Spanish tapas is becoming a trend in many of Perth's food outlets. The eclectic menu of small plates that changes seasonally and relies on fresh ingredients provides diners with an option that is hard to refuse.
This style of dining is intimate, somewhat cheaper, there is more variety, and less wastage, said the owner of Duende Cafe when asked why he chooses to serve tapas.
Upon arriving at the cafe, we were welcomed by the majestic oval bar that was the centre of attention, smack in the middle of the cafe. With light pop music playing in the background, this laid back setting would be a place one can dine to escape the hustle and bustle of the day.
The vibe at Duende Cafe during the day is relaxed and could also be a good outdoor work station while having a meal, and perhaps some mid-day beer fix.
We were impressed by their selection of wines, two of which are patented by Duende.
Today's menu included some of our favourites and we could not wait to try them.
While waiting for the food, we munched on some rustic bread dipped in olive oil. Always a good start to any restaurant meal.
These $6 triangles look small, but they were full of flavour, very satisfying. Cerdo y Queso which are pulled pork croquettes paired with aioli sauce was tender and crunchy at the same time.
The mash holding the filling in place felt like someone was giving my tummy a hug - so comforting and satisfying. This was our personal favourite of the day!
Next we tried my favourite food, octopus. I am always skeptical about ordering octopus as it can be rubbery if overcooked. However all the elements in this dish was a positive marriage of flavours and textures. Named Pulpo Con Chorizo in Spanish, we loved the chorrizo, kipfler potatos as well as the chargrilled octopus all together. A little bit of aioli again as a sauce, but we loved it! This selection costs $20.
I was pumped to try the Halloumi a la Parrella which I had never eaten before. For $15, the grilled halloumi with pepperonata salsa, fried bread, and mojo verde was appealing both in taste and presentation. We felt the mojo verde, which is a Canarian Green Sauce made of cilantro, garlic, olive oil and cumin lifted the dish to its best.
Next we had the Vente de Cerdo priced at $24. Three chunky pieces of crispy skinned pork belly, with chiccharones that consists of fried pork belly or fried pork rinds, a special pineapple sauce and rocket salad. This dish works best when you pair all the sides together for a mouth full of goodness. Ahh the bliss! This and most of the dishes we ate had a gluten free option, which gives customers an option to try dishes they may usually not be able to eat.
After the last course, we were full and very happy with everything we had tried. Then out came the playful looking dessert; Donut balls, Cinnamon ice cream with fruit flavoured cream filling that was displayed in a syringe. It looked very sweet, but tasted quite bland without the ice cream and filling. We enjoyed the ice cream most, as it had a gelato consistency, and went well with the donuts.
Overall an excellent experience with such an amazing environment. I would definitely come back alone during the day, or with my partner for a casual dinner date sometime in the near future.