87 Hudsons Road, Spotswood (map)
Breakfast and lunch, open seven days
I don't often write about the same place twice, but I felt compelled to share my most recent visit to the Duchess of Spotswood (a cafe I wrote about last year). In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the Duchess of Spotswood is my FAVOURITE breakfast cafe in Melbourne. Here, in no particular order, are some of the reasons why:
- The location, in downtown Spotswood (it's a fun excursion over the West Gate for us, plus there's a great vintage collectibles shop just down the road);
- The fitout of the cafe, including the huge front window, the chandelier and the eau-de-Nil painted ceiling;
- The red La Marzocco FB/70, which looks like the shiny lovechild of an espresso machine and a Vespa;
- The Small Batch (Auction Rooms) coffee expertly used with the aforementioned La Marzocco;
- The friendly staff, who will on busy mornings offer to take down your phone number and call you when a table becomes free (and then try to tweet you to alert you to your table when your phone has an OptusFail);
- The menu, right down to the puntastic names for each dish and the use of Oxford commas; and of course
- The FOOD, especially the virtuosic use of British ingredients, the sensible portion sizes (which are often on the smaller side, to take into account the richness of the food) and the always perfectly poached eggs.
Below are photos and menu descriptions of the dishes we enjoyed when T and I visited with some close friends of ours one Saturday a few weeks ago. Every dish rocked.
'The Breakfast of Champignons' ($17.50): potato and barley hash with field mushrooms, English Stilton, and poached eggs.
'Idle Tongues' ($16.50): seared ox tongue with smoked semolina, crispy pork neck, and fried duck egg.
'Prince of Wales' ($15.50): house smoked salmon fillet with potato pancake, poached egg, and sourdough toast.
'Royal Fanfare' ($18.50): salt cured trumpeter with spicy lamb sausage, home made chutney, and crumbed poached egg.
'Simple Pleasures' ($15.50): globe artichoke with sauteed potato, goats curd, and warm chestnuts - pictured with poached eggs ($2 extra) and gluten free bread.