Monday, 3 March 2014

The Weekend Review: Dukes Coffee, Prahran

It was going to be a busy day, we'd planned for a quick breakfast out and then it was off to the Dandenong Ranges to explore the day away. I'd planned with care, having picked out somewhere that had a decent menu, reasonable prices and was nearby- perfect! We packed up the car and began our journey. After driving around the block for 15 minutes we finally found a parking spot, we aimlessly started wandering the street trying to find a cafe which Google Maps was adamant we had already arrived at. We looked around confused and noticed the locked gate, beyond lay the closed cafe which I had chosen with great care. The one which I had failed to note was closed on Sundays. Back in the car we all slumped, defeated and hungry. At that point my husband shrugged, "Dukes?" and off we went to our old faithful.

Dukes is my local 'go to' for coffee. What keeps me coming back to Dukes? The answer is consistency. I know that no matter how busy they are or what time of the day I go, the coffee will be excellent. I've had coffee as good, occasionally better from other local establishments but the consistency of quality has never been on par with Dukes.

We arrived at around 8:30am. If you know Dukes, you know it gets busy, really busy. We had arrived just early enough to be seated immediately, relieved to be taking up the last remaining table. Our waitress was wonderful, speaking warmly to Oscar and even leaving him with a pen and some paper so he could draw while we weighed up the menu. It may be starting to come apparent that I'm a die hard goats cheese fan. If I see a goats cheese dish on a menu and it's vegetarian, chances are sky high I'll order it. This breakfast was no exception, I ordered the 'Omelette, goats cheese, roasted vine tomato'. Keith chose the 'Avocado hummus toast, poached eggs, honey candied bacon and dukkah' and naturally we required coffee, urgently.

Shortly after placing our order the coffees arrived, and they were sublime. Silky, packed full of depth, strong on flavour without a hint of bitterness.

Latte ($3.80)

Before we'd managed to get half way through our coffees the meals arrived. Considering Dukes was now brimming with eager customers the speed at which our food arrived was impressive and unexpected.

My omelette was a simple affair. The presentation left me a little disappointed, especially when I compared my plate with Keith's! However, the omelette was cooked expertly, the egg was barely firm, smooth and delicate. It encased a light filling of goats cheese and the tomatoes made a ripe and flavoursome accompaniment. My only real qualm was when I found myself carefully rationing out my single piece of toast. Two pieces would've been ideal.

Omelette, goats cheese, roasted vine tomato ($17)

Keith's poached eggs were also cooked with precision (a seemingly rare feat). The contrast between the soft eggs and the crunch of the dukkah was wonderful and the avocado added a pleasant creaminess without making the dish feel too heavy.

Avocado hummus toast, poached eggs, honey candied bacon and dukkah ($18)

We sat enjoying our meals and watching the seemingly endless stream of coffee lovers come and go. Throughout this time the staff were friendly and very efficient. It's a high paced atmosphere but the team at Dukes operate in an organised and calm manner. I watched as a tray of freshly made haloumi paninis were put on display, I've had these before and adore them. I reluctantly left them behind and we headed off for our hilltop adventure, having had a wonderful start to the day.

Dukes Coffee on Urbanspoon


  1. I do find that some places just don't cook a runny centered egg. A shame because the gooey yolk is so good! :D

    1. Funny isn't it? The elusive well-cooked poached egg seems to thwart quite a lot of chefs. It's like the holy grail of breakfast!

  2. Unfortunately I think Keith got the better dish...two pieces of toast definitely needed!

    1. Tell me about it! It's like a curse. His meals pretty much always trump mine. :D