Trendy cafes are well, trendy, for many reasons: some boast coffees, some service, some food..

And some, hot waiters.

Don’t get me wrong, the Chai latte that I got was also really good – delicate balance of spices, and creamy to boot – but not as good in the fan-myself-like-a-fat-girl-in-summer sorta way. Sam (The Smiling Foodie) agreed, and we agreed that this was just about the best first impression any cafe could give.

Salt and Sugar dispensers at Drugstore Espresso

The salt and sugar dispensers also followed the drugstore theme, and made me giggle. You know how I love a good theme.

The menu looked interesting, and we ordered the Duck Corn Tacos for me, and a Berry Beet Acai bowl for Sam.

Duck Corn Tacos, $18Slow cook duck corn tacos with ruby grapefruit, cucumber & asian soft herb salad. drizzled with crunchy peanut butter, hoisin, pickle mustard, $18

Unfortunately, this was a bit of a miss for me. The concept was really nice, but the duck was cold and dry, and the tacos were just floury in my mouth. There was no sauce that I could taste, and besides the grapefruit, there wasn’t very much about this dish that was nice for me.

So I told them and explained the situation, and they were extremely understanding and recommended something else.

It’s okay, hot waiter will make it alright.

Berry Beet Acai Bowl, $16Berry beet acai breakfast bowl blend of mix berries, dates, walnuts, coconut milk, banana & beetroot topped with roasted coconut flakes, chia seeds, fresh strawberries & blueberries, $16

In the meantime, Sam seemed to really enjoy his Acai bowl. I had a bit off the top, and I loved the rich berry sweetness. Definitely something to consider if you’re into a sweet breakfast.

Sweet Potato Hash Brown, $16.50Sweet potato hash brown with sautéed kale, sugar snap peas, semi-dried cherry tomatoes & roasted pumpkin. finished with a poached egg, greek fetta & spice dukkah, $16.50

My replacement dish of Sweet Potato Hash was actually quite lovely too, topped with al dente veg, oozy poached egg and hits of flavour from the feta and dukkah. The hash, which was more fritter than hash, had a bouncy quality to it, very much like a savoury pancake, and that was a great texture contrast to the crunchy vegetables.

Delicious, and made me feel really healthy eating it.

The service was unfortunately a bit hit and miss. The waiter who handled my complaint was lovely and understanding, and completely diffused an awkward situation of sending food back to the kitchen. The waiter who brought out my hash didn’t know what was in the hash, and when he checked with the kitchen, came back with the answer of “raisin flour”. I asked him if it was like the dried grapes, and he said yes. Now in the age of coconut flour and the like, it’s not such a far fetched idea, but I still thought I should ask someone else, and it turns out it was a gluten free self-raising flour, and the world made sense again. But I still thought that it wasn’t very nice of him to say yes when he really didn’t know, and mislead people.

But the final nail in the coffin with the service was the bill. Despite me only having three tiny bites of the duck – one for first taste, two to make sure it’s not just me, and three to make sure that Sam also was tasting what I was tasting and that it wasn’t all in my head – which made up barely a third of the first taco, they charged us for it. Maybe I’m confused, but my experience working in the hospitality industry is that when the food gets sent back to the kitchen barely touched, it’s practice to void that dish and replace it with something else! If I was going to have to pay for their mistakes then maybe I should’ve gone for breakfast somewhere else rather than order a second dish to give them a second chance on the food.

And even the hot waiter and decent chai isn’t enough to make up for that.

Drugstore Espresso
194 Toorak Road
South Yarra, VIC 3141
Phone: 03 9827 5058
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 7am-4pm, Sat-Sun, 8am-4pm

Drugstore Espresso on Urbanspoon

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