Dumbo Melbourne, 11 Argyle Street, West Footscray. Phone: 9078 2645
Like Lot 10 Eatery, Dumbo is a new arrival in the WeFo neighbourhood.
They join West 48, Pod @ PID, Brother Nancy and Jellybread.
This is some fairly intense cafe action.
But saturation point?
Not yet, it would seem.
Dumbo appears to have found its own niche rather quickly.
The old building next to Footscray West Primary School has been extensively revamped.
Much of the limited space is taken by the kitchen and serving area.
In the main customer space, there’s a big communal table and a handful of smaller types.
On my first visit, the “new paint” vibe was still going on and the mix of Motown and other R&B – just the sort of finger-snapping grooves that would normally have me happily bobbing my head – was unpleasantly “boomy”.
At a second visit, both had gone and all was good.
The menu (see below) has plenty of takes on the usual line-up to keep the breakfast fans happy.
From that list, the baked Moroccan lamb clay pot ($16) strikes us as something that could also do handy lunch work.
The lunch list itself has just three dishes – and CTS tries the lot.
Pearl couscous salad with herbs, tomatoes, Lebanese cucumber, chilli herb oil, blackened chicken and green pepper relish ($18) is super.
The chicken, moist and juicy, smacks of cumin and more in the seasoning department.
Best of all is the fabulous, tangy green pepper relish.
No mere garnish this, it is provided in sufficient quantity to really give the dish a hearty flavour bomb.
The quinoa zucchini salad with sun-dried tomatoes, dill, goats cheese, shallots, beetroot and smoked trout ($19) is lovely yet doesn’t quite have the same impact or striking delineation of flavours.
It’s undeniably constructed from top-notch ingredients all round, but is a little bland for my tastes.
Or maybe it’s this simple: Memo to self – never order anything that involves quinoa.
Eating at cafes such as Dumbo often means CTS has to re-calibre expectations in terms of taking on board that meals such as the above salads are not the massive mounds of biryani or pho we habitually consume.
And that $18 or $19 is the going rate for such fare – and we’re fine with that.
Dumbo’s brioche burger ($19) with “chorizo patty”, bacon, Swiss cheese, jalapeno cream cheese, caramelised onion and thin chips with harissa mayo on the side, however, does seem to fall short in the value for money department.
The verdict from Tony is that the quality is there but the quantity is less than generous.
But then again, maybe comparing a cafe burger with what is available at the many ritzy burger joints around is unfair.
We have been interested to see what precisely “chorizo patty” meant.
Would it be a patty all of re-formed, smoked, porky sausage meat?
Or would it be a beef patty with some chorizo meat included?
It is, as far as we can tell, the latter.
My cafe latte ($3.80) is outstanding and perfect in every way; and I suspect Tony’s double espresso is likewise.