Dutchess a Playful New Restaurant in Flinders St
Dutchess is a playful and fun new restaurant with bar and DJ, on the second level of the Duke of Wellington 146 Flinders St in the CBD. Dutchess is like a one stop venue for your whole night's entertainment. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to experience Dutchess with the family. We were impressed by buzz and spaces packed with patrons in this building, with the Duke downstairs. The space at Dutchess is modern with a killer balcony, attractive bar and restaurant, and is one of the best new dining spaces in Melbourne (with a view across to The Forum and Fed Square). Dutchess is the masterstroke of Craig Ellison and Michael Thiele, who own venues such as Perseverance and The College Lawn.
Sparkling on arrival was a great start. Being a Friday night there were loads of after work drinks crowd, groups of friends and couples enjoying a romantic evening. The leather booths are chic and the seating in the round appealing. The vibe is one of New York style with rolling dining from bar to restaurant.
We felt this was a unique space in Melbourne. Rather than stuffy dining, Dutchess breaks out into merging bar spaces with dining, and then brings in a DJ for good measure. This is not a quiet reflective venue, but a pumping space with the sound of conversation and the beats of the DJ prominent. We found ourselves moving to the music as we dined. As you do.
Dutchess provides a quality and fun menu, with Cured New Zealand salmon, dill cucumbers and hollandaisea tasty and refreshing dish.
Pickled seasonal vegetables and thyme honey yoghurt was also a hit, tangy and welcome crunch of the vegetables.
A crowd pleaser was the Fried chicken bits, Cajun dipping sauce, with delightful batter and perfectly cooked.
Accompaniment of chips with sauce was excellent with the ribs.
Dutchess is easy on the eye as a modern chic venue. The backdrop of grand trees from Russell St adds to the ambience. Staff are helpful and keen to please...
The wine and beer list is extensived and the offerings are quality, such as this Riesling.
Half shell scallops, spanner crab and fennel pollen showed excellent technique as a tasty dish.
Prior to our visit a friend had sent a message on social media saying the meat here was first class. And she was right. Justin Wise (ex The Point and Press Club) is working wonders in the meat department with aged steaks and other meats. Gippsland lamb ribs, cola BBQ sauce was a hit with the family. While the ribs were cooked perfectly and peeled wonderfully off the bone, the sauce was delightful in its stickiness and tang.
Dutchess revealed further nuances as the night wore on, with neon and soft lighting coming into play. Dutchess is casual but there's an air of sophistication as a top nightspot.
Half roast free range chicken, charred asparagus and hazelnuts also hit the spot as a juicy succulent and rewarding chicken dish.
A favourite was the Rangers Valley Rump, charred and juicy. For steak lovers this is the place to come. As we were sharing the steak Dutchess cut the meat into strips.
As mentioned, this is fun and playful eating with quality offerings.
Dutchess then provided a sense of theatre with these ice creams for dessert, 4 different Choc Tops. Another hit with the family.
Dutchess impresses with new trend dining away from the formal and towards the fun and playful with multi purpose dining.
Killer balcony, rain, hail or shine. And on this night there was a summer downpour.
We wondered how the kids would go with DJ playing tunes during our meal, but they loved it. In fact there was 2 DJ's during the night, with distinctive styles. We understand that later in the night the venue transforms into more of a club with the music louder and dancing.
The bar was close by and packed with patrons on a Friday night. The whole 3 levels of this building were pumping.