After our flying visit to Cumulus Inc. and a quick taxi across town we found ourselves standing in front of Cutler & Co. in Fitzroy. I had booked us a table, but upon entering they can't seem to find our reservation. We are asked to take a seat at the bar, and of course oblige. A quick scan of the Aperitif menu and we have a Campari with fresh pink grapefruit juice and an Aperol with fresh blood orange juice on our table.
We are quite happy at the bar while they appear to be sorting out the little mishap with our booking. They are all super-friendly, and in just minutes we are ushered away to a lovely table in the main dining room, a staff member following with a tray and the components of our drinks. We are given menus and the wine list upon sitting ... even though we are still quite full from our very late visit to Cumulus Inc we still decide on the Degustation. Fresh baked, warm bread rolls arrive at the table along with a couple of fresh shucked oysters to kick off the dinner.
Little appetizers just keep on coming, including little toasts with smoked trout & pickled onions, soy roasted pumpkin seeds, marinated olives & a little pot of 'just-like-Mum's' French onion dip with baby radishes. The palate is certainly awakened, and we are ready to eat.
Cured Kingfish with avocado, octopus & pickled cucumber is very clean. The sprinkling of the Japanese-esque furikake seasoning really elevate the subtle flavors.
The Heirloom carrots with shanklish, pistachio & radish is a vibrant & exciting vegetable dish. The creamy shanklish curd cheese is hidden in nice little surprise pockets under the carrots. The pistachios are crushed with some other seasons, like a very mild dukkah spice. The carrots are raw shaves, braised and roasted.
We swap our soup course for the wood grilled lambs tongue, sweetbreads, smoked egg, celeriac & anchovy - and are very glad we did! Very nice combination ...
I was very excited by the sound of this dish. Poached chicken, foie gras parfait, sprouts, quinoa & prune - but was a little disappointed when it arrived. The chicken was fine, but really needed something like a rich foie gras to elevate it - we both found the parfait tasted like a chicken liver pate, and had none of that foie gras richness we were yearning .... the crisp quinoa was the star of that plate for me.
There are several words that will always excite me on a menu... and two of them happen to be Sucking & Pig. Unfortunately, after this dinner, I lost a bit of that excitement:( I don't know if it's the fact that we were one of the last tables eating and the food was a bit rushed, but we have had better suckling pig on the street side in Vietnam and even at yum cha. The meat was dry and the skin lacked any sort of crackle. Which makes me forget anything else about the dish .....
Perhaps the pastry chef wasn't in such a rush to get home, as the next few courses start to make up for it. The first little pre-dessert, crisp tuille cones with a creamy piped apple sorbet nicely washes out the dry pork remains in my mouth.
The dessert of violet ice-cream, chocolate ganache and sour cherry is sophisticated and full of surprises. The sponge cake, the crumbles, the honeycomb like crack and just a really pleasant combination of flavors. A glass of sauternes is the perfect night cap.
It's been a big first day in Melbourne, we've seen & eaten a lot starting off with a Cumulus Inc. and Cutler & Co. double up starts this trip off on a roll.
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Cutler & Co.
55-57 Gertrude Street
Fitzroy Melbourne 3065
T: +61 (0)3 9419 4888