with the food being made from scratch, food intolerances and vegan diets are easily catered for.
Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the world’s greatest composers, so it’s no surprise to find a cafe named after him in Dundee, right? Well, The Bach is actually pronounced as if there’s a “T” in the middle, so that it rhymes with match. Nothing to do with classical music. But why? Is it because every good coffee house still needs t(ea)?
Bach is Kiwi vernacular for a small holiday home or beach house, an integral part of New Zealand’s culture in the 20th century. Your typical Bach is a modest building symbolising a beach holiday lifestyle that was attainable to many in the country, and this is reflected in the style of the cafe. Casual, relaxed, and simple, but worth the effort to get there. Located not beside the Tay (beach houses probably wouldn’t be quite such a hit on these cold windy shores) but instead across from The McManus Art Gallery and Museum in central Dundee.
And the food? It’s exceptionally good and quite exciting, all of it made from scratch with the menu changing often. Bach is open for breakfast and lunch from 8:30am – 5pm every day; we visited for weekend brunch, which featured a choice of homemade burgers, a number of egg dishes, kedgeree, corn fritters, chicken shawarma, falafel, tacos and French toast. All of the cakes (like the walnut and chocolate ‘Afghan biscuit’) are home baked too, and with everything being made from scratch, food intolerances and vegan diets are easily catered for.
The first item on the menu was the ‘Son of The Bach’. So it made sense to start there. Homemade sausage, smoked streaky bacon, Stornoway black pudding, beans in a dark smoky homemade sauce, slow roasted tomato, mushroom and two eggs (however you like them) with toast and butter. It was a huge plate of breakfast goodness, perfectly setting us up for a day spent exploring Dundee.
Of the four burgers, the Kiwi was the stand out, coming stacked with beetroot, fried egg, smoked cheddar, red onion, lettuce, wholegrain mustard mayo, and homemade habanero ketchup, served in a brioche bun. It also came with a decent portion of chips on the side. A filling homemade patty, with a really good mix of ingredients and thick fluffy chips.
The Flat White possibly originates from New Zealand, and so it made sense to have a coffee. On offer was a choice of beans and three brewing methods: V60 filter, Chemex and syphon, but we decided to go for The Bach Brew, a light-roasted, no-fuss filter coffee. Refills are an extra £1. Alongside that we ordered a beer called Flat White, an excellent coffee milk stout from the 8 Wired Brewing Co. in NZ. And that’s not all of the Antipodean produce you’ll find here. To keep it authentic, they also have nostalgic NZ items such as Wattie’s tomato ketchup, Lemon & Paeroa (L&P) a soft drink described as being the country’s version of Irn Bru, and Spider (the Kiwi name for an ice cream float). The drinks selection is great and features soft drinks, beers and wines from around the world, not just New Zealand.
A signifier of changing times in Dundee, The Bach is an excellent spot for relaxing, with great food, great coffee and great beers. It’s dog-friendly too. More Ba(t)ch and less Bach: that’s music to our ears. We’ll be back for sure.
The Bach, 31 Meadowside, Albert Square, Dundee DD1 1DJ
– All food made on site including homemade burgers, sausages, sauces
– Menu changes often with dietary requirements catered for
– Popular products from New Zealand are available