10 Poplar St, 03 366 6919


Dux Central is buzzing on a crisp sunny Saturday afternoon. Packed indoors and out, the young and hip are keeping warm by nursing glasses filled with steaming mulled wine and cider. Above the throng of happy punters, the rhythm of the bongos and melodious vocals from local band Dillastrate add to the buoyant vibe.

Spoilt for choice, Dux Central offers four different spaces to suit your mood; the courtyard downstairs where all the action is – live music and editor,s pick people lining up for hot toddies; the balcony bar with a bird’s eye view of the courtyard; or indoors for a laid-back pint in the Brew Bar, The Emerald Room for quiet sophistication or the Poplar Social Club next door which that opens at dusk.

Opting for the understated luxury of The Emerald Room, and with almost every table occupied, I pull up a stool at the bar to peruse the dessert menu. I select the sticky-toffee pudding and a lime and tonic to temper its anticipated sweetness. My inner child is tickled pink with the cute – and eco-friendly – paper straw with dancing green turtles.

My dessert soon arrives after some friendly banter with the charming French barmaid. The toffee sponge is warm, rich, and moist – topped with smashed toffee brittle and accompanied by caramel sauce and delicious gingerbread ice cream. For the ultimate dining-out experience this winter, Dux Central offers the complete package. 

PaletteBlueprint Ltd