When Double Shot opened in a breezy riverside neighbourhood in New Farm, local residents were quick to wheel out the welcome wagon, claiming the tiny café as their own. Sharing this revamped former suburban corner store with a hair salon, the café itself is not much to look at, but don’t be deceived by the size – one glance at the cake cabinet is enough to know that co-owner and chef Michael De Laurence has been in the hospitality game for a long time. It’s brimming with picture-perfect classics like a light-as-a-feather passionfruit cheesecake, bread and butter pudding and best-ever Banoffee tart. Muffins and even Danish pastries are freshly baked in house. There’s none of your tired old mass-produced slices of disappointment here – Michael’s baking repertoire would make a CWA lady weep. His savoury dishes are just as fresh and inviting.
Try soft-scrambled eggs encased in flaky pastry with a generous serve of smoked salmon and tangy tomato chutney, or rustic sautéed button mushrooms tossed with a spicy-sweet combination of sweet chilli and coriander with soft-poached eggs and sourdough. Lunch options include classic sandwiches from the display cabinet (the Rueben’s our pick), Spanish sardines on toast with lemon and garlic mayonnaise or smoked trout pâté on thick sourdough with marinated mushrooms and rocket. A pretty goat’s cheese and beetroot salad, or tomato, watermelon, buffalo mozzarella and mint salad are both lovely lighter options on a balmy day.
Space is at a premium, and it can get a little crowded as people wait to place orders at the counter. Co-owner Ross Skinner does a great job of keeping the whole show running smoothly, greeting the constant stream of regulars by name and generally making sure everyone is looked after. On weekends in particular you’ll need to be quick to nab one of only a handful of inside tables, or a sunny spot on the footpath, where there’s usually a dog or two lounging on the grass. The well-made Abrisco coffee is true to the café’s name – strong every time.