Queen's Birthday lunch at the Duchess of Spotswood. The British-Royalty-Trivia-Lover in me did a thousand little excited jumps on the spot at how fitting a day this was for us to cross the bridge and venture to the other side of town to try this "destination cafe".
We had a short wait while the staff cleaned up the table for us. I had actually checked whether they were kid-friendly (using twitter no less!) and was promptly answered so I knew they welcomed families but they had no highchairs. They also have a basketful of toys and books for entertaining the kids. We were seated on the outside table so we brought the pram out from the car, and Bubs was happy!
I loved, loved, loved all the cute names of the dishes on the menu. The breakfast menu had dishes called Stormin' Norman, which is griddled ham with house made beans, fried egg and hand cut chips; and Poetry (in Motion), which is warm prunes, walnut, orange zest, yoghurt, and home made oat biscuit. Then there are all day items like the Idle Tongues, which is crispy ox tongue with soft semolina, wild mushrooms and deep fried smoked egg; the Duchess of Pork (hahaha) which is crispy pig's jowl with fried egg, rich truffle sauce and sour dough toast; and the Scotch Woodcock, which is scrambled eggs with gentlemen's relish and white anchovy fillet. In the end we actually opted to have the lunch menu as it was getting past noon.
I had one of the specials of the day, which was Wagyu Shin, with a madeira and red wine sauce, with soft semolina, root vegetables and field mushrooms. This is one of the best dishes I have ever had. The flavour of the sauce was intense, interesting and a perfect match to the tender wagyu. The vegetables, mushroom and semolina complemented the meat, but were outstanding by themselves. I didn't get to eat half the dish because my kids absolutely loved this and polished off most of it - my Little One and I are now campaigning for this to be made a regular dish and we want to come up with a cool, British and royal name for it!
Hubby had the Gamekeeper's Lunch, which included housemade pheasant terrine, duck ham, twice smoked ham, smoked venison loin, pickles and sourdough with relish. An unusual choice for him, but he quite liked it (he called it "cute") and polished the whole thing off. My favourite part was probably the duck ham.
The kids shared the Oxtail Soup, but since they ate most of my lunch, I had the pleasure of eating (and wearing - see later) most of theirs. This was a very intensely flavoured beef broth, and came with 2 pieces of buttery toast. Ah, I had almost forgotten how much I like traditional British food.
We enjoyed dining outside in the hotter than usual winter weather. We ordered some of their homemade lemonade, which was refreshing and not too sweet or sour.
Hubby had his usual cappucino, which was good. We are so spoilt in Melbourne with most cafes serving pretty decent cups.
Being a "British" meal, I had a lovely pot of tea. Plus I wanted to have it with some of the awesome cakes on display, which the waitress told me were all baked on the day.
Our table was on a slight slant due to the pavement outside the shop. Unfortunately this, coupled with my clumsy Macaron Monster, meant that half the soup got knocked over all over me. Happy to report though, that they have a spacious bathroom, and they even have a change table! I smelt pretty tasty for the rest of the day!
Unfortunately it also meant I couldn't sit down and enjoy dessert with a leisurely cuppa, so I took away a ginger cupcake with me. This was awesome (should have bought more as we had to fight over share this in the car!) Interest in cup-cake baking now renewed!
A most lovely meal. I think we will have to cross over the Westgate more often for food like this!
Eat.Play.Shop. Recommends : The awesome awesome awesome Wagyu Shin (did I mention it was awesome?)
Give it a Miss : No complaints really, maybe something to make the table outside less slanty?
Toilets - yes, and also a change table
Highchairs - No
I am very honoured to have been given the opportunity to do a guest review for Little Eats who have an awesome website on cafe culture for little ones! Here's the post I did for them, and check out the Little Eats website for more great kid-friendly cafes to visit!