Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Duende: All Day Breakfast till 4pm

Mushroom, polenta, salad and truffle oil
The most important meal of the day is breakfast. However, how often do we have the time to savor our breakfasts without having to worry about being late for school, work or our daily activities? Moreover, during the weekends, how often do we rise early enough to have breakfast? It is likely that we either skip breakfast, rush through breakfast even if it is just a slice of toast and cup of milk, or we simply have it as lunch aka "brunch". I belong to the type that usually have breakfast as "brunch".

I understand that half of the meaning of "brunch" lies in the word "breakfast" but places that serve brunch usually stop serving breakfast/brunch menus at 11.30am. It annoys me that I usually miss the 11.30am mark by a hairline and have to get lunch instead of brunch. Well, the good news for all late-risers and people who want brunch after 11.30am, Duende serves its breakfast menu till 4pm! If you get there past 4pm, you should really get lunch or dinner instead. No excuses then.

Exterior of Duende
Duende is located in the hip area of Leederville where trendy restaurants and cafes are gathered. Located directly across the popular Sayers (which serves breakfast till 11.30am), Duende has been touted as the other breakfast place to go to IF Sayers is too crowded. However, I beg to differ. Personally, I would make Duende my first choice. It is simply a bonus that Duende is less crowded for breakfast.

Interior with Mediterranean & Eclectic Furnishings
Duende is an interesting place. The furnishings are Mediterranean and eclectic which I like. The ceilings are high and the windows allow the natural light to flow in.


Dressed as a tapas bar by night, it is hard to rid Duende of its bar imagery. The bar is a central island whilst tables, chairs and bar stools pepper the remaining area.

It is said that "It's the taste that counts,", but it does not stop me from appreciating good presentation. The cobalt blue watering can is so apt for its purpose- to water. Not flowers but our thirst. While creativity is good, resourcefulness is rare. I like how they reused the cloth sack used to store rice to repackage it as a way of presenting utensils. Very ingenious. 

Latte ($3.80)
 What better way to start the day than with a cup of coffee to inject some much needed caffeine? I needed it for fear of dozing off in front of my companion. Jokes, there is no justifying a cup of coffee. I just wanted one. As a latte, it was a cup of milky coffee but the ratio favoured the coffee than the milk. Depending on your preference, you may prefer a milky coffee or a coffee laced with milk. They are different. Trust me. Anyhow, the coffee was smooth, unburnt, and left a trail of slight bitterness (I typically do not add sugar to my coffee). I like how the coffee did not leave an acrid and sour aftertaste.

Corn fritters, avocado, tomatoes, salad and poached egg ($14- $16- I can't remember the price)
As I eyed the menu, I mentally shortlisted a few candidates since Duende does NOT serve its famed Crab Omelette for breakfast anymore. (Yes, the Urbanspoon menu is outdated...) According to our waitress, it may make an appearance on future menus depending on the chef/management. The corn fritters made it to my shortlist though I ended up ordering something else. However, lucky for me, my companion ordered it instead! When her dish came, I eyed it longingly and being pretty lucky that day, she offered me a bite. The corn fritters were full of plump, juicy and sweet kernels that popped with the slightest force. The fritters were crispy on the outside and it went well with the creamy buttery avocado and fresh tomatoes. The tomatoes reminded me of fresh chunky salsa which cut through the creaminess of the avocado very well. It uplifted the taste so that the dish was not too rich and overwhelming. While I did not have a go at the poached egg, I can attest to its runniness (if that's a word) as the orange yolk oozed like liquid sunshine. 

Mushroom, polenta, salad and truffle oil ($15)
The corn fritters were pretty hard to beat but my case of dish envy went away when the waitress put my dish in front of me. The earthiness and alluring scent of truffle oil assailed my olfactory senses into submission. Simple as it looked, the smell was incredible. The mushrooms were meaty, flavourful, toothsome and simply delicious. There was no description for the mushrooms but I think they were the thick and meaty portobello mushrooms. The polenta cake was savoury, soft, creamy and full of flavour on its own. However, when paired with the mushrooms, the dish became the alluring temptress, seducing me to go back for more, and more, and more. Dishes that utilize oils typically become overwhelming after a few bites but here is when the salad came in handy. The salad leaves provided the much needed cut of freshness through the richness of the truffle oil and creamy polenta.

Duende impresses me with its breakfast offerings as they use simple ingredients to create big flavours. The breakfast offerings are also not your stereotypical breakfast dishes either. Will I come back again? Yes, I most definitely will. In fact, now I am intrigued by their lunch and dinner offerings since Duende has a reputation for some of the best tapas in town.

Opening Hours: Everyday 7.30am- Late
Address: 662 Newcastle Street, (cnr Carr Place), Leederville, WA 6007
Phone: (08) 9228 0123
Email: duende@duende.com.au
Duende on Urbanspoon

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