Mon – Fri: 7am – 4pm
Sat – Sun: 8am – 5pm
169 Chapel Street
“Journeyman [jur-nee-muh n] noun, plural: An individual who has completed an apprenticeship and is fully educated in a trade or craft, but not yet a master
I came to this brunch experience a little frazzled. This could be effortlessly deduced to three key reasons:
- It was 9:30am on a Sunday morning at Journeyman and finding a table for two wasn’t a walk in the park;
- I swear this place was Dukes Coffee Roasters last time I was here; and
- 9:30am is clearly too early for me to be having a weekend brunch.
These were the circumstances I found myself in on a very early Autumn Sunday morning. Whilst recently moving away from the north side and comfortably finding my roots in St Kilda, brunching on the south side has been neglected but not forgotten. Dukes Coffee Roasters on Chapel Street had always been a favourite of mine and since its inception in 2008, Dukes Coffee Roasters has successfully built a strong and loyal following. However, owner Peter Frangoulis had decided to have a separation of state and church – or rather a separation of cafe and roaster.
The decor of Journeyman is very similar to the old Dukes with the exception of additional seating space towards the back, with the coffee roasting space moved off-site. It still has its charming warmth and intimate seating, and the popularity of this cafe is as strong as ever. Even at 9:30am on a Sunday morning, I was required to exercise a bit of patience to find seating. Groups of two and four are the best bet to find a seat without too much hassle.
The house long black [$3.50] was of a good quality; however I personally felt on this occasion that it didn’t match the quality that can be found at their Flinders lane espresso bar. It was a tad weaker than I’m use to and the usual robust flavours were not as defining. However, it was still a great drop to drink and allowed my mind and body to awaken.
Deciding on the Potato croquette with poached eggs, sweet corn purée, crispy kale and manchego cheese (v) [$17] not only looked stunning but also was the ideal portion. The formation was well executed; with warm and gooey poached eggs that perfectly completed the potato croquette and corn puree. The dehydrated kale was a fantastic addition that not only lifted the other flavours but made the dish unique.
Whether being a necessary kick-start to the existing Dukes brand or a planned branding strategy, Journeyman is no longer an apprentice in the Melbourne cafe scene. It has embarked on its own path in this competitive cafe scene, with a loyal brunch followers behind it.”
“Life has been hectic; G and I are getting married at the end of the year and we got a beautiful little miniature poodle called Cookie over the Christmas break keeping us extremely busy! Time flew by while I worked, made phone calls to suppliers and venues, did evening trips to wedding places and then.. a whole month had gone by before we’d released a blog! So Mr LB and I got our skates on and visited Hobba for their Autumn menu launch and thought, ‘Well – we better get back to blogging!’
I was unfortunately packed to the brim with things to do, so I negotiated with Mr LB that we go to Dukes Coffee Roasters re-branded venue Journeyman. The venue felt immediately familiar upon entry, as little had changed in the fit-out (see Mr LB’s write up for more detail). Sitting down at the communal tables at the front of the venue, we settled in to look at the menu. My eyes immediately landed on the Toasted waffles with blueberries, cream and smoked maple [$15].
When my meal arrived I was impressed with how huge it was. I mean – wow! Dripping with pureed blueberries, this dish was the definition of gluttony and from my very first bite I knew exactly how much. The waffles were very sweet, dense and full of sugar. The blueberry puree was unfortunately not my cup of tea… it was almost a little too savoury and had a very unusual after taste, which I suspect is a result of being blended with the smoked maple mixed into it. The reduced blueberry chunks, however, were really lovely and sweet like compote and I wish instead of a puree they had just used more of this throughout the dish. The cream was fresh and dense with that real dairy, full-cream taste. Overall, I would have enjoyed this dish a lot more if the blueberry sauce wasn’t so heavily used, especially as the flavours just didn’t work for me, which is a real pity as Mr LB’s dish tasted really nice!
I have great respect for the Dukes brand and I feel that, while I didn’t enjoy this particular experience at Journeyman I wouldn’t rule it out as a place to dine. The coffee is great, the sweets looked as good as ever and the savoury dishes that came out of the kitchen looked lovely.”
Final Thought: “Still a popular and solid brunch spot in Windsor”