When a chore as mundane as buying light shades leads you to an cafe with gutsy coffee, great sandwiches and a street smart attitude you’re allowed to think that somebody, somewhere is looking out for you. Dose is hidden behind shops and cafes on High Street in Sydney’s Willoughby. You have to seek it out, but it’s worth it.
When you find it, there’s no doubt that you’re in the right place: behind the counter, on a bare brick wall, hangs a huge graffiti mural spelling Dose. It’s the centrepiece of an industrial-themed space that spills outside through big open windows and doors. Long wood and copper-topped benches on casters, an exposed air conditioning vent along the ceiling, and a large coffee roaster add to Dose’s heavy duty attitude. Hanging lights that are actually globes inserted into coffee tampers are an innovative touch. Somebody had a light-bulb moment with those. Nice work.
Having a coffee roaster on site is a sign that the crew means business. Dose is the coffee shop front of Di Gabriel, a boutique roaster which supplies cafes and restaurants in Australia and overseas.
On this particular visit they’ve run out of the single origin Ethiopian beans, but the house blend — a trade secret i’m told when i ask what it comprises — has a pleasant, full flavour. It’s strong with just a hint of bitterness that rules it out as a namby-pamby brew. They have a cold drip coffee maker too.
If coffee making is their art, bread making clearly isn’t. They buy in from Brasserie Bread, like much of the rest of Sydney cafes. But they do make a killer sandwich. The lightly toasted Better Than Reuben comprises thin slices of roast beef, pickle, rocket, mustard, onion jam and cheese. It’s a knock-out. Another, made of poached chicken, mayonnaise, celery, walnuts, rocket and cheese, is more subtle in flavour but equally awesome. They’re served on the ubiquitous mini wooden chopping board, which have become a bit ho-hum in the Sydney dining scene.
Still, Dose has sufficient unique qualities to warrant a return, particularly if you like a dose of friendly/funky attitude with your coffee or sandwich.
Shop 6, 191 High Street
02 9967 2552
Note: I’ve linked to Dose’s Facebook page as the website doesn’t open beyond the initial page. Dosey, or what?