Alastair and I dined courtesy of Dutchess
Above well known pub Duke of Wellington sits Dutchess, a stylish, glamorous restaurant decked out with white leather booths and comfy grey chairs surrounding round wooden tables, that’s meant to summon up thoughts of trendy New York lounge bars.
Like many restaurants nowadays, the menu focuses on share plates, plus a section dedicated to the “Raw Bar” – think mostly raw seafood along with steak tartare, and another section for steak.
Our meal started with a few dishes from the Raw Bar part of the menu. This was the tuna tartare, with cucumber and a black garlic sea urchin dressing, and it was excellent – fresh, full of flavour and really pretty.
These oysters were served with a dressing of fermented chilli and lime granita. While I’m normally a lemon juice only oyster eater, I really enjoyed these, particularly the touch of spiciness and the icy granita.
Also very pretty was the cobia with nuoc cham, finger lime, avocado, and prawn crackers, although this was a little harder to share.
Our next few dishes were from the small dishes part of the menu.
First up were fried chicken bits with Cajun dipping sauce. Fried chicken is almost always a good time, and this was no exception.
These pots contained King crab “mac and cheese” – and yes, that’s a crab leg on top.
And after that comfort food we had this lovely salad of asparagus, quail egg, candied walnuts, and hollandaise.
On to the mains. First up was baby snapper, with mussels, clams, spring vegetables, and crustacean consomme. After dishes we had at the beginning, this seemed a little dull. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t particularly exciting.
The Robbins Island Wagyu flat iron was rather good though – cooked to a perfect medium rare and served with a pot of bearnaise sauce and pepper sauce.
The mains were accompanied with a pickled zucchini, goats cheese, frisee, pinenut salad and hand cut fries. Both were great – and it’s hard to say which one I preferred. Fries. Pickled vegetable. Tough choice.
That was it for the savouries, and it was soon followed up with dessert. The Violet crumble with chocolate aero, honeycomb, and violet ice cream looked super pretty, however we all found that the honeycomb stuck to our teeth really badly.
And finally, there were some mini choc tops to finish the meal.
Overall we enjoyed dinner although I must note that there was a DJ in the corner playing tunes the whole night, which gave the restaurant a clubby atmosphere but it did make it hard to hold a conversation. So if you’re after a quiet restaurant, this is not the place, however if you want a place that’s casual and still chic, and talking to your dining companions isn’t important, head on up to Dutchess.
Level 2, 146 Flinders Street