December 15th, 2012

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Review - Duke Bistro

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It’s been the year of the three-word slogan (‘stop the boats’), the verbal triptych; so this menu by ex-Ledbury boy, Nik Hill, is on-point.


While the dish descriptions offer you just three key ingredients, unlike the Liberal Party, what’s on the plate is backed up by clear policies. 

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While it’s still playful food – take Potato Risotto, Taleggio ($15) for example – these days it’s much more of a restaurant cunningly disguised as a gastro-pub.

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Dishes like Fried Chicken, Pine Needles, Herb Emulsion ($12) provide a linking line to the (somewhat overpriced) hipster venue it used to be; though now your chook’s presented Noma-light on a bed of pine needles adorning a lump of driftwood.

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The foodie nature of the joint is reinforced by Restaurant Manager James Caldwell, who bothered calling Noma “190 times in a day” to reserve their private dining room.

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He directs me to a Lamb Shoulder, Goat’s Curd, Dried Olive ($28) so good, it makes me wish it were still winter.


Luckily Duck, Christmas Pudding Puree, Cherries ($29) ‘sleighs’ me with an entertainingly modern take on Xmas.

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Even cocktails like Tunnelling Tijuana ($19) looks retro cruise-liner but sucker punches with a huge chilli hit.


Strawberries, Buttermilk, Hibiscus ($12) ends the surprises rather sweetly. Time to revisit…

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EDIT 16/12/12: Rumour has it this spot may be shutting before the month is out, so if you'd like to taste the (excellent) cooking of Nik Hill, get in quick...

Duke Bistro
Level 1, The Flinders Hotel, 65 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst
Ph: (02) 9332 3180

Duke Bistro on Urbanspoon