I won’t pretend I came across this place by accident. It would be highly useful to have a nose that detected the scent of good quality food and coffee from a mile away, but alas, my humble little nose lacks such talent. In the meantime, I rely quite happily on the SMH Good Cafe Guide 2012, which lists Dose Espresso as a three-cup award winning cafe. And when you’re still hovering in that hazy twilight between sleep and consciousness (a side-effect of Saturday sleep-ins), the last thing you feel like doing is searching far and wide for good food. And so we found ourselves on the doorstep of Dose Espresso.
Tucked behind a strip of grocery shops on High St, Willoughby, Dose Espresso feels like a hidden secret. Perhaps it’s the exposed brick walls, nude lightbulbs and wooden furniture that make you feel as though you’ve stumbled upon the back room of a warehouse.
The glass cabinet of sandwiches and pastries is a beauty to behold. It looms up beside the pay counter, laden with freshly baked rolls and bread, each item lovingly hand-labelled with a fat white marker.
The coffee was lovely and creamy, its flavour made all the richer by the jam jar of brown sugar sitting on the table. I love it when coffee is served in colourful cups like these cute little red ones – it heightens the cosiness factor considerably (very important).
To my surprise, the tag “best fruit buns in the world” was not a false and misleading representation of these golden babies. They were every bit as sweet, fluffy and moreish as their tag suggested, particularly when served hot with butter (see below). It was probably the extremely high sultana-to-bread ratio that pushed these over the line. Literally every bite contained an explosion of fruit. Yum!
The sandwiches tied up with string were so adorable. Not only did the need for string suggest a surplus of sandwich contents, in danger of overflow, but it enhanced the warm, homemade feel of the place; each sandwich appeared to have been lovingly prepared and parcelled just for you. Ngawww.
This monster was poached chicken, celery, walnuts, garlic mayo, rocket and tasty cheese, all on organic soy and linseed sourdough. Those who know me know of my (small) obsession with Sonoma soy & linseed sourdough, and have held my hand throughout the peaks and troughs of sourdough availability (*fistpump*) and times of short supply (*sob*). So imagine my delight when I discovered that nearly every sandwich in the cabinet was made of soy and linseed sourdough. Yes, a good day indeed.
The surplus of sandwich photos can be explained by (a) a desire to capture on camera the lovely marriage of crunchy bread and soft juicy innards; and (b) the fact that both D and I ordered the same sandwich (yes, it was that good).
D’s “brekkie” sandwich of tomato, cheese, rocket and bacon on toasted turkish bread. I only had a bite, but what little I sampled was delicious.
Why have a normal tap when you can have a spiral one? Why have last night’s leftovers at home when you can indulge in a beautiful weekend brunch at Dose Espresso? You’ll have to find answers to those questions yourself.
Until next time.