Its taken us a long time to visit Dandelion and Driftwood, but with L starting fulltime work after finishing uni, and knowing we wouldn’t get to go on any weekday foodie adventures anytime soon, we made the effort to drive to Hendra from the Southside last Monday. We tried to visit in between breakfast and lunch but weren’t expecting it to be so busy on a Monday! We only had to wait a short while for a table and were soon seated. Staff were lovely and very helpful even though obviously busy and under pressure. Unfortunately, rain forced a closure of their outdoor courtyard, and this meant that the only seating available was the small indoor area, making for cramped conditions.
The place is just gorgeous, decked out in vintage rustic decor, flowers in small vases adorn the tables, doilies, jars and bowls of irregular sugar lumps ready to be dunked into your coffee. Even the La Marzocco coffee machine has dandelion print adorning its base. Outside, a barista tends to takeaway orders at a second machine. Waitstaff are dressed very smartly in bowties and crisp aprons.
Dandelion and Driftwood offers the usual espresso coffee with two house blends; Dandelion, a sweeter blend oriented to the feminine palate, and Driftwood, a more robust masculine flavour. Also on offer is the Brew Bar, an area that admittedly looks like a high school chemistry class. Here, you can ask for your coffee brewed in ways that usual cafes do not offer; cold drip, trifecta, aeropress, syphon…
Aside from the two house blends, there were two single origin varieties in the grinders that day. Dandelion and Driftwood is owned by Peter Wolff, who was a co-founder of Veneziano coffee (one of L’s favourites, he used to use it when working as a barista). Wolff Coffee Roasters provides all beans to Dandelion and Driftwood.
I had a cappuccino using the Dandelion blend, and L had a piccolo of the Driftwood blend to start. The taste differences between the two were obvious. The dandelion is much sweeter and softer and was my favourite, whereas the Driftwood is definitely much stronger flavoured and more acidic. Each coffee is accompanied by a card, describing the flavours present in your coffee, and where it comes from.
We ordered sandwiches as well; my Papa Smurf was loaded with thickly cut ham, bacon and salami with a barbeque sauce and was piping hot and absolutely divine. L ordered quite the opposite with a vegetarian sandwich of zucchini, roasted capsicum, cheddar and olive paste, which was reasonable, but not as good as the Papa Smurf which I am still drooling about.
Afterwards, I chose a lemon curd butterfly cake from the variety of cakes, biscuits and whoopie pies available, whilst L decided on another coffee, this time a ristretto of the Costa Rican Zamorana Dulce single origin.
Dandelion and Driftwood is a gorgeous place and is well ahead in the coffee stakes, definitely being amongst the best available coffee in Brisbane. Its popularity means that its quite busy and waiting for a table seems likely at most times of the day, whether its weekday or weekend. By keeping the cafe small though, they do not compromise on quality and provide a fantastic experience. Food isn’t the main feature here, its the coffee, although their small food menu is good, don’t expect massive variety. We are considering moving to the Northside so we can be regulars…
CThis post was featured in GRAM magazine Brisbane Issue 2 (April) Dandelion and Driftwood Shop 1, 45 Gerler Road Hendra Ph 07 3868 4559 Open 7 days www.dandeliondriftwood.com