A western suburb! The Melbourne Food Snob is clearly stepping outside of her comfort zone…
It’s not that I’m that much of a snob, really, but the fact of the matter is that there is a large concentration of great places to eat in the inner eastern suburbs. Living in Richmond makes it very hard to motivate myself to travel more than 15 minutes for brunch. Nevertheless, the Duchess was next on my brunch wish list so there I found myself on a sunny Saturday morning.
The rather plain fitout was crowded and bustling when we arrived, but we were lucky enough to get a table immediately. Upon seating we were told that there would be a bit of a wait for food as they were so busy. This was quite apparent when we received our coffees and they were stone cold, indicating that they had been sitting out for some time.
The menu was interesting, consisting of creatively-named brunch options such as ‘Duchess of Pork’. Many of these were quite meaty, however there were a handful of vegetarian meals as well.
Being a fan of both mushrooms and puns, I was tempted by the Breakfast of champignons ($19.50).
Juicy grilled field mushrooms topped with melted Stilton came with rich duxelles, poached eggs, a barley-studded hash brown and sourdough toast. The eggs were a bit vinegary for my liking but everything else worked very well. I don’t think I see homemade hash browns on menus nearly enough.
Actually, one more gripe. What is it with microherbs? I don’t get it. It’s like eating dental floss.
Bob opted for The Smoggy ($19.50), one of the specials on the day.
The Smoggy was bean cassoulet with poached eggs, paper-thin slices of crispy pork neck and a ham hock hash brown. According to the menu it included toast however it came without it. The crisp pork and hash brown were lovely, but the dish as a whole suffered from the vinegary eggs and slightly flavourless beans.
I enjoyed my meal very much and it was a shame that Bob’s wasn’t quite as satisfying. Overall though, the food was up to a good standard if a little on the pricey side.
Unfortunately, the service was a bit of a let down. Normally at cafes they will take the food order when they bring the coffees out, however this time they basically dropped the coffees and ran off before we got the chance (note the presence of the menu in the background of the coffee photo above). To be fair they did warn me of the wait and they appeared to be severely understaffed on the day, with only about five staff members I could see in total, including those cooking. I’d like to think that I came on a bad day and that usually they are better prepared for the weekend brunch rush.
I may revisit in future but for now I don’t think I can be bothered waiting that long for breakfast. Sorry, western suburbs. I tried.Duchess of Spotswood 87 Hudsons Rd Spotswood