Dukes Coffee, Windsor, are you ready for perfect coffee and poached eggs?

Sometimes food just speak for themselves. It’s especially so on a sunny afternoon at a beautiful coffee and brunch place in a trendy part of town. I feel like food is better when I get to take beautiful photos too. Is that too biased for a foodie? I apologise if it is but it’s not something I can help. Undoubtedly, any meal experience is made up of a number of factors such as service/food quality/ambiance and whatever else makes the meal better. For me, it’s the photos.

I wonder how long this beautiful (and sometimes too hot) weather will last. In fact, I just found out I’m going to China/Japan again in 3 weeks time so I wouldn’t get to enjoy this beautiful weather for much longer anyway. There’s pros and cons of going overseas so much.

A bit over a week ago Yuye and I went to Chapel St in Windsor for a bit of coffee hit at Dukes Coffee. I read many good reviews of the place and I couldn’t contain my excitement when we decided to go there. Yuye slept in till 2:30pm that day. I was mighty hungry but also mighty determined to go so I refused to eat anything else. By the time we got there, it was fairly late already and the place was empty.

Dukes Coffee is more like a regular cafe compared to its industrial counterparts such as St Ali and Seven Seeds. Its decor isn’t as warehouse-like, although I did like the open area where the coffee roasting machines were kept.

If you don’t feel like ordering something from the menu, they have pre-made sandwiches behind the glass counter.

Or if you’re just after a coffee, you can order a cupcake or 2 to go with it. I was too full by the end of my meal so this wasn’t an option my stomach could handle.

Coffee is what this place is serious about. It’s what they are good at, it’s also what they are famous for. Look at the barista’s careful pouring, it looked so intricate that I had to hold my breathe when I took this photo.

My latte didn’t let me down. Not a bit. In fact, it’s probably my favourite coffee in Melbourne that I’ve tried. It was strong, it was fragrant, it had character, not to mention pretty too.

Yuye’s cappuccino also didn’t let him down. It was just as strong, just as fragrant and even prettier. I love taking photos of cappuccinos. Doesn’t the flower look so elegant that it almost resembles a beautifully feathered bird in flight?

We went to Dukes Coffee while I was half way through writing the post for Seven Seeds. As I mentioned on that post, I craved for some poached eggs but was disappointed that Seven Seeds didn’t have any on the menu. Dukes Coffee on the other hand, had perfect poached eggs. As we were too late for breakfast (breakfast menu ended at 12:30pm) I settled for the avocado hummus toast, poached eggs, honey candied bacon and dukkah dish for $18.

It was topped with a huge layer of raw and very fresh snow pea shoots. As a primarily Chinese food eater, I never knew we could eat this vegetable raw. I’ve only ever had it braised with garlic at Chinese restaurants and at home. In fact, Yuye made a lovely version of this the other day. Now eating it raw just defied all knowledge and common sense for me. In hindsight, it was actually very crisp, refreshing and delicious. In fact, it didn’t have a strong flavour, just like spinach which I love raw.

I learn something new everyday.

The poached eggs couldn’t be faulted. They were perfectly round and beautiful with a rich golden runny yolk trickling down the side when I cut through them. I couldn’t ask for much more.

The dukkah though could have been improved. Dukkah is a traditional Egyptian side dish that has herbs and nuts but Dukes Coffee’s version definitely missed the mark there with the lack of nuts. Nevertheless, the sesame seeds were tasty and gave a nice flavour to the eggs.

Yuye and I both thought the candied bacon were a bit tough. I loved the chunks with plenty of fat content because they were moist and delicious, but the fatless pieces almost had a jerky texture and were a bit hard to chew through. Perhaps If the pieces were cut a bit thinner, it would have worked better (or just use fattier pieces in my opinion :P).

Yuye ordered the “Windsor chivitto” which according to the menu is Dukes Coffee’s take on “Uruguayan classic steak sandwich with Hopkins river eye fillet steak” for $16. It came with beautifully soft bread and pickles on top.

The funniest thing was, Yuye and I actually bought the exact same red toothpicks they used, but we got them from Japan last year!! What are the chances of that? If you’re interested, visit my Pimms cocktail recipe and see for yourself. 😛 I was so excited when I saw this I almost forgot what the sandwich tasted like.

The sandwich was so vibrant and moist I didn’t want to wreck the balance by eating it. The pretty sandwich contained beetroot, egg, tomato, bacon, steak and greens. It was a very tasty sandwich indeed. However, to me it just looked like burgers or sandwiches with ‘the lot’ but a bit more gourmet so we didn’t understand what was so special about this ‘Uruguayan’ dish.

There wasn’t much I could complain about at Dukes Coffee. It’s no wonder they have such good reviews on Urbanspoon. The strong, fragrant coffees were a highlight and the food didn’t let me down either despite very minor details that could be improved. I’d go back again in a heartbeat. 😀

Question time: Have you ever been to a restaurant and found the same crockery/glassware/cutlery as what you have at home and felt happy about it?

Dukes Coffee
Phone: (03) 9521 4884
169 Chapel St, Windsor VIC 3181
http://www.dukescoffee.com.au

Dukes Coffee on Urbanspoon

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21 comments… add one
  • Hotly Spiced January 25, 2012, 6:44 am

    Have a good time overseas. That cafe looks so inviting. I love the presentation of the cupcakes. So perfect.

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake January 26, 2012, 10:32 pm

      I actually found out I have to leave even earlier! But I definitely will have a good time, thanks 🙂

      Reply
  • GourmetGetaways January 25, 2012, 8:00 am

    I love going to Japan! What is the trip for?

    Your photos are beautiful, for me taking the photo’s is the best part of the experience too,although with all that gorgeous food and coffee eat seems like a pretty good idea too 🙂

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake January 26, 2012, 10:33 pm

      The trip’s mainly to see family and attend my cousin’s wedding. Also a relative’s sick so that’s also one of the major reasons. 🙁

      Reply
  • Nami | Just One Cookbook January 25, 2012, 10:19 am

    I LOOOOOOVE your new wordpress site! Whoohoo! It’s a lot familiar to navigate as I use the same theme. 😉 Where in Japan are you going? I’m going home for a week in April to attend friend’s wedding, too. I love the coffee shop and smell the coffee…..this place has lots of light and very nice place to read books. I enjoy your photography work so much. It’s always fun coming here. I don’t know why on earth I can’t take pictures like you! 😉

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake January 28, 2012, 2:43 am

      Thanks Nami! 😀 I’ll be going to Tokyo only this time. I went to many places in Japan last year EXCEPT Tokyo because it was too close to the earthquakes…Where would you be going to in Japan? I love Japan, 2 weeks will be too short but it’s better than nothing. 😛

      You can take wayyyyy better photos than me! I love your cooking photos, hopefully, I’ll be buying kitchenware like yours when I go to Tokyo! 😀

      Reply
  • msihua January 25, 2012, 11:44 am

    Nice! I just read this on another blog today. Bookmarked to visit when I get home 🙂

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake January 26, 2012, 10:34 pm

      Definitely give it a go when you come back, I’m sure good coffee is a nice welcome back 🙂

      Reply
  • Anna @ the shady pine January 25, 2012, 12:39 pm

    Ooh another place to add to the Melbourne list! Looks lovely and good coffee is always necessary! Hope the prep for your travels goes well.

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake January 28, 2012, 2:36 am

      Travels have been moved earlier! Packing wouldn’t be a problem but getting visas were hectic. 🙁 I’ll be without a good coffee for 2 months! Sad…

      Reply
  • choux choux January 25, 2012, 9:13 pm

    Oh what a lovely place. The steak sandwich looks amazing 😀 My boyfriend is growing snow peas in his backyard and I had some RAW freshly picked from the garden and it was so nice. I’m so jealous you’re going overseas again!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake January 28, 2012, 2:38 am

      OMG! I wish I can grow my own snow peas…I love them….I’m jealous!
      I’d rather stay here for a bit more and enjoy the good food – although I guess food in China and Japan will be wonderful too…but I know I’ll definitely miss the western stuff and coffee…

      Reply
  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com January 26, 2012, 8:58 pm

    I love quaint coffee shops — we don’t get many here in Orlando 🙁 Whenever I visit my sisters in the UK, I am so envious of the coffee shops over there!

    Those foods does make up for my coffee shop misery’s. Looks so drool-worthy!!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake January 28, 2012, 2:38 am

      You should come to Australia one day! We have fantastic coffee shops and good food to go with it 😀

      Reply
  • JasmyneTea January 26, 2012, 11:16 pm

    I love how you casually just find out you’re going overseas, lol. Have a safe trip!
    Also, those eggs! My kingdom for those eggs!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake January 28, 2012, 2:40 am

      Not so much casual…I knew I was going to China for my cousin’s wedding in March but I wasn’t prepared for such an early departure due to Yuye’s sick relative…:( I will have a safe trip thank you. 🙂

      Reply
  • Deanna January 27, 2012, 2:49 pm

    There are few things tastier in the world than a perfectly poached egg! I’m glad you finally got to have one.

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake January 28, 2012, 2:41 am

      Yes! I had been dying for one. I must have another before I leave for overseas. I will be so sad without fresh egg yolks for 2 months. I wouldn’t dare to eat eggs like that in China 😛

      Reply
  • Rosa February 3, 2012, 10:50 pm

    A great place! Those eggs are cooked to perfection. I’d love to eat one of those sandwiches.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 4, 2012, 4:54 pm

      Hi Rosa! The eggs were indeed very good. I’m dying for one right now, knowing I won’t be having any for 2 months! 🙁

      Reply

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