Archives For North Shore

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?

Café Lyon, Lindfield

October 17, 2011 — 2 Comments

A month or two back I’d read in the SMH about the opening of a new French bistro in Lindfield, Café Lyon, so I just had to try it out.

The menu is fixed, with the choice of 3 dishes for each of the 3 courses, at $65. The menu mostly changes every week, with a few favourites staying on there, and other favourites make repeat appearances every so often.

On a Saturday night there are two “sittings”, the first starting about 6pm, and we were told on booking, and again several times that we needed to be out by 8pm. That seemed limiting at first, but worked out OK, although it did mean eating and running, rather than lingering over the meal for more conversation. If a longer time is needed, I would suggest booking the later session.

Seeing we knew the time was limited we were there right on time at 6pm, but it took a bit for the staff to get their act together, which I thought was a bit odd seeing the time limit had been stressed. Once they did get going, the service was friendly and helpful. Maybe that’s all part of learning what works in a new-ish restaurant.

The tables were close together (although not as close as in France), with starched-white table cloths topped with white paper. The atmosphere was elegant but relaxed.

The wine list was not huge, but had enough choices between local and French wines.


I wasn’t going to take any photos of the dinner – sometimes you just want to be “in the moment” without any distractions – but when one of my friends asked about not taking any photos, well from then on I just had to. So… there are no photos of the first course.

I ordered a delightful dish with smoked salmon, topped with prawns in a tempura batter, drizzled with a citrus sauce and decorated with fish roe. Apparently this is one of the dishes which stays on the menu, and I can understand why: it’s light, tasty, with a combination of textures.


One of my friends ordered the barramundi, served on a bed of potatoes and onions:

I ordered the quail ballotine, stuffed with spinach, and also served on a bed of potatoes and onions, but with peas. The sauce was rich, full of flavour.

And then another friend had the lamb shanks, served on polenta. It was all that you would expect: rich tomato sauce and vegies, with tender meat.


There was a parfait with white chocolate and honeycomb, with strawberries:

The ice-cream in the parfait was firm, with the honeycomb providing crunch.

And I ordered the pear tarte tatin:

The pastry was wonderfully caramelized, sitting on a rich caramel sauce dotted with finely crushed nuts, and served with vanilla ice-cream. I loved it all, with the caramel sauce and tarte and ice-cream all complementing each other well. I’d order it again.

The third option on the dessert menu was a cheese dish. None of my group ordered that, so I didn’t see how that looked.


The coffee was served in gorgeous red cups (alas, I didn’t take a photo!). Along with the coffee came some tiny treats: mini almond biscotti and berry jellies. Both gorgeous, and a good finish to the meal.

Petit fours


The serves were not huge, but you realized by the end of the meal that they were just right. It’s not haute cuisine or a 3-hatted restaurant, providing lots of “wow!”, but good bistro food. Three courses for $65 is a good price. Knowing that the menu changes regularly, I can imagine quite a few people make regular returns. I know I will.


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

Web site
Address 366 Pacific Highway, Lindfield 2070, NSW
Phone (02) 9416 5026
Open lunch, Mon-Fri; dinner, Mon-Sat
Menu $65 for the 3-course meal, plus more for drinks
Cafe Lyon on Urbanspoon

What’s your favourite local French restaurant?