After trying out Attica (see my earlier post) during my last visit to Melbourne a year ago, this year I decided to try out other establishment when we visit the city again. Due to our last minute planning, we couldn’t get any reservations at our first 2 choice restaurants on Saturday and they are closed on Sunday. Cutler & Co. was 3rd option on the list and (we are glad that) they open on Sunday night!
We had some problem making reservation online via their website, had to email them to make the reservation. Many thanks to Shonna who promptly assisted us with the confirmation.
The restuarant is located in Fitzroy, which less than 10 mins drive from the city centre. However as we were quite hungry after making a day-trip out to visit 12 Apostles, we decided to arrive 1 hour earlier than our reserved seating time to see if they have available tables for us. We had to wait for about 30 mins for our table to be set up hence we ordered some drinks at the bar area (at the front part of the shop) while waiting.
We started our degustation menu dinner with amuse bouche – Tapioca, Seaweed with eggplant puree. Followed by a selection of appetisers: Manzanilla olives, Clair de Lune Bouton oyster, Foie gras cigar (one of Cutler & Co’s signature dish) and Pickled octopus, aioli & paprika.
The oyster was fresh (as of most other seafood in Australia), the foie gras cigar – presented in a box akin to real cigar (great presentation) had a crispy roll on the outside with a creamy filling inside. The pickled octupus was great with the flavoursome aioli sauce – I quite like this dish.
Up next was entrees, one of the entrees was Swordfish sashimi, avocado, daikon & fresh wasabi, which I had. For guests who doesn’t take sashimi, the restaurant replaced it with Beef tartare, smoked hens egg, caper berries & artichoke.
The second entree was Hand-picked mud crab, buttermilk potato, almond & brown butter (collage above, bottom left pic). Fresh mud crab covered with light yet buttery sauce. One of my fav dish so far.
The third entree was Hay baked carrots, goats curd, toasted grains & ash (collage above, bottom right pic)This dish is even richer than the second entree. Slightly more filling and heavy on the stomach but I also fairly enjoyed this dish. The carrots were cooked to a very soft texture, eaten with the crunchy toasted grains, with the creamy goats curd…ending with the smokey ash taste lingering in your mouth. This dish was so well executed that even one of the picky eaters amongst us who don’t like to eat carrots enjoyed this dish. =)
For mains, we had the Smoked & fried duck, morcilla, carrot & gingerbread and Roasted suckling pig, mustard, kohlrabi & onion soubise. Both the mains had Chinese cuisine influences in them, they were dishes which we were familiar with and available at most Singapore Chinese restaurants.
We found one of which to be pretty normal – smoked duck, while we were impressed by the other one – roasted suckling pig. The roasted suckling pig was way much better than many of which we had ever tasted!!! No wonder it is back to the menu by popular demand. The skin of the pork was roasted to a nice crisp, while the meat remained very tender and juicy! Its a real pity that I was so full that I couldn’t stomach down all the pork – thou I finished the roasted skin.
We ended with 2 excellent desserts: Apple & sorrel sorbet, fennel meringue & dill and Violet ice cream, chocolate ganache, sour cherry & clove meringue (with Hazelnut sponge).
I am not a fan of anything sour…hence initially I was skeptical of the apple & sorrel sorbet. However it was a nice surprise that it tasted more sweet than sour. The apple taste was well-balanced out with the other herbs. Cleansing on the palate.
The other dessert tasted stronger, with a mix of sweet (ganache), sour (cherry), along with subtle taste of violet ice cream. I enjoyed the violet ice cream, first time tasting a flower flavoured ice cream…
Ended the dinner with petite fours of chocolate with peanut butter and salted caramel. Not my liking thou I liked chocolate. I didn’t liked the peanut butter and caramel combi…
Overall serving of food was reasonably paced. We finished our degustation menu dinner in less than 3 hours – which was pretty fast given the number of dishes. Left the restaurant feeling satisfied with the good meal. Overall Melbourne do offer good quality food at rather reasonable price compared to Singapore (I dare say even Sydney in terms of pricing, thou Sydney’s food scene might be more vibrant and competitive).
Photos taken during our day trip:
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