With an outlook directly over the water at Torpedo Bay, new Devonport cafe Dulcie is primed for leisurely brunches soaking up the sunshine as we move into spring.
It was opened in July by Scott Kennedy, who previously lived and worked (in hospitality) in Melbourne for almost 20 years and wanted to open a sophisticated cafe on the North Shore.
“The two key areas we wanted to focus on were bringing restaurant-style service to a daytime venue and the a la carte menu coming from the kitchen,” Kennedy tells Broadsheet.
Dulcie is his grandmother’s name. “She was the epitome of hospitality. So with that focus on service we wanted in the venue, we felt it was hugely appropriate.”
With its soaring ceilings and spacious layout, the building on King Edward Parade is a beautiful spot for the cafe. It currently seats 80 inside and 40 outside – but another section of courtyard seating will soon double the outdoor capacity.
It formerly housed a cafe called Platter, and the landlords renovated the building last year (which Dulcie shares with commercial spaces and apartments), so Kennedy didn’t need to do much aside from lighting, furniture and fittings.
“It was all about keeping it minimalistic. The view and the building are beautiful enough – so we didn’t want to take away from that.”
For breakfast, you’ll find familiar dishes with elevated or slightly left-of-centre tweaks: curried eggs with saagwala sauce and fried curry leaves; pancakes with blueberry compote, lemon and elderberry syrup, and coconut whip; and a luxe sausage and egg muffin with smoked provolone and miso brown sauce.
Lunch dishes lean toward modern bistro – clam linguine, slow-cooked lamb, a prune and paprika roasted half-chicken with fennel, olives and almonds.
“We also do an amazing fish and chips – but once again, it’s a little more refined than what you usually see.” It comes with smashed peas, gribiche (a mayonnaise-esque egg sauce) and fish on one plate, then thick-cut chips on another plate, and baby gem lettuce with green goddess dressing on another. “Often you get fish and chips where the salad gets warm and the chips get soggy,” says Kennedy. “These are the little touches we try to consider.”
Dulcie’s cabinet is filled with treats from Daily Bread and the coffee comes from Atomic Coffee Roasters.
Soon, the cafe will be opening for early evening small plates (finishing around 8pm due to the residences upstairs). It will be an ideal spot to watch the sun go down with some oysters and a glass of wine in hand.
Mon to Fri 7am-3pm
Sat & Sun 8am-3pm