we have been experiencing some crazy heat in melbourne over the past few days. today reached 42 degrees celcius (106 degrees fahrenheit) and whilst my ex-qld self was doing a little glory dance and heading outside for a 8.9km walk as quickly as i could, please spare a thought for the country-victorians and south-australians experiencing some terrible bush fires + the amazing fearless country fire authority (cfa) who are working overtime right now to minimise any loss of property + life that they can. they do an exceptional + selfless job, and they are all in my thoughts tonight.
i head back to work on monday, not at all excited that my 10-day holiday is coming to an end and trying to work out how/whether i could possibly swing another couple of days off. it’s unlikely, so instead i’m determined to make the most of the 2 days i have left. with good (read: hot) weather, my hayfever slightly manageable for the day + my husband surprisingly awake prior to midday, we headed over to south yarra again (twice in 3 days) + stopped in at drugstore espresso before wandering up chapel st + through the prahran markets.
the cafe was buzzing when we arrived, the chatter slightly under a dull roar (i’m convinced any day over 35 degrees sends melburnians a tiny bit crazy). i was disappointed that a number of the wait-staff walked straight past us (while we were clearly waiting to be seated) without even a glance or a greeting. unfortunately, the service didn’t get much better. once seated, we waited about 10 minutes to be given menus + some water, and then waited about the same again for our order to be taken. perhaps the staff were as hot + bothered as we were, but it certainly tainted my overall experience.
anyway, on to the menu itself…
it was waaaay too hot for a hot milky coffee, so i decided to go with a short macchiato. the coffee is provided by rosso coffee roasters, a boutique melbourne roaster. fairtrade organic and rainforest alliance certified, my short mac was strong (expected), rounded + crisp. a good wake up call. they also have an enticing selection of 10 and 24-hour cold brews and a v60 pour over variety which would be perfect on a hot summers day.
my favourite part of the menu is the “anti-coffee” options (if you’ll note my previous gripes about cafes that only serve oj). a huge selection of fresh juices including fresh coconut served in the coconut! my husband opted for a fresh apple juice + i went with the gang green: apple, grapefruit, mint, celery + basil. both were refreshing, icy cold + perfect after our long walk.
the menu almost appeared to have been designed for a sweltering day like today – an abundance of fruity, lighter options which were much needed (no way was i going for baked eggs in 40+ weather!).
husband opted for the
house made granola with almond milk, natural yoghurt + seasonal fruit salad. my husband has renamed this dish the “deconstructed muesli bar”. while it certainly came with a generous serving of fresh fruit, it lacked enough yoghurt to balance it out and we’re not sure where the almond milk was. it definitely ended up on the “dry” side by the end and i wouldn’t rank it as worth $16. not awful, but not great.
i went for the
berry beet acai breakfast bowl blend of mix berries, dates, walnuts, coconut milk, banana + beetroot topped with roasted coconut flakes, chia seeds, fresh strawberries + blueberries.
pronounced a-sigh-ee (i once had to youtube this!), this berry is beautifully smooth + delicious when blended and this acai bowl had a particularly lovely kick of fruity goodness, well balanced by the beetroot + coconut flakes.
overall, i’m sad to say i’m not in love with drugstore espresso. the menu + healthy options are extremely appealing and “on trend” but execution not quite what i was expecting for such a busy and hip toorak road joint. in saying that, i don’t like writing anything off first go, so will attempt to give it another go sometime in the future (perhaps on a less sweltering day!).
verdict: perhaps the heat got the better of them today?