I think Tuesdays are best survived with the expectation of dinner, and the thought of Duke Bistro’s Tuesday Tasting Menu made an uneventful afternoon speed past. Slipping up the stairs at the side of the Flinders Inn we settled ourselves in, patterned benches lining the room in perfect keeping with the old pub. Water arrived in an old gin bottle as we studied the menu, wondering if we would really be able to get through eight courses. Soon enough, bread, house made butter and our first course of snacks arrived, with house cured ham the pick.
Dainty portions of sweetcorn soup, and a pretty plate of onions, leek and chicken skin followed, and then the early standout dish of soft baked parsnip, given a real kick with generous dusting of black pepper. The final savoury course of Duck with Honeydew Melon had a delicious hint of lavender and worked far better than it had sounded in my head.
Two desserts rounded off the evening: junket, lemon and honey had a slight medicinal quality, taking me back to childhood. Plum and Chocolate was a great combination of blood and sugar plums with burnt chocolate, rich, sweet and just a little bitter to round off the evening.
The tasting menu was a steal at $60 a head, each course beautifully presented and far from overfacing even with so many courses. A perfect Tuesday night treat.
65 Flinders St. Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW 2010
Tuesday to Saturday, 6pm-late (Tasting menu available Tuesdays)