There are 2 activities that a lot of Melburnians get up to on the weekends: house-hunting or brunching. Of course, the former activity is stressful, having heard of many stories from my colleagues about the crazy auction bidding, while the latter is a much more relaxed and preferred activity to do over the weekend! But whichever activity Melburnians partake in, it is bound to get them around, giving them a chance to explore the suburbs.
Thankfully, I’m spared from having to hunt for a house so I’m quite happy exploring the suburbs on the weekends in the guise of brunching. It is no secret that Melbourne is bursting with cafes and the thing is, the good cafes are dotted everywhere! So in sniffing out the good ones, I’m glad I’ve some brunch partners who are happy to follow the trail of scent with me, driving us out and venturing into the unknown for some foodie adventures!
And yes, that’s how we got to the Duchess of Spotswood.
As the name suggests, this cafe is tucked away in the suburb of Spotswood. Ms CC, my ever dependable brunch partner, picked me up in the city and off we went, crossing the West Gate Bridge to get to this suburb – oh the thrill of getting on to the West Gate! Made me feel like we were on a mini roadtrip!
When we reached our destination, we got out of the car to find ourselves in a sleepy suburb. There was hardly any human traffic or shops. It was such a big difference from the foodie areas such as Collingwood or South Yarra. But oh well, just have to trust the many foodie reviews on this cafe and follow the scent!
Once we found the cafe and stepped in, the hustle and bustle in it was worlds apart from the peacefulness outside. But thankfully, we only had to wait 10minutes for a table.
Our coffees were smooth and strong, just the way I like it! Guess which 1 I had?
So I heard a lot about the pork jowl but the pictures of it didn’t look very delectable. But I thought I would give it a try since there were so many reviews on it….
Yup, the dish didn’t look as impressive as it did on the pictures online. But did the taste of the dish match up to the reviews? Well, the pork jowl was definitely cooked well, crispy on the outside yet retaining the juices inside. The pork went really well with the fried eggs and sauce as well, with a nice addition of the toast to mop up the juices. It was a nice dish overall, but the cholesterol count on the dish did scare me a little – this is definitely not something you would eat regularly!
The next dish that we chose was something that we didn’t spot regularly on other cafe menus. Ox tongues and bone marrow for brunch? Oohh bring it on!
Did this dish get our tongues wagging? Well, the ox tongues simply melted in our mouths and the bone marrow croquette was crisped to perfection. It was nice to have the salad as a side to cut through the fattiness of the dish. However, I would have to point out a little boo boo in this dish…
As you can see, the poached egg was overcooked and that let down the dish. There’s nothing more disappointing than to not have lovely yolky goodness flow out of a poached egg onto the other ingredients of the plate!
So overall, I would say that the Duchess of Spotswood does have it draw of having an interesting menu – creative ingredients that are combined beautifully and with witty dish names that would spark your interest. I would say that the dishes we had, though delicious, were a little too heavy and hearty for a brunch. However, if you are not too worried about your cholesterol, you can give them a go!
And wait, did you think our adventure was going to stop here? Well, no!
I heard about Candied Bakery being in the same area as well so I planned it such that we could stop by for an after-brunch dessert…
We came looking for its famous soft serves but we were were wowed by the array of pastries and sweet treats in this bakery. But as we were already bursting from brunch (in case you couldn’t tell!), we narrowed in on the soft serve to share….
We were actually eagerly anticipating to try their Peanut Butter & Jelly soft serve and we were disappointed to hear that they were not serving that flavour that day. So we settled on the Honey Nut Cereal flavour and yup, it definitely lived up to the hype. It was creamy, and you can taste the honey and nut in it, with the cereal flakes adding a nice crunch to finish. It happened to be a hot day as well and having that ice cream was certainly welcomed!
And we couldn’t resist ordering a milkshake to share as well…. oops. I mean, how often do we get to go out to Spotswood right?
The Apple Pie Shake was really unique, as you could taste the apples and cinnamon in the milk. But I guess combined with the soft serve, it was abit of a sugary overkill for us, and we struggled to finish the milkshake. In the end, we brought our milkshake with us as we drove out of Spotswood and made our way to our church fellowship group, thus ending our foodie exploration in Spotswood….
So that was our little Spotswood adventure – short, sweet (literally) and delicious. I guess that’s why cafe-hopping in Melbourne is such a popular weekend activity – you never know where you’ll be taken but you’re more or less guaranteed an adventure for the senses! And what could be a nicer way to spend your Saturday morning? 😉