The Duchess -- A quaint, tiny cafe in a quiet, little neighbourhood...
The Duchess of Spotswood!
A place that can easily be so unassuming from the outside to the casual walker by... With a setting so casual and inviting that you feel like you're eating from someone's home or backyard... And food so incredible that has me thinking about for months since my visit... Ahhhh, The Duchess... Why are you so good to me? An unforgettable meal that I've been earnestly waiting to blog about for the longest time...
I still remember that it was on Good Friday when we came. The sun was out and everyone was well rested from a morning of sleeping in. With just a few text messages sent out, it took less than 15 minutes for the 5 of us decide to head to The Duchess for an impromptu lunch that Friday morning. And I'm glad we did. I couldn't have picked a better place to go or with a better group of friends to spend the precious public holiday...
We headed to the back where we there was a larger seating area and we could enjoy the sun a little bit more... It was great. Humble little backyard, fitted with tables and chairs and a tree in the middle for some shade.
Some of us decided to order a nice cuppa to kickstart our meal; where the house blend of the day was Market Lane Coffee.
Soy Piccolo Latte
While one of us thought it was better to go with something a little more refreshing... I don't disagree.
Duchess of Pork -- $18.50
(Crispy pig's jowl with fried eggs, rich truffle sauce and sourdough toast)
A dish that jumped out of the menu to me and I knew then and there that it was a dish I HAD to try. And by golly was this flippin' delicious or what!
The pork was heavily seasoned, almost like spam but tasted much fresher and not processed. The yolks were so fresh and rich (in a good way) that you could tell they used only the best of the best. Oh and the truffle sauce... Rich, reduced and full of flavour to bind everything together. Wonderful.
Love the deep, intense colour of the yolk
I try to cut a little bit of everything to fit in each bite. Never mind that the yolks are lusciously oozing all over the plate. It's messy, but delicious. Honestly, a smashing dish to me from start to finish. Safe to say that both my friend, Sarah, and I enjoyed this dish very much.
The perfect bite!
Not to mention, the sourdough here was really one of the BEST I've ever had. No kidding. It was absolutely PERFECT. Firm but not too chewy, with a perfect crunch from the crust and a subtle flavour from the sourdough. DIVINE. I am seriously going to order an extra slice of sourdough next time I'm here.
To really enjoy this dish, you need to slather a generous amount of butter, then top with some of the pork, egg yolk and truffle before taking a big bite of the crunchy toast.
Hot dang this was seriously lip-smackingly good!! Can't tell you how much I loved it.
Special of the Day: Fish Cakes
My friend Devon ordered this dish and it was GOOD!! So fresh, crunchy and delicious. I loved the light, creamy potato in the cake more than the fish itself and the sauce was heavenly. Though, I'm still not sure why they called this the "Gentleman's Main". Beats me.
Steak 'n Chips -- $24.00
(200g dry aged rump with green salad and hand cut chips)
Ann's steak was cooked extremely well. Though, I think I would've preferred a bit more char around the edges. Still, this was pretty darn good! The seriously chunky fries were great. Crisp and naturally sweet from the potatoes. But my favourite part was actually the salad. Just look how pretty that is. Mmmmm.... With a light, clean dressing and fresh crunchy peas -- just yum!
Blow Your Own Trumpet -- $21.00
(Confit Trumpeter with spicy lamb sausage and poached egg)
The bit that I stole from Kel's plate was really satisfying, especially with the sauce. I think it's quite a good dish to order too, seeing as there were many other elements on the plate. But, I only tried the sausage and really liked it.
Overall, I must say that I really, really enjoyed my meal at The Duchess. And I haven't felt this strongly about a cafe/lunch place in a long time! There was great variety in the menu and every dish that came out of the kitchen was SO delicious. I especially enjoyed my Duchess of Pork dish and would happily recommend it to anyone who's thinking of visiting The Duchess for the first time. It was great. The portions were also JUST nice. Not too much, not too little and great value for money.
Now, I'm thinking that I HAVE to come back asap to try their breakfast and dinner menu. If it's anything like our lunch which was nothing short of faaan-friggin-tastic, I'm sure I'd enjoy the other menus just as much too. Will be back......!!
Right after our meal at The Duchess, we decided that we'd stop by Jock's for some ice-cream on our way home. What a brilliant idea! This was my first time here, so I was excited.
And just as I was walking out of the shop with my ice-cream, I was really shocked to bump into the friendly, familiar faces of Bryan and Jo. Wuaaaahhhh...! What a coincidence! Guess we all had the right idea of grabbing some ice-cream in the hot, sunny weather!
Obamarama & Zabaglione
Finally tried the famous Obamarama, which is basically a Peanut Butter & Jelly ice-cream. Great!! The flavours were really unmistakable and how can you ever go wrong with PB&J, you tell me. I've always enjoyed the eggnog-like taste of the Zabaglione so naturally I liked this flavour too. My alcoholic ice-cream flavour of choice.
Really liked Jock's and thought it was honestly the perfect way to end an incredible and relaxed meal with friends on a public holiday. Cherishing the company of awesome people while basking in the warm weather over delicious food. What more could you ask for in Life? An unforgettable day it was, indeed =)