Café Duomo Attempting to describe my experience of Cafe Duomo gives me post-traumatic stress disorder. The so called 'Italian" cafe is an utter affront, disgrace and offence to the integrity culture and cuisine of Italy. This cafe undermines the historical traditionalism and pride so ingrained into the Italian way of life. My dining experience, as of 2017, was unforgettable for all the wrong reasons. I recently dinned her with my father, and we were grossly disappointed with the food, service and overall ambiance of Caffe Duomo. Firstly, my father ordered a Chai Latte, and was displeased before and after its arrival. He was very let down to be told, after his order, that his Chai was powdered. To not have loose leaf Chai available in the heart of the most liveable city in the world is a disgrace and a discrimination to those who seek the pure enjoyment of Tea, and do not wish to conform to the social pressures of consuming coffee. Not only is Chai scientifically and logically a far more healthier option, loose leaf Chai tea has a renowned presence in Melbourne, with its famous Prana Chai invented in this very city. Instead of celebrating this, Caffe Duomo elected to serve my father some cheap sugary powdered substance, not only further undermining true Italian cuisine, in which the notion of pride in home cooking is championed, but serving a beverage which tasted like 'warm milk’. Secondly, I ordered a very forgettable surgery 'Vanilla Milkshake' which essentially just tasted like "cold mink', thus not deserving of much of a comment, as it would only exacerbate my trauma. Thirdly, as we found the few menu options limiting and uninspiring, we decided to go with a safe option, ordering the simple and classic chips. We believed this would be the best option as it would satisfy our hunger without risking our dining experience by ordering a more complex dish, due to the lack of capability presented in our beverages. We thought wrong. The small bowl of chips given to us by a very incapable foreign waitress, sporting a bland careless attitude and a high disregard for professionalism. When the bowl arrived, my father and I were shocked to discover that the 'chips' we ordered where indeed not even fried. We were left disgusted with a mess of soft, soggy and uncooked chips which were undoubtedly pre-made and oven baked. This blatant carelessness, lack of technique and utterly discussing experience was and is a shameful sin, particularly as the Italian word, Duomo, derives from the meaning 'house of god'. In the ironic words of the literary genius Bob Dylan, 'nothing is more stable than change', it would be advised that Caffe Duomo changes its name permanently to something that truly encapsulates the experience of dinning in this cafe. Perhaps, Vaffanculo would be a far more fitting ‘Italian’ title. Go figure.
Coffee's pretty good: my piccolo was a little weak but nice flavour, slightly bitter near the end. We got cakes as well and they were a total bummer - horrendously overpriced and very average quality. Tasted like they'd been in the window since morning. A little friendliness is always appreciated - none was offered here: staff seemed surly and unhappy. Overall, I'm pretty ticked off I spent such a ridiculous amount of money on this place ($30 for two coffees and two slices of cake). Very lame.
I was in Melbourne for the day and went to the Block Arcade = saw an empty table outside Caffe Duomo and ordered my first coffee for the day, They advertised that they use Italcaffe beans. My flat white was served promptly by a friendly waiter and I enjoyed it. The coffee was mild but with a pleasant aftertaste. Milk texture was good. My table was outside the cafe in the Arcade and you could not get a better position to people watch and soak up the atmosphere of this wonderful building.
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