Before I start, I apologize for the lack of photos. Reason is because .................. i forgot. LOL
I knew I had to, but I got a little too excited over food, as usual.
So anywayyy, Dukes is one hella fehmes brunch place in Melbie! I think their coffee got them famous. This was actually my 2nd time here. My first was last year when I went to Ben & Jerry's free cone day and since Dukes was located just a couple shops down, why not right.
My memory of the food and coffee then is very vague. SUOOOOOO, I decided to visit Dukes once more! :) Dukes is pretty famous. Almost all foodies would've at least heard of it before. But people don't usually go cuz it takes approx. 20 minutes to get to Chapel St from the city by tram. For me, it's pretty worth it tho!
Cafe : Dukes Coffee Roasters
Location : 169 Chapel Street, Windsor
Price : approx. $15- $20/main
Portion : Decent aussie brunch size
Cuisine : Breakfast/Brunch
OKAYYYY SO THE LACK OF PHOTOS hmmm....
Let's start with coffee. it's really simple. There's only 1 word to describe the coffee at Dukes.
yes, i said it. THE BEST coffee I've EVER tasted. And I've had quite a number of coffees already. I remembered the times when people told me the coffee they had at some places were really smooth, and amazing. BUT THIS IS HANDS DOWN THE BEST. The coffee came at the MOST perfect temperature. The kind where you can still hold the latte glass and not get burnt. Sipping it without burning your tongue YET still warms your soul. But hey, I might just be lucky that day.
The barista was also pretty skilled! My latte art came out clean like how I've always liked it to be! Speaking of coffee art, that day there was this friend of mine who told me how most Malaysians in Malaysia judge the coffee. Yes, by the appearance. I cracked up. It was so funny!! They can taste the most disgusting diluted coffee ever but as long as it has Jackie Chan's face on it, win liao lor!
Anyway coming back to Dukes' coffee..... omg. It's the MOST perfect blend of coffee I've ever tried. Perfect milk to coffee latte ratio. Nutty with a tiny tad of acidic taste of coffee to feel like you're still having coffee. Feels smooth as you sip it down your throat. In other words, BEST.
The second I finished it I wanted another. Yes, IT WAS THAT GOOD. PLEASE, YOU READING THIS. JUST GO GET YOURSELF ONE.
Honey Candied Bacon, Avocado Hummus Toast, Poached Eggs, Watercress, Dukkah
This was the dish that I was most looking forward to! Hallo? Honey.Candied.Bacon. I can't think of anything that sounds nicer that that concoction! The bacon tasted almost like bak gua (Chinese sweet-salty dried meat) I kid you not!! Only a little better cuz bak gua tends to get too sweet it makes my throat feel funny. It was firm yet still a little juicy.
It's like having bacon in carbonara. Carbonara is just okay, but every time you bite into a bacon bit, you'd feel like you just hit lottery once again. The bacon definitely was the main star of this dish and I feel it definitely pulled the whole dish to a new level.
Toast was really good too! The avocado hummus didn't have a very strong taste to it nevertheless I'd say it still complimented the whole thing really well. It added moisture to the dry toast. The creamy texture of the avo with the dukkah that added crunchiness to the dish, satisfied.
However my only problem with this dish was THE EGGS. They were slightly overdone. Not impressed. But I believe I was unlucky (lol?) that day too.
Overall I'd say this dish is like a corporate meeting. I've never been to any corporate meetings before but for SOME reason my thinking of a corporate meeting is people with suits that look cool, prim and proper, cool again, everyone seated in a oval shaped table, neat and tidy, rich? LOL Basically a leading company's corporate meeting that you see on TVs. The super cool ones.
Ok sorry I think I've wasted 20 secs of your life letting you read that. HAHA But this dish is bold. It has every element complimenting each other AND the name honey candied bacon just wins it.
Rating : 8.5/10
Merguez sausage, lentils, sweet red and yellow peppers ($18?)
I'm not sure why but Urbanspoon doesn't have the latest menu and I'm not sure what this is even called exactly. I'm just naming the things I see in it. HAHA It prolly might be green beans, IDK. So I'm telling you first. I AM NOT SURE. LOL
But when this dish arrived I genuinely did not expect much from the looks of it. It looked too simple to taste right. Boy was I wrong. To put it to simpler word, I'd describe this as When Thai Meats Spain. Yes, it is THAT simple HAHA.
Let's take it this way. Merguez sausage is a Spanish thing. And in the lentils (I assume) they cooked it with basil. So yeah. You do the math now? It was simple but soooo fulfilling. I usually dig dishes with a lot of meat and 2 sausages usually wouldn't rock my boat but for some reason, the lentils ( I again assume ) left an amazing hearty feeling.
Like the honey bacon dish was satisfying, but this was fulfilling. Satisfied to me means, you're happy and content. But fulfilling is like filling your whole heart (and belly) to a point where you're SO happy and SO content you don't need anything else.
This was how it felt. It has all the right mixture of flavours once again. Sausages ticking off the sinful pleasures box, lentils to tick off the feeling healthy box (i know, how contradictory), basil to cut the richness of the dish, adding a refreshing boost to the pallete and sweet peppers obviously adding sweetness to compliment to salty sausage and a hint of spice ticking off my Malaysian palette crave.
Rating : 8.5/10
All in all I'd say Dukes was money worth spending! Food and service were amazing, coffee was perfect and location, girls like me love. Chapel Street is a shopping precinct if you guys didn't know hehe. Imagine feeding your soul with amazing stuff then go shopping or vice versa, it'd feel like one hella good day I reckon!
Space is very much bigger and spacious than i remembered! We went there at around 2pm so not many people were there however I'd recommend you to avoid lunch hours cuz I have a feeling there'll be a large crowd!
Final Verdict :
Food : top quality brunch
Ambience : chillax aussie style
Value for Money : YES.
Possibilities of Return : anytime for that amazing coffee!