Chef James Park was working at fine-dining powerhouse Wildflower when friend – now business partner – Dan Murphy came knocking with good news. Murphy had found the perfect site in Scarborough for the Korean-influenced breakfast and coffee house the pair had always wanted to open. Enter Doric Street Café + Kitchen.
“We’re both passionate,” says Murphy. “We always wanted our own thing and we’re self-motivated. I’ve been making coffee for 10 years and he’s been a chef for longer.”
Career barista Murphy is a veteran of the Perth cafe scene and operated Dalkeith cafes Cimbalino (now Archie and Max) and Yabba Dabba. Park’s resume includes time in a Korean molecular gastronomy lab and a stint at Rockpool. The pair started the cafe’s three-month renovation early this year.
“The tricky part of pulling it off was that it was a Chinese restaurant,” says Murphy. “The bones were there, but it was a complete shutdown and refurb. We gutted everything.”
Park brings a mix of influences to the all-day menu. The cafe’s biggest sellers are ramen, bibimbap and the kimchi burger. Dishes such as pancakes, smashed avo and scrambled eggs with aged cheddar cater for more traditional tastes. Cakes and slices are baked in-house.
Murphy worked with Northbridge Coffee Roasters to produce a custom house blend, although the cafe also grinds different single-origin blends weekly. Customers in a hurry can order their coffee to-go via text message, a service proving popular with locals. Teas and freshly squeezed juices are also available.
Opening daily is a challenge for the hands-on duo, but one that they’re tackling with enthusiasm.
“We’re suckers for punishment,” says Murphy. “We enjoy it, you can’t keep us away.”