Duchess of Spotswood

Posted on July 31, 2010


There is a certain type of snobbery amongst a lot of Melbournians, a certain belief that the western suburbs is an industrial wasteland, a place of ghettos and where the bogans reside. Sunshine is otherwise known as ‘Scumshine’ and Highpoint is oft regarded as ‘Knifepoint’. In spite of my own grievances of living out west at times, this dismissive attitude my fellow Melbournians have towards the west can be a hard pill to swallow. Let it be known that it is not all bad in my neck of the woods. It is quickly being gentrified. Every now and then, I will hear of a new cafe/eatery gaining a reputation amongst the keenest of foodies. It’s great seeing how the west is changing and excellent fun discovering these local gems. There is a certain charm to the west that the leafier suburbs tend to lack, a particular edginess that can only be found in places before they become commonly regarded as ‘cool’.

Duchess of Spotswood (87 Hudsons Rd, Spotswood VIC) exemplifies this. Simple and unpretentious fit out, it just lets its food speak for itself. Big front window overlooking a tree lined suburban street, with a long communal table at the front lapping up the sunshine. The small open kitchen sits just behind the front counter, hosting a small team of 3 kitchen staff. The whole dining room probably seats about 20+ and has a really nice cosy vibe about it. Maybe it’s the white walls and the large sunny windows, but it feels slightly country like to me.

Food wise I was definitely impressed. The Duchess only serves breakfast and lunch. Along with their standard menu is a selection of specials that changes regularly. All 3 of us tried the specials today. The breakfast specials were easily the standout, not your usual eggs benedict type fare.

This is the smoked blue eye fillet with Welsh rarebit, poached egg and side salad ($16.50). I’ve never had rarebit before and only learned of what it actually is today. Basically it’s a cheesy thick toast with mustard and it is pretty tasty.

My favourite was the pork belly in a sticky sweet sauce served with fried egg and thick crusty bread ($18.50).

The lunch special was more of your standard fare being wagyu rump steak on a red wine sauce, creamy mash with a side of artichokes ($24.50). It was definitely tasty, but it’s pretty run of the mill. I think I will stick with the breakfast items in any subsequent visits.

All in all,  I agree with its naming, Duchess belongs amongst the noble food ranks of Melbourne. Spotswood is only just over the WestGate, an easy hop and skip away from the city and well worth the trip if only to open your eyes to what the west can offer.