30 November 2010

Duke Carvell's

It's a little weird resurrecting months-old skeletons of blog posts. But after looking through the photos for this one I couldn't not share it with you. (Plus, it's sort of timely - Wellington on a Plate was in the news yesterday!)

So back in August, during Wellington on a Plate, I had made it my mission to get to as many Dine 2010 set lunches as possible, after not nabbing tickets to several of my top events (note to self, book earlier next time!). Duke Carvell's was one of the ones I wanted to try, mainly because I had heard good things about their Burger Wellington entry.

We went on a weekend on the cusp of lunch-time; everyone around us was eating eggs and brunch-y things I was majorly envious of.* But we were there for another reason: the $25 Dine 2010 set lunch and Duke's Ali Baa Baa Burger.

But all hesitations about eating a burger for my first meal of the day flew out the window when I was presented with this: pulled lamb shoulder, fried Kefalograviera cheese (yeah, I had to look it up too), beetroot hummus, pickled cucumber and a generous pile of rocket on warm Turkish bread.

It was glorious - the Mediterraneanesque flavours melding together with each mouthful, the lamb tender and flavourful, the beetroot lending an earthy softness and the pickled cucumber adding a crunchy bite. It pretty quickly put a stop to my breakfast-envy and replaced it with a (dare I say it?) certain smug satisfaction that I'd ordered the best thing of all.

Meanwhile, E had ordered the metze platter - which was, in essence, a deconstructed version of my burger, plus marinated eggplant.

It was interesting to see and taste each component on its own. The pulled lamb shoulder was a highlight, easily holding its own outside of the burger.

The marinated eggplant was bathed in a tzatziki-ish yoghurt sauce, and I got to eat most of them since E thinks he doesn't like eggplant (one day he'll see the light). They were cold and slimy (by nature I suppose), and I thought they could have used a bit more salt, but together with the cool creamy sauce I found myself gobbling them down pretty quickly.

As part of E's $25 set lunch we got this exquisitely presented affogato. I loved the little metal jug the espresso came in, the visible flecks of vanilla bean and the pool of Amaretto liqueur surrounding the ice cream.

We ceremoniously poured the hot coffee onto the ice cream, watching it melt into a sweet, strong, coffee-y liquid that I could drink gallons of if I knew it wasn't made mostly of ice cream, caffeine and alcohol. (Or maybe I would, anyway.)

Okay, the dessert:food photo ratio is getting a little out of control now. But it was really that beautiful, kind of reminiscent of one of those layered shots that are never a good idea the next morning, or those bottles of sand art you find at kitschy souvenir shops or kids make at summer camp.*

But my favourite part of all must have been these tiny almond biscotti amaretti (thanks for the clarification Mrs Cake!!). They were light and airy, the perfect size for dunking, and crunchy enough that they didn't soak up too much liquid either.

Duke Carvell's has been a favoured spot of mine for a little while now, both for weekend brunches and evening meals (generally served tapas-style, and 2 for 1 on Mondays!). And from looking at their website it seems they've added both these Wellington on a Plate features - the burger and the metze platter - to their usual lunch menu. Which is great news, because after writing up this post I'm ready for another one of those burgers.

Duke Carvell's Swan Lane Emporium
6 Swan Lane (off Cuba St, behind Floriditas)

(04) 385 2240


Open Mon-Fri: 12pm-late, Sat & Sun: 9am-late

View Gusty Gourmet in a larger map

* and for good reason. They have some good brunch food.
** sand art?! Really?! It must be getting late. Must get some sleep....


hungryandfrozen said...

I love Duke Carvells! Their BYO Sundays and 2-for-1 Mondays make it a bit easier to go there too.

That burger looks fantastic - I love the addition of beetroot hummus. Tim hates eggplant too, what's with that?

I like that they let you pour your own affogato - if I've ever ordered one before it has been disappointing because the coffee's too cold by the time the pudding reaches me or it's too melted or something.

LOL sand art...

Mrs Cake said...

Yummy! It looks sooooo good... The biscuits are amaretti - I've been munching my way through a packet of them this week as I got some to go with a semifreddo I made, they are fairly irresistable. :-D

millie mirepoix said...

Laura- yeah, there's something to be said about a little diner participation/interaction with food. It just makes it that little bit more fun, maybe? And plus, as you said, no risk of too-melty affogato! Mm..

Mrs Cake - Of course, thanks for correcting me!! And you shouldn't have mentioned that they're available in packet form. That's so dangerous ;)