Bistros tend to conjure images of badly cooked steak and gravy, seedy pokies, and me popping in quickly to use the bathroom. There must be a bistro snob in me because I always tend to think that they all pass around the same disappointing menu, and then try to fool you by using different salad leaves that are sprinkled around your soggy chips. So I guess I never have been a fan of the bistro seen.
Duke Bistro at The Flinders in Darlinghurst is the little nugget of gold in my bowl of bistro rocks. Upon walking up the narrow stairs along the side of The Flinders, you are hit with the amazing and unique decor of a rogue bistro pushing its way into amazement. We were greeted by a friendly, moustache equipped waiter and hurried along to our beautiful window side table.
Duke Bistro’s theme is to have a sense of humour and side of quirkiness with their seriously great food, and their decor is especially quirky, even for Darlinghurst.
Putting the unusual hatted parrot aside, the menu is absolutely faultless. Our first dish was the ‘Bacon and Eggs’, and OMG, I have never had a more tasty rendition of this old classic in my whole life. Every element of this dish is like a symphony of flavour, even to the slighty burnt edges of the toast, this dish was perfection.
Secondly, we had the Chargrilled Kingfish Wing, and for such a small looking serve, there was a surprising large amount of fish on it. The fish itself had such a nice contrast texturally, as the fish meat was incredibly tender and juicy, but the skin was delightfully crisp and sweet.
The beef shoulder was incredibly tender, but being shoulder, it was slightly fatty. The combination of green olive and the blade cap was delectable, but this dish is best served in its quasi size.
Now for the fun desserts. My favourite was Duke’s milk done three ways; it was three different textures of milk at different levels of sweetness. This is a dessert that is good for people who aren’t normally big on sweets, but it was also great for me because I love anything with sugar in it.
The licorice and chocolate mouse is definitely not for people who do not like licorice. They were like unsweetened licorice pellets. Altogether, the elements of this dessert seem to harmonize nicely enough, but just be wary if you do not like licorice.
Our final dish was the Gelato. The friendly staff were telling me that they make different gelato depending on availability, so that day we had Italian nougat and honey. Trying to hold back my biased sweet-tooth, this came in second after milk, milk, milk; it was amazing.
I would really like to add that the staff were incredibly friendly, helpful and attentive. Although it is a bistro, you receive service at the level of some of the finer restaurants. If I find time in my culinary expeditions, I would definitely love to return to try all they have to offer
Duke Bistro – 65 Flinders St. Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW 2010