As English poet William Cowper once said: “Variety’s the very spice of life. That gives it all its flavour.” This famous statement could also be applied to the act of enjoying tapas. Anyone familiar with tapas-style dining will know it’s all about smallish serves of food driven by flavour and designed to share with friends. Although this style of eating is still relatively rare in Perth, Duende is at the forefront for those in the know. The interior is an eclectic mix of red leather booths and wooden furniture contrasted with industrial style metals, beaded “curtains” and a wall of Persian rugs.
Chalk writing, with details of beer and wine on offer, decorates concrete voids and pillars throughout the compact yet cosy venue. The menu consists of close to 30 varieties of dishes incorporating savoury, vegetarian, cheeses and sweets. Although a Spanish style seems to prevail, the emphasis is on seasonal produce. Favourites include sweetcorn and manchego frittas with tomato relish, and beetroot tortellini with leek compote and goat’s cheese. There is a good mix of seafood, game and vegetable delights at Duende with a tantalising sweet selection not to be missed. Remember - as with all food designed to share, the more people you invite, the more you can order and taste!
Karen Bilsby-Butler, January 2007