Dakdak Cafe

Where: Unit 2, 1-3 Bignell Road, Moorabbin
Hours: Mon–Sat 7am–3pm
Phone: 9532 2749
Web: www.dakdakcafe.com
Follow: Facebook / Twitter

Please note that this business is not located in Moorabbin Junction but a short distance away in the Moorabbin Industrial Area.

It’s no secret that Dakdak Cafe owner Benjamin Cowen is a bit of a revhead when it comes to Volkswagens. The cafe is named after the signature stuttering of the VW engines, and the entrance of his warehouse-turned-cafe is flanked by a giant 1960s VW sign that a friend of Cowen’s had found on eBay. Meanwhile, dotted around the cafe are little VW toy cars, the hood of a VW Beetle and many more memorabilia of the German classic.

Coming from a background of prop-making for film and television as well as hospitality, Dakdak is clearly a love project for Cowen, who has filled every square inch of the cafe with vintage signage, toys, countless stacks of Eskys (most of which hadn’t been unpacked), plastic pink flamingos and other retro bric-a-brac.

“We just wanted to have a space that locals would be comfortable hanging out in and to serve simple, homemade food,” Cowen explains. “A lot of the vintage and retro memorabilia are up for sale, most of them are things I’ve always had around the house but never had enough space to properly display, while the rest were donated or loaned to the cafe.”

The kitchen, headed by chef Anna Higgins (formerly of Half Moon in Brighton), operates out of a 1963 Viscount Ambassador caravan and dishes out distinctly Australian breakfast and lunch items with slight American influences. Every Wednesday, the menu rotates a different ‘Burger of the Week’ ($12), and all the hefty servings home-made pies, sausage rolls and sandwiches clock in at around $10.

“We strive to get best local produce whenever we can, our milk comes from Mordialloc the coffee is from Fayale Coffee in Elsternwick, the yoghurt’s from Cranbourne, our butcher’s just two street’s away from here, and we make all our jams and chutneys in-house.”

Dakdak has turned into quite a community hub since opening in January 2014. On weekdays Dakdak’s customers are an interesting mix of local mums and bubs groups and workers from surrounding warehouses and nearby Phillip Morris factory. The cafe has also been used for several photography and television shoots, and on the first Saturday morning of every month, Volkswagen car clubs would come by to buy and sell parts.

See what the locals are flocking to Dakdak for, and while you’re there make sure to check out the amazing range of retro goods – you might just come away will a full belly and some vintage goodies to display around the house. 

Words by Delima Shanti
Photos by Jesse Thompson