Reopened after a huge renovation in late 2013, the Duke of Wellington has come synonymous as one of the CBD’s best watering holes. The vibe is casual and cool, and it’s a great place for catch up with friends for a drink or two or more. Joining the casual cool pub vibe is a newly opened restaurant on the second floor called Dutchess which takes dining to a new level at The Duke. The recently launched restaurant is modern, light and spacious; with views out over the Forum and to the Yarra it is a beautiful space to enjoy a wonderful dinner.
Dutchess’ menu features a range of beautifully crafted and well thought out dishes. With several sections of the menu that features an array of different dishes, it’d be hard not to find something you’d like to try.
The raw section features Oysters, King Fish sashimi, Beef tartare and a Cured New Zealand salmon. We selected the latter to start off our meal with a lighter dish. The subtle smokiness of the salmon was complemented by a hollandaise, and little dill cucumbers provided a crunch that worked well with the delicate nature of the cured salmon.
If you wanted to have a warm entree, the Small dish section of the menu included a variety of dishes that could be shared in a group or had individually. We sampled the Gippsland Lamb ribs in a Cola BBQ sauce. It seems that lamb ribs are making something of a comeback on the menus around town and I’m really glad. I love lamb and lamb ribs provide that good balance of being succulent and soft with just the right amount of fattiness. The Cola BBQ sauce was sweet and smokey. Definitely add this to your list if you are heading to Dutchess.
The main section of the menu is really devoted to steak. Whilst there are a handful of options that are non-steak related like Roast Chicken, Pork cheek, Yellowfin Tuna and a Gnocchi, the focus is on steak. Small steaks to large steaks, the menu reads of some of the best producers of cattle in Australia that have been either pasture fed or grain fed. Some are dry aged and from the restaurant you can see the racks of meat hanging out to dry and age.
We opted for a beautifully medium rare Eye fillet. Tender, juicy and cooked perfectly, I could not have asked for anything else. It was accompanied by a potato gratin and a beautiful red wine sauce. For the more savvy steak eater, there are a variety of sauces that can be added including Truffle butter, Bearnaise, Hollandaise, and also steak toppings such as Yorkshire Pudding, Prawns, Lobster and Foie Gras.
The Beef Fat potatoes (a definite must have) we had accompanying the steak along with the Waldorf salad rounded off the meal.
We rounded off our meal with an old school yet gourmet dessert – the Choc top. The perfect dessert!
Duchess really does hit the spot for anyone looking for a beautiful and quality meal without paying over the top for it. With a reasonably extensive wine list and drinks section, it’s the perfect place to catch up with friends or a take a person from out of town.
For more information and to book visit http://www.dutchess.com.au
Level 2, 146 Flinders Street
Ph. 03 9810 0055