We all know we are spoiled for sporting events in Melbourne and this weekend was no exception. The Cricket Grand Final game is here with Australia and New Zealand battling it out for the title. Melbourne is flooded with fans and it was definitely the best idea to make a booking at The Duke before the game.
This is your typical amazing pub fare at Melbourne’s best. Everything you would expect from a pub is on the menu and done with their own personal twists. Think Mac & Cheese with king crab, Coca Cola glazed Gippsland lamb ribs or more classics like Yorkshire pudding, parmas and tasty chips.
We made a booking right at 12pm so that we could get our lunch orders in before the Cricket crowd came through. We ordered a few entrees to start followed by delicious pub fare mains.
We had ordered the ‘Maasdam and Kaiserfleisch Croquettes’ with smoked paprika aioli to start to enjoy with our drinks while we waited for our mains. Unfortunately they were the last dish to arrive which was pointless on why we ordered them. They were decent, however a wait of over 45 minutes for them, left me wishing we never ordered them in the first place.
Our mains arrived at the same time as our entrees, and came out warm, not hot from the kitchen. We were the first group to put our orders through as soon as the kitchen opened to avoid a long wait, but still seemed to get caught with the rush. MC ordered the ‘Duke Parma’ served with hand cut chips and a small serve of coleslaw. The size of the parma was large with a juicy and tasty chicken breast which was perfectly crumbed.
I was trying to stay on the healthier side and went with the ‘Half Roast Chicken’, served with green and yellow beans and a lemon butter. I’m a big fan of beans and these ones were quite tasty. The chicken on the other hand was quite bland. It was cooked perfectly, however lacked any real flavouring.
ATMOSPHERE & SERVICE
I have been to the Duke on a few separate occasions, however never knew the upstairs restaurant and bar area existed. We walked up the stairs to the dining room area and the hostess at the counter told us to walk into the room and find our name on the table. Talk about not being friendly or personable! We did as we were told and walked aimlessly around the restaurant looking for a little piece of paper that had our name on it.
Once seated we waited and waited and waited for the bar to open before we could order a drink. In the meantime, we had a look through the menu and were ready to order our food as soon as 12pm hit.
We were the first to put our food order in with the bartender, who was rude and arrogant when taking our order (I was actually quite surprised he got the order right for not paying attention when we were talking to him). Once our orders were taken and we all had a drink in hand, we sat back and watched as the space started to fill.
The fit out of the space is fantastic, with a more modern feel to it. With large booths, funky lighting and rustic brick walls, the space has a very new world pub feel to it. High top tables and chairs also fill the space as well as a large outdoor balcony area for those looking for some fresh air.
The space is beautiful and a fantastic location, however the service definitely was a let down. Cold and unfriendly staff are what you would have expected downstairs at the pub, not in their beautiful upstairs dining space. It’s unfortunate that something so simple as service can be a deal breaker on return business.