This is the reason for visiting Dose Espresso in Willoughby, for the coffee.

The people at Dose roast their own coffee, and it’s obvious they care about it.

Oh, and you can also buy light meals / snack, too.

The Place

It’s been good to see more eating places open up in the Willoughby area over the last year or so.  Dose is just a small coffee shop at the back of a small strip of shops. It seems to always be full, so many times I’ve resorted to getting coffee to take away, just so I could have a strong coffee.


Does - inside

The array of coffee paraphernalia along the end wall is facinating, and tempting!

Dose - inside


The cafe overlooks a tiny car park, which on this occasion held the Dose van!



The Menu

The photo quality of this menu is not so good, but hopefully it’s good enough for you to get an idea of what’s on the menu.  As they don’t have a kitchen, all of the food is prepared off premises, ready made, so just needs to be heated or toasted.


Here’s the vegie sandwich, with roasted capsicum, grilled eggplant, grilled zucchini, tasty cheese and pesto on toasted quinoa and soya sourdough:


And the poached chicken breast sandwich, with garlic mayo, celery, walnut, tasty cheese and rocket on toasted quinoa and soya sourdough:


What they call the “bacon and egg roll” is not really a roll, but a bread like focaccia, toasted, with two free range eggs, eye bacon, tomato relish and hollandaise sauce.  The tomato relish helps lift it above being an ordinary egg and bacon combo.

Dose - bacon and egg

They always have a selection of cakes and breads, such as banana bread.  One time I had a scroll with banana and maple syrup which was wonderfully decadent!

And then there’s the coffee.  When I know a place has good coffee I order it black so I can fully taste it.  Dose varies the beans they offer in the cafe, which is a good way of trying them, before ordering the beans to take home.

Dose - coffee

Dose does a very good cold-drip brewed coffee, served in a glass more like a brandy-glass in shape, with a big chunk of ice.  Whenever I’ve had it there, I’m always amazed at how fine, like a fine wine, it is, yet with full flavour.

I’ve been to Dose Espresso countless times, and will continue to return for the coffee, often having something to nibble with it.  I just wish their premises were bigger so I could be sure of always finding a spot to linger.  If there isn’t room, I’ll take the coffee to the park just a few blocks away, enjoying people-watching there.


Here are the details about Dose Espresso at time of posting. Please check their web site for more current details.

Address Shop 6, 191 High St, Willoughby, NSW
Phone (02) 9967 2552
Open 7am-3:30pm daily
Menu Breakfast: $5-10
Lunch: $10-12
Dose Espresso on Urbanspoon

Where is your favourite place with good coffee?

Balmoral Boatshed

April 9, 2013 — 3 Comments

Long having been a fan of the Boat House at Palm Beach, and the Armchair Collective at Mona Vale, when I heard their owners were taking over the cafe at Balmoral Boatshed, I was excited to get there and try it out. I was there on the third day of opening, and the crowds were building already. Even when I arrived for breakfast before 8am there were not many spare tables. I suspect that will be the trend, if it’s like that so soon!

The Setting

Balmoral Boatshed - beach

The Boatshed juts out into the Harbour, surrounded by magnificent,  huge fig trees.  A perfect setting.

Balmoral Boatshed - front

Visitors to the Pam Beach Boat House will recognize design elements from there, with mounds of washed big pebbles used for walls, the fish-pots used as lightshades, and bounteous plants and flowers.  The feel is relaxed, abundance.

Balmoral Boatshed - front 2

Just insde the front door:

Balmoral Boatshed - inside

Balmoral Boatshed - inside - front

It is a working boatshed, so boats are available for hire.

Balmoral Boatshed - boat storage

Balmoral Boatshed - side 2

Staff wear navy t-shirts with an anchor on the back, with the nautical feel appropriate for the setting.

Balmoral Boatshed - side

Balmoral Boatshed - plants

Plants everywhere.  Really adds to the feel.  And helps create little “rooms”, dividing areas.

Balmoral Boatshed - back

Balmoral Boatshed - back

Balmoral Boatshed - water

Balmoral Boatshed - launching boat

The Food

The menus at the Boatshed look very similar to what’s on offer at the Palm Beach Boathouse.  It’s everyday dining, done well.

Balmoral Boatshed - breakfast

Balmoral Boatshed - lunch menu

Ordering from a small alcove surround by flowers, being greeted by a cheery, friendly face, added to the enjoyable experience.

Balmoral Boatshed - cashier

My friend couldn’t make up her mind between the fruit or the muesli, so had both!

Balmoral Boatshed - fruit salad

You can see that there was a luscious combination of fruits, including mango, strawberry, pomegranet, and fresh fig, served with yoghurt and a honeycomb chunk.  The toasted muesli looked wonderful – made me want to try that – unusual because when out like that I’d usually order a cooked meal.

Balmoral Boatshed - muesli

Another friend ordered the poached eggs with roast tomato on sourdough.

Balmoral Boatshed - egs and bacon

And then I ordered the baked eggs with mushroom ragu, roast tomatoes, ricotta, pine nut gremolata, and a wholemeal sourdough.

Balmoral Boatshed - baked eggs

The salad served on the side surprised me with the crunch, the textures, of rocket, basil, radicchio and fennel, served with a tinge of dressing, enough to add flavour without drowning it. The leaves really were so fresh they crunched.

The roasted tomatoes were herbed, adding to the already rich roast flavour.

Each of the components of the dish were luscious, blending together well.

Balmoral Boatshed - view

Such a peaceful start to the day, dining with views like that, overlooking the enclosed pool.

Stroll After Eating

After dining, we enjoyed a promenade along the waterfront at Balmoral, first on the walkway to the side of the cafe.

Balmoral Boatshed - back

Balmoral Boatshed - view

Balmoral Boatshed - stroll

On Reflection

Being there so soon after opening, it sounded like the bugs experienced in the first few days had been ironed out, and the staff were super eager to provide good service.

I mentioned earlier about how busy it was there so early.  That’s a good start.  The challenge will probably be managing the queuing for tables later in the day.  It will be interesting to return and see how it compares once they settle into a routine.

With such a perfect setting, overlooking the water, with that fresh, abundant atmosphere they’ve created, and good food, I’ll be back.

Balmoral Boatshed - pretty table

Note:  This is Take 2 of the post.  The first one disappeared with some server issues. I’ve tried to keep it as close as possible, but there will be differences.


Here are the details about Balmoral Boatshed at time of posting. Please check their web site for more current details.

Web site
Address 2 The Esplanade, Mosman (Balmoral Beach), NSW
Phone (02) 9968 4412
Open 7am-4pm daily
Menu Breakfast: $11-23
Lunch: $14-32
Balmoral Boatshed on Urbanspoon

Where is your favourite eating place with water views?