David Yeo moved from Melbourne to Perth six years ago, with the intention of contributing to the same community atmosphere and appreciation for specialty coffee he found in Melbourne. David’s ambitions became a reality with the unveiling of his new café, Open by Duotone, in June 2018.
Open by Duotone is David’s second venue, following the launch of his first café, Duotone, three years earlier. David says Open by Duotone does not have the same space limitations as his first café’s CBD location.
“Duotone is very popular with the locals, but it’s more of a small takeaway venue and we were only able to offer a few brunch items,” David says.
“A lot of our customers wanted us to open on weekends but [Duotone] is not really in a location that is suitable for that.”
Open by Duotone is located in Northbridge, an area David compares to Fitzroy in Melbourne.
“There’s quite a few nightclubs around here as well as nice restaurants and pubs,” David says. “I wanted a venue that we could open until late, and this area is one with a lot of night-time crowds.
“It made it possible to open a café/bar that serves specialty coffee during the day and espresso martinis at night.”
Open by Duotone serves Zest Specialty Coffee’s African Mailman as its house blend.
“It’s a phenomenal coffee, one of my favourites,” David says. “It’s a perfect balance of flavours and acidity, good for espresso or with milk.”
The coffee, sourced 80 per cent from El Salvador and 20 per cent from Ethiopia, has tasting notes of chocolate pudding, plum jam, maple syrup, cream, and berries.
The café rotates single origins from guest roasters on Fetco batch brew. At night, Open by Duotone uses these cooled coffees as the base for negroni cocktails.
“I want to make creative drinks. Not only do we serve classic beverages, we’ve used trial and error to make things that are new,” David says.
Other cocktails David has created include an espresso-based white Russian, and an espresso martini made with soju, a Korean spirit.
Open by Duotone serves a Korean/Japanese inspired menu alongside its coffee and cocktails. David says the Omurice, Japanese-style smoked chicken and fried rice topped with an omelette and mushroom demiglace, and the Korean short rib are customer favourites.
“We marinate the Korean short rib in a soy-based galbi sauce made with our own ingredients. After that, we slow braze them and finish with a charcoal,” he says.
“The Korean short rib is my mum’s recipe. It’s a traditional meal we’d eat to celebrate new years or thanksgiving.”
David hopes Open by Duotone can become a meeting place for Perth specialty coffee industry.
“We have a big courtyard, with an 80 to 90-person capacity,” he says. “I really want to utilise the space for more events and to collaborate with other cafés, restaurants, and brands to come here, and socialise and connect while trying good food and coffee.”
Open by Duotone
6/45 Francis St, Northbridge, Western Australia 6003
Open seven days 8am to 3pm, and Tuesday to Saturday 5pm until late
(08) 9227 6961