Sunday, February 6, 2011

Duchess of Spotswood, Spotswood by Big Fil

I had always thought that the western suburbs were a bit of a cafe dead end. However, since the New Year Snooze and myself have visited two that could hold their own in any part of town, firstly Cornershop in Yarraville and now Duchess of Spotswood in, well, Spotswood.

Not knowing how busy the Duchess would get we arrived a minute or two after eight, just after opening. By the time we walked in there were already diners at a couple of tables, by twenty past eight the café was full and our table for four was being split in two.

Two things immediately stood out about the Duchess. The first was the chandelier in the middle of the dining room, not something one sees every day.

The second was the names of the offerings and the way that English style breakfasts had been transformed into dishes fit for the aristocracy. No simple bacon and fried eggs on toast for me but a Duchess of Pork - crispy pigs jowl with fried eggs, truffle sauce and sourdough toast.

While it wasn't terribly crispy I liked my pigs jowl a lot with its strong pork flavour, moist meat, good bread and lightly fried eggs complemented by the slight earthy flavour of the sauce. The flavours were quite strong and I'm not sure it would be my everyday breakfast of choice, but for a big flavoured hearty breakfast very tasty and well balanced.

Snooze decided to go with the Simple Pleasures - marinated avocado with goats curd, sourdough toast, heirloom tomatoes and preserved lemon with a poached egg.

I also liked my taste of Snooze's Simple Pleasures. Both Snooze and I thought the egg was well poached and that it was a light, interesting and refreshing meal. The major difference in opinion related to the sourdough toast. This had been sliced thin and had a texture not too dissimilar to crispy almond bread. I thought this made an interesting variation on toast and matched up well with the rest of the dish. However, while thinking it was still a well constructed dish it was different to what Snooze had anticipated when ordering or to what she was looking for in a breakfast. Oh well, if we all liked exactly the same things it would be kind of boring. On the other hand, Snooze was a big fan of the aroma of her orange blossom tea.

For once I skipped an after breakfast sweet but I was sorely tempted by the chocolate and stout cake. Being near Footscray I had promised myself some Pandan cake but next time the cakes at the Duchess have my name on them.

There is a lot to like about the Duchess of Spotswood. High quality breakfasts, a dining area which is understated but with enough quirky aspects to be interesting, polite and friendly staff and reasonable prices. Also, the care taken by staff was apparent through some of the best presented café food I have seen. One of the better cafes in Melbourne and because it is different to most worth travelling to in order to try.

Food - 8
Ambience - 8
Service - 7.5
Price - 7

87 Hudsons Road
Spotswood VIC 3015
Tel: (03) 9391 6016

Duchess of Spotswood on Urbanspoon

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