We actually visited Bench Coffee Co a few hours before we did their sister store Saint Dreux. Truly falling for the hype and packaging, we spent a great deal of money on some Korean-style dacquoise (their only food offering) and coffee.
The flavour options on offer are Raspberry, Black Sesame, Vanilla Sea Salt, Matcha, and Chocolate, each sandwiched between identical nutty biscuits ($7 each). We chose a box with one of everything, because I am stupid, but at least it meant that we got a nice presentation box to put in the recycling.
The dacquoise at Bench played like a cross between a macaroon and a macaron as imagined by me as a child when I didn’t know the difference. The pastry, identical between all flavours, was semi-sweet, airy and compressible with a strongly nutty almond-like quality. There was possibly too much pastry after the third dacquoise, and certainly by the fifth.
My favourite of the batch was the raspberry, which was fresh and light in comparison to for example the vanilla sea salt which I felt was too oily and buttery. One positive aspect of these desserts is that no flavour was too over-sweet, but this did unfortunately mean that the oiliness and butteriness was able to come more, and probably too much.
The coffee ($4.50 for a long black and $5.50 for a soy latte) was expensive but only normal in quality. I will however commend them on their bottomless complimentary sparkling water on tap, which they even let us fill our drink bottle with.
If there’s one thing I can surmise from my experiences at LT Cardigan’s two Melbourne stores Saint Dreux and Bench Coffee Co it’s that they have an extremely strong social media presence that is very much in excess of their actual food quality. While their food is by no means bad, one would think that, based on how much hype surrounds them online, that their cafes were unmissable Meccas for anyone venturing North of the Yarra. Ultimately what I think is that their marketing guy should get a raise.
Get one dacquoise for curiosity, maybe another if you enjoyed the first. Not the whole lot.
BENCH COFFEE CO. Lt Collins
321 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000