Tiptoeing into a new menu

OUR visit to The Duxton, at O’Connor shops, was almost short lived.

We walked through the main door, on Sargood and Macpherson Streets, into what was obviously a bar area. But it was empty; not even a staff member milling about. It was a chilly introduction – as chilly as the weather – and we decided the place wasn’t open for Saturday lunch.

Then we spotted another room, tiptoed down the hall and found a second bar, the kitchen, a lounge area, high bench tables and a big-screen TV. So the place was open.

Sweet potato and zucchini hash. Photos by Silas Brown.

Sweet potato and zucchini hash

Caramelised beetroot and walnut salad

Caramelised beetroot and walnut salad.

The Dux double cheeseburger

The Dux double cheeseburger.

Sweet potato and zucchini hash

Sweet potato and zucchini hash.

Sweet potato and zucchini hash. Photos by Silas Brown.Caramelised beetroot and walnut saladDuxton-9488The Dux double cheeseburgerSweet potato and zucchini hashDuxton-1256Duxton-1253

The Duxton has just introduced a new menu with greater emphasis on food that is “good for you”.

The most interesting breakfast item for my tastebuds was pork and beans on brioche with corn fritters ($15.90). Starving diners can dive into the king-size breakfast ($19.90) and those concerned about living for a long time, the granola ($8.90).

Beyond breakfast, dishes include pot pies, including steak and Guinness, and chilli beef. Pizzas ($14 to $19) include the double cheese burger (huh?), Porky pine, and spicy buffalo – hot sauce, mozzarella, boned chicken wings, jalapenos, sour cream and blue cheese. Sounds intriguing. Also intriguing is The Duxton logo of a manic-looking squirrel holding an acorn for dear life.

We ordered at the bar from the specials board and received a buzzer. At The Duxton, you pick up your own food when the buzzer goes mental (at least a numbering system makes you feel a “bit special”).

The double cheeseburger (not the pizza variety mentioned earlier) was made with Wagyu beef patties cooked medium with sharp cheddar ($19) and a smokey homemade tomato sauce (now a permanent addition to the menu, as are other gourmet-style burgers. The smoked hickory pork ribs (400 to 500 grams) were as tender as ($26), but the tangy sauce was a bit too acidic for my liking. Special thanks to the friendly staff who brought me a finger bowl, noticing I was getting covered in sauce.

The new menu has healthy, meal-size salads, including several vegetarian options and new platter dishes (for two).

I asked for the wine list, but there wasn’t one. I was encouraged to choose from the bottles lined up in the fridge. I couldn’t read the labels from my side of the bar, so was a bit lost. The selection is small – more work to be done here.

At the bottom end of the experience were the backless stools we sat on. Very wobbly seats and a bit disconcerting. Kids would love playing on them, however I couldn’t find the kid in me the day I was there.

The Duxton holds events, has live music on Sundays ($5 Coronas and $5 basic spirits) and a Wednesday trivia night, the top prize for which is a keg of beer.

The Duxton, O’Connor shops. Call 6162 0799. Open seven days.

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