A touch of class

Duchess gets rave re­views

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Graeme Phillips

OWNER and front of house Al Dwyer and chef Jo Richards are sis­ters and have been in and around the restau­rant in­dus­try since their child­hood at the Rich­mond Arms.

Af­ter a 12- month ren­o­va­tion and re­fur­bish­ment of the beau­ti­ful old gar­den cot­tage next to The Metz, which in­cluded in­stalling a street- level lift for the dis­abled, they opened The Duchess, on March 1, as their first solo ven­ture.

And they have been busy ever since, with an al­ready es­tab­lished and con­stantly mor­ph­ing clien­tele of trendy cou­ples, mums, busi­ness­peo­ple, re­tirees and so­los en­joy­ing a cof­fee and but­ter­milk scones with their pa­per.

Which comes as no sur­prise, for they have dis­tilled their ex­pe­ri­ence into cre­at­ing a venue where ev­ery de­tail ap­pears per­fectly tai­lored to their mar­ket – from the bright, mod­ern decor, huge wall mir­rors and en­trance chan­de­lier to the gar­den set­tings, the small but care­fully cho­sen and well- priced wine list, the cakes, cof­fee and ser­vice to a con­tem­po­rary menu where ev­ery dish sings refi ne­ment, fresh­ness and flavour.

If you want fish ’ n’ chips, or a slab of steak, don’t come here.

In­stead, ex­pect break­fast items like crunchy house- made gra­nola with syrup- poached win­ter fruits; thick ap­ple, date and wal­nut toast with de­li­cious whipped honey but­ter; or a softly poached egg with av­o­cado, roasted tomato and goat’s cheese, the dish lifted and light­ened by the fresh, fruity flavours of mild red chilli, lemon, mint and pea ten­drils.

It was all so good I re­turned for lunch, when I was again im­pressed by Richards’ in­spired use of flavoured oils, dress­ings and glazes, fresh herbs, spices and nuts in such things as minted labne, whipped feta and dukkah and quinoa tabouli to lift her dishes above the or­di­nary to won­der­ful de­li­cious­ness.

Read­ing the menu again now, I see you can also have “French fries with Mum’s chut­ney”.

All- day break­fast $ 6.50 to $ 19.50; Lunch $ 11.50 to $ 16.50; kids’ menu $ 4 to $ 8.50

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