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D.O.C. Espresso - Espresso Melbourne

Cafe: D.O.C. Espresso - Carlton

D.O.C.’s Sunday Prescription

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Opening Hours:
Mon to Saturday 7am – 9.30pm
Sunday 8am – 9pm

Everyone has a preferred reserved-for-lazy-Sunday activity. Mine relies heavily on finding a park around Lygon Street. Once that’s sorted, I beeline for D.O.C. Espresso. And if the Roman gods are smiling on me, there will be two empty stools at the bar in the window.

Now I confess, my poison at this point is usually Prosecco. But should it be too early in the day and thus socially unacceptable to start saucing, I’m content loading with caffeine.

The fast-paced frenzy of the floor is almost what I love best about Little Italy’s star offering. Staff shower regulars and serenade blushing females with melodic Italian charm, a chemical trait that seems to swim in the veins of Italians (a sweeping generalisation, yes, but I base it on my encounters with Italians living in Australia and I’m yet to have a contradictory experience).

The service is swift and efficient, delivered with a warm familiarity often in need of subtitles, such is the endearing authenticity of D.O.C. The room is a chorus of Italian conversation: orders called and noted, espressos prescribed and distributed to customers standing at the bar who in turn offer mother-tongue banter across the counter.

And while the all-over good feeling of just being in and around D.O.C.’s vibe keeps calling me back to my perch in the window, the beating my heart of my love for the place is its salumi e formaggi misti (meat and cheese board, $26). There’s no doubt I’ve consumed several beasts’ worth of prosciutto, mortadella and Wagyu beef bresaola, balanced with equal parts mozzarella, pecorino and parmesan. (And I’d do it again in a cheese-fatigued heartbeat.) Served with generous hunks of fresh bread and olive oil, there are few culinary offerings simpler or more satisfying this underside of Sicily.

If mounds of meat and cheese don’t scream “breakfast!” (or “prima colazione!”) to you, other deliciously uncomplicated options abound: panino with wilted spinach, grated Sardinian pecorino and a free range egg; Zuppa di Latte, old-school bowl of coffee and milk with Mulino Bianco biscotti; or construct a Panini from the mouth-watering offerings of D.O.C. Deli next door.

Complement whatever’s selected with a read of the Sunday paper, or a fresh acquisition from Readings across the road, and a short black (the obvious option in the company of those who gifted espresso to the world).

The Lavazza espresso packs dessert-like richness of flavour, with full chocolate and caramel undertones so smooth and easy to drink that it’s near impossible to stop at one. A long black is served too long for my liking (I’ve been groomed by the city’s baristas to expect my long blacks short and punchy, rendering “long” somewhat misleading).

Come Monday, I’m shattered to see Sunday so close at my back. By Tuesday, I’m uplifted, having trounced Monday. Wednesday brings it with the joys of reassurance: half down, half to go. How I love Thursday: the last bend onto the home straight. And Friday, well it once used to announce “WEEKEND B*TCHES!” but now, as I mature, it simply politely informs me (with an Italian accent) that, bella, two bar stools await at Lygon Street’s D.O.C. Espresso. To which I respond: “grazie good sir, I’ll be there post haste – perhaps prepare an extra pig.”

D.O.C. Espresso
326 Lygon Street
Carlton, 3053
T. 03 9347 8482


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