For my birthday, my friend mahara took me out to a wonderful dinner at Duende. I had always driven/walked past, heard amazing things but the one time I went to book Duende it was under renovations. My Duende experience was back in March and until my sister-in-law went there a couple of weekends ago for her birthday, I had completely forgotten I had written this review ready to post, so here it is 🙂
Duende has an awesome setup, we could see the bar and the outdoor alfresco area (which even accommodates dogs!) from where we were seated, lighting was dim and the décor was funky.
Both mahara and I hadn’t look at the menus prior to booking Duende but had heard amazing things – I had been meaning to check it out for ages.
We ordered the popcorn and crisps to snack on. The chilli of the first popcorn I had went right up the wrong tube, so don’t inhale and be sure to take one popcorn at a time rather than a handful like us greedy hungry ones if you order this. After a few these become pretty addictive…crisps were nice too…and a good start to the warm tapas to follow.
The first of our tapas to arrive were the croquettes, my fav of the night. Crispy on the outside and the sweet corn and cheese inside was incredible tasty. Creaminess of cheese was just out of this world and the roast capsicum sauce was light and sweet. Mahara doesn’t even like capsicum and she really loved this!
The meatballs & chick peas came next, the spices and yoghurt combination were tasty – flavours kind of reminds me of a falafel but more intense. Mahara thought the mince wasn’t the highest grade but I couldn’t taste the difference.
By this stage I was pretty stuffed…
The potato was yummy, the savouriness of the potato was nicely balanced with the tangy tomato and the cheese was tasty…
I do like eggplant but it was perhaps a bit too soft for me. You can taste a slight bitterness after taste so it works well with the saltiness of the grilled halumi. Mahara loves eggplant and went through hers in no time.
Pork belly was cooked well – the skin was nice & crispy and the pork pulled apart. Apple and balsamic was tasty but rhubarb was too sour for my liking.
Donuts were delicious, reminds me of the ones I had at Balthazar…cinnamon sugar goodness and it was lovely Duende remembered I mentioned it was my birthday dinner during my booking.
The service was fantastic, waitress stopped us at 7 tapas when we were ordering and she was right I was full after the egg plant which was tapas dish #4 !!
I love the atmosphere, food and service at Duende – I think we’re due for another visit soon!