert but several glasses of wine got in the way. The next morning I found it, a little worse for wear in the paper bag. The most surprising thing is that it still tasted pretty good. It was light and spongy but still had a good flavour and the moderate icing complimented rather than competed with the cake. The tiny pink cupcakes also tasted terrific.

I thought both cupcake styles were made in house but it turns out master cupcake maker Cakes by JudyC is the source here.

Mad Espresso's coffee is Campos and freshly ground for every cup. The muffins are baked daily, sometimes several times a day, on premise by chef Todd who has a tiny spot at the back. And when it comes to muffins, fresh is best and you can really taste the difference!Muffin flavours include Baked Pear and Caramel Crumble,Honey Roasted Pumpkin & Oat, Banana Cream and Honey, Nut & Oat or Lindt Double Chocolate Some of the cakes are supplied by Cakes by Judy C.

The bread comes from Sol Bread, the eggs, chicken and ham are all free range and the pork is Gooralie- a real plus as it's free range. You can fill your bread with meat freshly roasted by Todd in the oven. Dello Mano brownies are another treat awaiting you.

The all-day breakfast range also includes organic croissants served with butter and St Dalfour jam or free range smoked ham, Swiss and Provolone cheese and tomato. There's also Turkish toast with a variety of condiments or thick fruit toast and cinnamon toast.

Mad Espresso owners David Gregory and Christell Canard may be a little mad themselves, but it's in a good way and it's all about serving the best food to their customers. Bravo!

And if you don't know where Albert Lane is, take a wander through the city.  Albert Lane is accessed from Queen Street through the T&G entrance and from the mall in Albert Street.  There's also access from Elizabeth Street.  It's home to a wide selection of eateries including Vapiano.

Bottom line - good cupcakes, worth the $3.50 price tag and a real find for city lunchers looking for quality produce.

Mad Espresso, Queen Street Foyer, Albert Lane, Brisbane CBD.