Dutchess: Celebrating one year in Melbourne
Since opening just over a year ago, this Manhattan-inspired restaurant has been a bright spot in the Melbourne CBD. Located just above Melbourne’s oldest pub, The Duke of Wellington, Dutchess adds some sparkle to the top level of this historic building. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to celebrate the first anniversary of this stylish venue.
The stylish décor includes large wrap-around leather booths, contemporary light fixtures and funky artwork along the walls. Step outside on to the balcony and you have breathtaking views that overlook the city.
With summer almost in full swing, the menu has some new additions from Melbourne chef Justin Wise. Guests will enjoy a range of dishes using locally sourced produce with a global twist. Expect creative dishes, with familiar ingredients, that have zest and are bursting with flavour. Pair that off with one the seductive cocktails, sophisticated spirits or a wine from the extensive list and you have the perfect ingredients for a memorable evening out.
The raw bar was one of the highlights of the night. The seafood was fresh and the menu included oysters, tuna tartare and a plate of cobia.
Plump tuna chunks with cucumbers, black garlic and sea urchin dressing
Fresh oysters with fermented chilli and lime granite
Cobia with nuoc cham, finger lime, avocado and garnished with prawn crackers
Keeping in line with the American roots, the fried chicken bits with Cajun dipping sauce and the king crab mac & cheese were a big hit at the table. The Cajun sauce wasn’t overly spicy and paired well with the crunchy batter on the outside and tender, juicy chicken on the inside. The mac & cheese had a rich, creamy texture and a generous amount of king crab mixed in.
If you’re a steak connoisseur (or even if you’re not), the dry aged steaks are another highlight. All the cattle come from Tasmania and the range of cuts includes porterhouse, scotch fillet and the thick cut Chateaubriand. We ate the flat iron which was perfectly pink in the middle.
Another win in the seafood department was the baby snapper with mussels, clams spring vegetables and crustacean consommé.
On the lighter side the two green dishes were both vibrant and delicious. The first was the asparagus, quail egg, candied walnuts and hollandaise sauce plate followed by the pickled zucchini, goats cheese, frisée and pine nut salad.
To top of the night, we indulged in the violet crumble, chocolate aero, honeycomb and violet ice cream dessert. The fixings were beautifully layered in the glass, although I found the honeycomb a bit tricky to eat in this dessert. Be careful not to chew it as it will stick to your teeth. Overall, it was still a wonderful dessert.
Dutchess is a chic dining area with a swanky ambiance. After a good meal you can stick around as the DJ spins some tunes well into the evening. You don’t have you don’t have to go far to experience the New York dining life. With Dutchess, it’s just a tram ride away.
Location: 146 Flinders Street, Melbourne.