Cutler & Co is the most hyped restaurant in Melbourne.
I take great pleasure in pricking the hype-bubble in HOT OR NOT, so while I was excited to finally score a booking on a Saturday night, my guard was up. Did it really deserve the superlatives thrown at it by Melbourne’s restaurant reviewers and food bloggers?
The short answer. YES. YES. YES.
There was not one false note in our meal, from the service, the ambience and oh! the sublime food. The eight-course degustation costs $130 per head, so it’s not exactly the price point of your casual neighbourhood bistro. But I think for a special night out it is absolutely worth it. Just be careful with the wine list – while it is thoughtfully compiled, it is expensive.
It would be boring to repeat myself through eight courses of taste sensations, gushing about the inventive combination of ingredients, the artfully assembled dishes and the obvious attention to detail in the presentation. As such, I’m going to let the pictures do the talking. Salivate, and weep with joy.
A selection of entrees – freshly shucked oysters, bresaola rolled around an anchovy cigarillo and cubes of octopus done two ways – one a slightly picked topping, the other topped with meaty Spanish flavours. Oh yes, and some parmesan crackers, puffed up like Chinese prawn crackers. Even RM, a parmesan hater, loved them.
Cured kingfish, shaved calamari, pickled cucumber and horseradish snow. The icicles of hot horseradish conjured up an unusual sensation of simultaneous hot and cold. The sparkling fresh, tight flavours made this my favourite dish.
Asparagus salad, seared scallop and pickled spanner crab. I loved the presentation of this colourful dish – the careful right-angle alignment of the smoky asparagus spears reminded me of the layout of the long bamboo poles in singkil, a traditional Filipino dance.
Pressed quail terrine, foie gras cigar, orange and pistachio. I don’t eat foie gras so I think I may have missed out on some of the richness that was needed for the dish, but the others loved it. Look at the beautiful micro-leaves in the salad.
John Dory, grilled red claw yabby and fennel with nettle butter. Topped with a bogan-fabulous onion ring! The yabby was so moist we could almost smear it on the fish.
Wood grilled Wagyu striploin. Melt-in-your mouth meat with a fantastical corn-based puree. A favourite with the boys.
Yoghurt, rhubarb, lavender and green olive nougatine. Notice that I’ve deliberately show a wide angle shot of the unusual serving bowl rimmed with assymetrical circles.
Violet icecream, chocolate ganache, sour cherry sauce and a hunk of chocolate sponge. A sort of deconstructed black forest cake.
Cutler & Co. The most hyped restaurant in Melbourne and the best meal I’ve had all year. Trust me, it’s worth it.