It has been the talk of the town for a few weeks and as of last week, Duke of The Sea is officially open. Residing within the Little Pakington complex at 112 Pakington Street, Geelong West the fish and chippery is the newest Coeliac spot.
With a Coeliac owner diagnosed for over 10 years, it is no wonder the shop is making heads turn. Early promotion focused on their gluten free prep station with a separate cooking space including, grill, fryer and utensils. It’s not a surprise that on November 7th I took a 1-hour road trip to have lunch for the opening. If like me you are heading down you can view their gluten free menu online. This includes the lovely paragraph about staff training and preparation for their ‘gluten-free goodness’.
Turning up on opening day did have a few downfalls. Unfortunately, the delivery of gluten free onion rings had been missed. I really can’t wait to go back and try these though. Brody and I thought it best to try a wide range of dishes. As a result, we ordered way too much food. Thankfully, we got through most of it. The service was faultless, our order was delivered with the note that it took a little longer since they hand crumb all the gluten free items themselves.
I started with the soft shell crab burger ($16). It was exciting to see that they left the legs unfolded. The result meant my burger looked like an actual hermit crab. The bun itself tasted really good compared to some of the ones I’ve had. Brody even thought it was quite a nice option. Inside the burger, the soft shell crab was crumbed nicely.
This added a well-needed crunch to the oozing red slaw and aioli. Due to all the slaw, the burger is a messy one to eat, not that I minded too much. Another level of texture in the burger wouldn’t go astray, but it was delicious as is. I’d ordered it again. It is relevant to point out that the only price difference in the burger price is $3 per patty or crumbed item. This really helps to bridge that gluten and gluten free price gap.
To go with the burger we had to order a loaded fries. There are four options for loaded fries; we went with the Chef’s favourite Dirty Chips($12). Featuring bacon, cheese chives and house made ‘Duke’s Sauce’. It is a creamy carby overload and I’d definitely suggest getting something to cut the fat. The serving size was decent and definitely tasty. Their Duke’s sauce is a spicy aioli style dressing which is really delicious.
Finally, to finish off, we ordered potato cakes ($1.50 each) and crumbed calamari ($1.70 each). This arrived on top of another serve of chips. Perhaps it was to make up for the missed onion rings. The potato cakes were crispy and had that perfect crunch. They weren’t a bad size either, maybe a little smaller than other places I’ve been to.
The Calamari was well cooked although I found the crumbing to be a little on the doughy side. Some pieces were worse than others, I think it may have been a first-day timing issue.The crumb itself was nice and had a lot of texture. I love calamari so I would order it again to see if the result is different. It’s safe to say the chips in this bowl didn’t get touched at all after everything else we’d eaten.
If you haven’t already checked out the menu, then you’ll be surprised by how large it is. I’m expecting a few visits to try out everything on the double-sided menu which includes coeliac kid options. From friendly service, the extension and in-depth menu and training to the industrial piano key styled interior, Duke of the Sea is definitely somewhere you can relax and enjoy a meal. Geelong certainly has an up and coming gem in this restaurant.
Until Next Time;