Breakfast is all about enterprising takes on the usual suspects (bacon, sausage, and eggs). Whilst some people love sticking to the usuals, I am totally the opposite. Last week I met up with Jordo, Bel and David for breakfast in Duende. This place known for its Tapas during dinner serves breakfast in a similar way which starts as early as 8am.
The drinks were the standard fare. You name it, they have it. Juices, hot chocolates, pots of teas and different concoctions of coffee.
Big time coffee drinker/critique Bel dissess the coffee here. She calls it very “typical” and not very good. Drinkable nonetheless. But that was ok as it did not concern me in any way. The word coffee never quite made it to my dictionary - something most or all of you would know :P!
The interesting part for me will always the food.
First up were the Jamon & Leak Croquettas with Manchego. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside? Checked. Flavour? Checked. I am not quite sure how Duende does it, but our first course not only looked sensational but tasted very good.
The potato in the croquettes had great texture with the Manchego giving the dish a lovely fragrant. After that I tasted the little pieces of Jamon giving me a slight sensation of saltiness. You could say that that we all agreed that this dish was brilliant as we kept going back to the plate to scoop the Manchego sauce on the croquettes. Simply stunning.
My concern about the pairing of a strong cheese sauce with deep fried croquettes so early in the morning was put to rest.
Simple pleasures at its best would be the best way to describe the next dish. Sautéed mushrooms, rocket salad and toast. To describe, buttery sweet mushrooms with a hint of parsley. Each mouth full is usually greeted by the variety of textures coming from all the different mushrooms. Some mushrooms were smooth, and some a little more spongy/chewy. Sounds like the perfect dish to have when you are all holed up on your couch in a cold winter’s day!
“Today’s Special” - Pulled Pork Potato Cake was one of our other orders. This felt to me like a reinterpretation of a bubble and squeak. It was OK but felt a little flat because the pulled pork was not very flavoursome . In fact, the sauce unlike the Machengo just did not feel impactful. I was hoping for something a bit more flavoursome =/.
We also had an order of corn cakes which was yummy. Another simple yet hearty dish. Last but not least were the salted cod tortillas. Not my personal favourite but it was ok. I think it felt a little dry.
The food as Duende was a little bit of a mixed bag. We had the good, the ok and the bad. Fortunately, none was really bad. A little fixing of sauce would have easily made all the difference. But more importantly for me is to come away from a breakfast not consisting of the usual suspects. With respect to that requirement, Duende excels.