Drugstore Espresso, South Yarra

12/23/2015 , , 0 Comments

Drugstore Espresso is a cafe in South Yarra on Toorak Rd, about a 5 minute walk from South Yarra station and tram 8. I decided to visit this cafe after seeing some positive reviews online and some recommendations from friends, and was pretty happy with my experience.
The cafe itself can be easily missed as it doesn't have very obvious signs, and is situated in an area of quite a few cafes/restaurants. It's almost directly opposite Claremont St (where Two Birds One Stone and Adriano Zumbo's Patisserie is located), with a few tables for two outside, and an upstairs area filled with tables of up to four people, as well as a larger communal table. There's a cosy atmosphere to Drugstore Espresso, with soft music playing in the background, and sounds of chatter from the customers. Interior design wise, there's an old school/vintage feel to the place, with hipster style art, photos and designs on the walls. 

The menu has a good range of both breakfast and lunch dishes, as well as specials of the day and a small selection of pastries at the front counter. We went on a Saturday at about 1, and luckily it wasn't very full, so we had the chance to choose where to sit. The three dishes we ordered were the Corn Fritter Stack ($16), the Classic Drugstore Burger ($14.50) and the Somerset Burger ($14.50). Originally, I had wanted to order the Big Breakfast Omelette special, but was told that they had run out of several ingredients already, which was a little disappointing. 

The corn fritter stack also came with diced avocado, fresh salsa, smoked salmon, a poached egg and wild roquette garnish. The fritters themselves were quite average and not very flavoursome, just quite sweet in taste, which we couldn't tell if was from the natural sweetness of corn, or if sugar had been added. For the most part, it just tasted like corn and flour. There was a very generous portion of smoked salmon in the dish, to the point where the ratio of it to the fritters wasn't balanced, and even overpowered it. It would've been nice to have more rocket in the dish to balance out the salmon and fritters, but overall it was still an enjoyable dish.

All Drugstore Burgers are served with a medium done patty, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun, and come with thick fries. The classic burger had a wagyu beef patty, BLT, a fried egg and aioli. The patty was perfectly done, and the brioche bread was soft and lightly toasted, with a slight crispyness to it, and didn't become soggy despite all the ingredients in the burger. The lettuce was fresh and crunchy, the egg done perfectly with the yolk oozing out onto the rest of the burger. The bacon wasn't too salty or overpowering, but still had good flavours. 

The somerset burger also came with a wagyu beef patty, as well as english cheddar, house ketchup and aioli. The patty here was also perfectly done, with a good beef flavour and was juicy and tender, and the ketchup gave the burger a subtle sweetness. The burger also came with a large pickle on top, which went really well with the dish. The thick fries that came with both of the burger dishes was really good and fresh, despite not having much seasoning on top. They were crispy and crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside. The best bit was that they didn't become soggy, even after 40 or so minutes.

We also ordered drinks to go with our dishes, including an ice coffee, a soy chai latte and an apple and guava juice. The ice coffee had a good coffee taste, but it would've been better if it was a little sweeter. The chai latte was good; it wasn't too sweet and overpowering, and the soy milk had good texture to it. The froth was nice and there was just the right amount of cinnamon to give the chai a light and mild taste.   

I'd definitely recommend coming to Drugstore Espresso, especially to try the burgers as they are very reasonably priced with a great portion, and taste delicious. I would visit again to try something from the breakfast menu or the specials board,  given I go early enough next time!

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