Another very enjoyable meal at Duende this week confirms it as one of the best Spanish style restaurants around town – centrally located and part of the popular Leederville, bar and food strip it was one of the earliest tapas places and is still turning out very good food and drink in a friendly, welcoming environment.
A small bowl of oil and bread was complimentary and we dipped and ate while we waited for our order.
A serve of Tortilla Espanola kicked off our meal – the famous Spanish pancake of eggs, onion and potato with a liberal dose of olive oil – silky smooth texture – followed by a brilliant dish of pan-fried artichokes with romesco sauce (alcahofas) – beautifully crisped artichokes laid across the plate with a mildly spiced sauce of garlic, tomatoes, almonds and capsicums to smear over.
Skewers of lamb were next – succulent lamb spiced with what were described as Moorish spices – they were indeed moreish and a second plate called for.
Crisp croquettes filled with juicy pork and salty, lemony mahon cheese also hit all the right notes.
A couple of seafood dishes followed – plump, lightly cooked scallops topped with crisped crumbs and green sauce – Vieiiras a la Gallega – another hit.
And finally Pulpo con Chorizo – juicy, tender octopus served with rounds of potato and salty, spicy chorizo.
The food was as always here well turned out – full of flavour and contrasting textures, with well-balanced spice and seasoning.
They have a very tidy wine list as well with a good selection of Australian and Spanish wines, some of which are not regularly seen on lists around town – a couple of these “rarities” being a skin contact white wine from the Eden Valley – Ruggabellus Sallio, a 2013 Riesling from the Eden Valley – golden colour, almost orange, with a bouquet of nuts, ginger, spice and tropical fruit, leading onto a palate full of citrus and apple, almost scrumpy cider, notes – and a fabulous Pinot Noir from the Great Southern’s Brave New Wines – 2016 Pi-Oui – fragrant, perfumed nose full of cherry and brambly notes, with a smooth subtle palate of earthy dusty savoury fruit – lovely.
If you are looking for top quality Spanish inspired cuisine go no further than Duende – excellent food, great atmosphere, top class wine and drinks list which complements the food on offer.