Kenny Weir finds there’s room for one more cafe, Dumbo Melbourne

Pearl couscous salad with blackened chicken

Like Lot 10 Eatery, Dumbo is a new arrival in the WeFo neighbourhood.

They join West 48, Pod@PID, Brother Nancy and Jellybread.

This is some fairly intense cafe action. But saturation point? Not yet, it would seem.

Dumbo Melbourne

  • Address: 11 Argyle Street, West Footscray
  • Phone: 9078 2645


Dumbo appears to have found its niche rather quickly. The old building next to Footscray West Primary School has been extensively revamped, with much of the limited space taken up by the kitchen and serving area.

In the main customer space, there’s a big communal table and a handful of smaller types.

The menu has plenty of takes on the usual line-up to keep breakfast fans happy, while the baked Moroccan lamb clay pot ($16) strikes us as something that could also be a handy lunch.

The lunch list itself has just three dishes – and CTS tries the lot.

Pearl couscous salad with herbs, tomatoes, Lebanese cucumber, chilli herb oil, blackened chicken and green pepper relish ($18) is super.

The chicken, moist and juicy, smacks of cumin and more in the seasoning department.

Best of all is the fabulous, tangy green pepper relish. No mere garnish this, it is provided in sufficient quantity to really give the dish a hearty flavour bomb.

The quinoa zucchini salad with sun-dried tomatoes, dill, goats cheese, shallots, beetroot and smoked trout ($19) is lovely, yet doesn’t quite have the same impact or striking delineation of flavours.

It’s undeniably constructed from top-notch ingredients all round, but is a little bland for my tastes. Or maybe it’s this simple: Memo to self – never order anything that involves quinoa.

Eating at cafes such as Dumbo often means CTS has to recalibrate expectations, taking on board that meals such as these salads are not the massive mounds of biryani or pho we habitually consume … and that $18 or $19 is the going rate for such fare.

Dumbo’s brioche burger ($19) with chorizo patty, bacon, Swiss cheese, jalapeno cream cheese and caramelised onion, with thin chips and harissa mayo on the side, however, does seem to fall short in value for money terms.

The verdict from my companion Tony is that the quality is there, but the quantity is less than generous. Then again, maybe comparing a cafe burger with those from ritzy burger joints is unfair.

We have been interested to see what precisely ‘chorizo patty’ meant. Would it be a patty all of re-formed, smoked, porky sausage meat?

Or would it be a beef patty with some chorizo meat in it. As far as we can tell, it’s the latter.

On my first visit, the “new paint” vibe was still going on and the mix of Motown and other R&B – just the sort of finger-snapping grooves that would normally have me happily bobbing my head – was unpleasantly “boomy”.

At a second visit, both had gone and all was good.

Kenny Weir is the founder of Consider the Sauce, the definitive guide to eating in Melbourne’s western suburbs –

Quinoa zucchini salad with smoked trout
Quinoa zucchini salad with smoked trout
Brioche burger
Brioche burger