Saturday, February 19, 2011

Duchess of Spotswood and A Bunch of Cakes

I generally only have one reason to cross the Westgate - and that reason is Andrew's Choice butcher, who, in my opinion, make the best German smallgoods in Melbourne!  But now I have another reason: a fabulous little cafe by the name of Duchess of Spotswood.


Duchess of Spotswood
87 Hudsons Rd
Spotswood VIC 3015
Ph: (03) 9391 6016
Twitter

I previously only knew Spotswood for two things: the Scienceworks museum and the film Spotswood.  But after reading Adrian's glowing review of Duchess cafe, I was very keen to go.  We were super pleased (but not the least bit surprised) when Adrian accepted our invitation to go for a Saturday brunch!


Duchess is on a quiet Spotswood street, with a couple of other cafes, an op shop and a florist.  The cafe was full when we arrived at midday, but not crazy busy: we only had to wait about 15 minutes for a table.


I don't think that bread was for sale... but it did look good!  I also liked the cafe's chandelier and retro pale pastel walls.

We started with a round of great coffees.
Cappuccino - $3.00

Latte - $3.00
Funky sugar bowl!  There wasn't a label, but I'm pretty sure it was Rapadura sugar, the same type they serve at Market Lane cafe, and all the other 3rd wave coffee houses.
Pretty!

It took a little while for us to decide on our meals, and I was impressed that they offer more creative items than the usual cafe fare of bircher muesli, corn/zucchini fritters, eggs etc.  The Duchess items seem to have a British theme, with ingredients like Stilton and Gentlemen's Relish, and pun-tastic names like Breakfast of Champignons (oh no you didn't!) and Scotch Woodcock (hehehe).

Here's what we ate.

First up, a mix and match breakfast of perfect poached eggs, large buttery mushrooms, thick toast and a potato hash.  Overall it was great, but the hash could have been a little crispier.
Poached eggs - local free range eggs from Villa Verde - $8.50 plus extra mushrooms $3.50 and extra potato hash $4.50
The Simple Pleasures looked stunning!  So fresh and prettily arranged.  The sausage was an extra addition, and I thought it was very cutely presented in a little spiral.
Simple Pleasures - Marinated avocado with goats curd, sourdough toast, heirloom tomatoes and preserved lemons - $17.50 with poached eggs, plus extra Sausage $4.00
I know Duchess is famous for its porky products, but I didn't want to go OTT with the calories, so ordered scrambled eggs for myself.  (I freely admit I was also drawn to this dish for its hilarious name. Hehe, "woodcock").
Scotch Woodcock - Scrambled eggs with Gentlemen's relish and white anchovy fillet - $11
The eggs were nice and soft, and I loved the white anchovy fillet, but I wasn't blown away by the dish.  Turns out I don't like Gentlemen's relish! I assumed I'd love the anchovy/caper sauce, but I found it a bit overpowering.  Oh well, now I've tried it, and next time I'll know.

Adrian had the Duchess of Pork, the description of which sounded like decadence on a plate: crispy pig's jowl with fried egg, rich truffle sauce and sourdough toast.  And very well priced at $17.50!
Duchess of Pork - Crispy pig's jowl with fried egg, rich truffle sauce, and sourdough toast - $17.50
I was looking with piercing envy at Adrian's dish, until he insisted (YAY!) that I try some of the jowl.  Wow! It was incredibly tender, falling apart at the touch of a fork.  So delicious.

The menu seems to change pretty frequently, judging by some other blogposts I hastily googled: Melbourne GastronomeEspresso Melbourne"... it pleases us", and Totally Addicted to Taste have all blogged and been equally rapturous in their descriptions of Duchess.  Definitely worth repeat visits!
Duchess of Spotswood on Urbanspoon

Across the street from Duchess was a cute little bakery/florist called A Bunch of Cakes.

The lovely ladies who run this shop bake cupcakes throughout the day (all day on the day we visited!) and do orders for parties and other occasions.  Adrian picked up a strawberry and a blueberry cupcake. How cuuuuuute!!  They also sell flowers (duh), and had a nice range of cupcake papers and cake decorating bits and pieces.

Strawberry cupcake - $4, Blueberry cupcake - $4

2 comments:

Celeste @ Berrytravels said...

I love the presentation on the food - all very pretty and very well done! I can't fathom the thought of anchovies in the morning however. That's just a bit too out there for the first dish in the morning!

almostalwaysravenous said...

i've read all those reviews as well... just haven't had the chance to go... sigh. @_@

if only one can be in more than one place at a time HAHA