Trust Port Adelaide to woo us with this delicious excuse for a laboratory. That's where all the cool kids are these days, so thank goodness Tom Flart got the memo and brought us Dutch Coffee Lab a little over a year ago. If you haven't yet been there or Holland, then please make the effort to experience the culture in at least one of those places.
Walking through the little wooden door gives us that feeling of being 'somewhere else.' The fit-out is way stylish and cultured, with church pews, hessian covered stools and lots of wood: wooden shelving, wooden tables and big blocks of wood for table numbers. Also in abundance, black and white images don the walls, while print lettering and paraphernalia are everywhere. It really holds you close, like a big Dutch cuddle.
Ok Coffee Lab, let’s talk about the coffee. Cold drip is actually a Dutch invention, so where better to order this glorious elixir? Tom brews his for six hours using de Groots beans in a coarse grind like sea salt. It’s less bitter than espresso - more gentle, like a tea, as he describes it. It glows in the filtered sun like liquid topaz, and it tastes fruity and elegant.
It's winter, so we are hungry. The good simple menu brings hard choices: we'd love to try the famed Oma's Soup, but the Broodje Bal slow-cooked meatball roll and Tom's Worst are just too much to go past.
I do not regret my decision. A lush creamy gravy permeates the rich meatballs and warms my soul. Complemented with pickles and mustard, this is the kind of food that says both comfort and quality. It will not be the last time.
Dessert is, according to signage, ‘the best apple pie ever’. I’m not usually one for such definitive statements, but one bite, and this is hands-down the happiest day of my life.
Or, it’s very good. Caramel-ly, cinnamon apples roll around with golden latticed pastry in a very happy traditional combination. This is made by Tom, along with almost everything on offer. He cooks, serves, coffees and ganders, a huge part of the spell this cafe has cast on us.
When we leave, I’m half surprised I’m still in South Australia.
Open Monday- Friday 7.30am - 3pm, Saturday 9am - 2pm
Shop 5, 255 Vincent Street, Port Adelaide.
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