Facing the Scottish equivalent of a heatwave – a roasting 24 degrees – we headed to the sunshine capital of Dundee. Here we wanted to see if the Bach – a New Zealand themed café – lives up to our unbelievably high expectations.
Well … fabulous news peeps: It sure as hell does!
After freshening up at at our rather flashy hotel suite, Isaac sought directions from his phone. Much to our amusement, the app read out “Bach” as if we were visiting the famous but really quite dead 18th century composer.
In actual fact, the word should be pronounced as if there’s a “t” in the middle, so it rhymes with snatch. As for meaning, it’s classic kiwi vernacular for either a small holiday home or beach house.
So … we have a name that conjures up warm feelings of nostalgia, teamed with New Zealand’s reputation for great food and coffee. Add to this the five ex-pats we brought with us, and the Bach was facing one extremely tough review.
But from the moment we walked through the door, we were utterly in love. A character building stripped back to basics, with retro furniture and touches of kiwiana makes you feel this really could be a beach house.
One Trip Advisor review calls it “Hipster,” but that’s bollocks. This is a cafe with heart, which delivers incredibly friendly service, food that’s easily five-stars and, most importantly, fabulous coffee.
You’ll also discover cabinets filled with sumptuous home-baking, and a greatest hits collection of New Zealand confectionary [ think Twisties, Pineapple lumps, and Mallow Puffs ] making it a very welcome taste of our former home.
Mind you, thanks to the generous BYOB policy, our lunch was a somewhat liquid affair. So while we did digest an embarrassing amount of confectionary, we only managed one course.
Embarrassing, we know! But we can at least tell you the burgers are in-freaking-credible.
Isaac took roughly one of and-a-half seconds to decide on the Kiwi Burger, which boasts large amounts of beef, cheese, beetroot and the all-important fried egg.
Soon after, has mouth was consistently full, but I’m pretty sure he was trying to profess his undying love for this iconic dish.
I on the other hand went with the Chicken and Avocado Burger with homemade chilli jam, smoked cheese and bacon. Spectacular!!
Top marks also go to the chips: skins on and wonderfully fluffy beneath. They were also accompanied by a generous helping of Watties’ Tomato Sauce – a much loved New Zealand brand that’s now produced in Australia. #controversial
Sadly, at this point, we were unable eat another bite, but somehow still managed to carry on making large amounts of wine disappear. This led to a series of dodgy pubs, and an insatiable need to dance, but that’s another story …
So, deciding our alcoholism really was getting in the way of the life we want to live, we returned the next day for brunch. And thank god we did, for this was a truly spiritual experience.
We kicked off with something effervescent to alleviate the crippling hangover.
For me this took the form of L&P, a sparking lemon drink that sells itself as being “world famous in New Zealand”. Isaac meanwhile had a Spider, which combines the soft-drink of your choice with vanilla ice cream. Its restorative powers are legendary.
Then, unable to resist a big breakfast, he was soon falling in love with the Son of the Bach – smoked bacon, black pudding, homemade sausage, egg and the Bach’s mouth-watering take on baked beans, with plenty of rich dark sauce and spiciness.
Taking a slightly different tack, I went for the Sweetcorn fritters with bacon, sour cream, and chilli jam (yet another kiwi classic). But determined to give it a big breakfast vibe, I added the amazing baked beans and homemade sausage as well.
Long story short: one of the best brunches EVER!
It’s official: we love the Bach. And its owners Wendy and Steven are pretty fabulous too. We especially appreciated the complimentary brownies they insisted we take for the train-ride home. Our only complaint: why isn’t this wonderful cafe in Edinburgh???
Reviewed June 2017
The Bach – Café & Bistro
At the Old Flour Mill
20 Exchange Court
Dundee DD1 3DE
0800 029 1750