Tag Archives : degustation


Cutler & Co. Sunday Lunch {Melbourne Review}

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It had been a very long since we went to Cutler & Co but finally we were back! Hooray! Hooray for Cutler & Co! Talk about spoiler in the first sentence, huh? Well, I am a food blogger, not Agatha Christie.

It was a celebration of sorts, when six of us (including Mini, who was four) ended there on a Sunday afternoon. This was the second time we had Sunday lunch at Cutler & Co. The first time was for my 21st birthday. Well, one of my 21st birthdays, that is. And Mini was 6 months old at the time. With previous fine-dining-with-baby experience, which went well, I figured I would take a punt and take Mini again. What the hell, It was Sunday and more importantly Mum lent us her iPad.

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(‘Whipped cod roe and radishes’)

We got there slightly late, having found a free park (goal!) on the other end of Gertrude St. and had to walk the whole 500m to the restaurant (hey I just had major surgeries, I had an excuse to grumble every single one of those metre) I had forgotten how gorgeous the dining room was. Mum got there first and being a true tourist that she was, started taking photos and send them through the group chat that I was fortunate enough to be a part of. That was how much she admired the dining room.

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(Jamon Serrano & Padrón peppers)

So anyway the six of us sat down to longggg lunch. A kid’s menu was offered to us at $25 but I have asked her if it was okay we didn’t order anything special for her as a) Mum and I just had surgery, we would struggle with our share of the food to start with b) I wanted Mini to try all the different things that we were eating and c) she eats so ridiculously little anyway. The waiter let us know that there was no obligation to order a special meal for Mini. The one thing I have experienced was that they didn’t seem to mind having Mini there (at 6 months or 4 years) – I was quite nervous about taking a child to a fine dining restaurant but I did my best that she wasn’t disruptive and both meals went on quite wonderfully.

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(Chicken terrine, prunes & cauliflowers)

The Sunday Lunch at Cutler & Co. is a set menu at $75pp (it was that much four years ago, it still is now, amazing) with shared entrees and individual mains and desserts.

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(Stracciatella, yellow capsicum & broccoli)

The menu changes every Sunday and is based on whatever is in season at the time and you get a number of shared entrees (I have to say they are the highlights), one main each from a choice of two and one dessert each from a choice of two plus the cheese plate option.

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(Heirloom tomatoes, black olives, fennel and basil)

Between the five (plus one) of us, we had five entrees (description taken directly from the menu): Whipped cod roe and radishes’; Jamon Serrano & Padrón peppers; Chicken terrine, prunes & cauliflowers; stracciatella, yellow capsicum & broccoli; and eirloom tomatoes, black olives, fennel and basil. As I am more of a vegetable person, I have to say these blew my socks off. When a really fabulous Melbourne restaurant gives you something as simple as tomatoes, you betcha they were going to be the best damn tomatoes you’ve had in a long time! And the broccoli! Oh, the broccoli! So smokey and delicious. I also loved the radishes too.

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(Lamb tenderloin, radicchio sauce and daikon)

The jamon and Padrón peppers were really awesome. These are the peppers that have (roughly) one in ten chance of it being really spicy and the rest are mild, but flavourful. We ended up getting two spicy ones out of about ten. The spicy ones were really lovely and spicy but they did temporarily kill your taste buds. The lamb tenderloin was also amazing. It was beautifully tender and yet had the most amazing flavours. Yeah, just go. Get thee to Cutler & Co. (And I haven’t even finished the post yet)

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(Berkshire pork, cauliflower purée & chicory)

Because our entrees were so fabulous and interesting, I have to say our mains of ‘meat and veg’ became a bit boring. The pork, even though served medium, were not as tender as I’d hoped and it wasn’t well seasoned. I just found it really boring. I think all of us with the pork choice agreed. Compared to the lamb entree which blew our socks off, this was lacking somehow.

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(John Dory, chickpeas, eggplants & preserved lemon)

The other main was ‘fish and veg’ but this was slightly better. Josh and I did the usual thing of ordering both mains and switch with each other half way through (as you do.) The John Dory was better. It was well cooked, the eggplant puree had a lovely smokiness to it and it went well with the chickpeas and the caper berries. But again, compared to the entrees, it was slightly on the boring side.

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(Pistachio & cinnamon panna cotta, Sablé biscuit, strawberry)

By this time, we were quite full (and Mini was a champion at eating all the things I put in front of her – she particularly loved the jamon “Mummy! This is the best ham ever!” and the prune sauce that came with the terrine, ate a bit of a pepper that I had made sure wasn’t spicy, a bit of broccoli and cheese, radishes but wasn’t a fan of the cod roe and a bit of the John Dorry which she loved but then spent most of the time playing with the iPad until dessert was served. Deprived child. She only gets to play with a tablet when my mum is in town) but there were desserts to be had!

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(Soft chocolate, coconut sorbet, lychees & hazelnuts)

I know. It’s a tough job but someone had to do it. Because there were five of us, we got two each of the choice of the desserts and the cheese plate.

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(Ferme de Jouvence Brie, quince & lavosh)

They were smashing. Everything was really good. The cheese plate was unexpectedly the highlight. I have to admit, I never ordered a cheese plate in place of dessert before. Often, you go to one of these degustation type dinner and it’s meant to be romantic dinner for two and there are two dessert options plus cheese, the cheese gets neglected. But this time we got the cheese platter, and oh did we not regret it!

So two lessons for everyone: get thee to a Cutler & Co Sunday lunch, where the food is amazing, the service is impeccable, the atmosphere is relaxing, the lunch is long and the booze is aplenty. And get the cheese plate!

Cutler & Co. [ web site ]
Address: 55–57 Gertrude St., Fitzroy VIC 3065
Phone: (03) 9419 4888
Hours: Dinner Tuesday to Sunday from 6pm, lunch Friday & Sunday from 12pm
Public Transport: Trams 11, 86, 112 (120m)

Cutler & Co - Zomato


Momofuku Seiobo, The Star, Pyrmont { Sydney Food Review } 10

Momofuku Seiobo at the Star Casino, Sydney

On the Wednesday before the Sydney weekend, I realised, almost belatedly, at 11.35pm, holy shit! There’s that new Momofuku that just opened late last year in Sydney! I need a booking!

Five minutes later, I somehow scored myself a booking for one for that very Saturday night through their online system at 8pm on the very first and only try. Do you know how giddy that made me feel? There. Is. A. Momofuku. In. Sydney. And. I’m. Going. There.

Now I can tell you this in the strictest confidence that I went to bed that night unconsciously heaving a massive fangirl sigh and uttered, ‘oh David Chang…’ right before I fell asleep.

Momofuku chefs in their gleaming kitchen

(They seem to have an obsession with wiping every single plate until it shines)

The day arrived and I got myself into a cab and ended up at the Star. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t catch me dead at a casino complex otherwise. If you have been there, you’ll recall this bright, open, neon, Willy Wonka-esque bubblegum pinkness that is the I LOVE ZUMBO store and opposite there’s the imposing bars of steel and gold that is Momofuku Seiobo, the youngest in the Momofuku empire and a nod to its peach theme by being named after a Japanese goddess who is a guardian of a wonderous peach tree that only fruits once every three thousand years. Special. It is meant to be. Shame about being housed at the Star but I suppose it does well with the other Momofuku theme, luck.

I had never been on a solo fine dining before. Armed with my aunt’s SLR that I had taught myself to use a couple of hours earlier (forgot my camera at home in Melbourne, total fail), I just knew that as a F.A.B. (Female Asian Blogger – apparently a there are so many in Sydney that there is an acronym for us), noone would bat an eye lid at a single diner and her massive camera. I was totally right. And I have to say, being an SLR wanker for the weekend was so much fun.

(Snack plate from 12 o’clock – mochi, nori cracker, smoked potato with apple gel, shiitake crisp)

I think sitting at the counter is a must when you go to Momofuku Seiobo, half of the great fun about dining here is watching every move of the kitchen staff and anticipating what is coming up next. The very first course was a snack plate full of joyful little things. There was nothing exciting about them – just morsels of good, honest umami hits to whet your appetite. They succeeded. The shiitake crisp was crispy and shiittake-y. The smoked potato and apple gel reminded me of Collon. (just Google it)

Momofuku pork bun

(Momofuku steamed pork bun)

The second course of Momofuku pork bun arrived with a cute little bottle of Vietnamese chilli sauce (I refuse to call it Sriracha. It is not.) Everyone has heard of the Momofuku pork bun. Fortunately, you no longer need to fly all the way to New York for one. Unfortunately though, you still need to fly to Sydney. The bun was everything it was promised to be. Incredibly soft rice flour bun that just melts in your mouth with a lovely piece of fatty pork belly flavoured with hoisin sauce. It was good but it didn’t blow me away. I somehow thought it didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the menu and the setting of Seoibo. This is the type of food that belongs on the bar menu (which it is, did you know there is a bar menu – no booking required, five seats only – at Momofuku Seiobo now? What are you waiting for?)

Sea mullet sashimi with blood orange and nori powder

(Sea mullet sashimi with blood orange and nori powder)

The next course was three pieces of lovely sea mullet sashimi with a drizzle of blood orange and a sprinkling of nori powder. The freshness of the fish was undeniable and the blood orange lifted the freshness of the sea mullet but in the end it was just sashimi. Albeit very good sashimi. (more…)


Melbourne Food Review: Cafe Vue Cocktail Night, CBD 11

(November 2009 Cocktail Night menu – theme is Belvedere vodka)

Last week my baby girl KJ came to town. So where’s better than taking her to the most fabulous cocktail event in town?* Nowhere! The Cafe Vue** Cocktail Night is hosted weekly on a Friday. For $75 over the space of 3 hours, you get the most fabulous cocktails and matching degustation plates from Vue. Bargain, I say!

(scallop linguine with cucumber)

The night started at about 7.30pm when the first cocktail was served (yes, they ran a bit late) and concluded at around 11pm (we left at 10.30 because we were starving) when people cleared off. So you’ll understand, I’m sure, the degradation of the picture quality due to lack of lighting and sobriety.

(Cytrus Pegu)

Our very first cocktail was called Cytrus Pegu, which was Belvedere vodka with err… lots of citrusy, orangey things done to it. The lovely waitstaff did announce every course and explained the logic of each make up of each cocktail. Suffice to say, they thought about it a lot. And we drank a lot. So I’m really sorry I can’t tell you more. What I remembered though was the lemon curd that lined the glass. It was so yummy I attempted to lick it clean. This lovely this little cocktail was served with a perfect little scallop served with buttery linguine and cucumber. Yum. But then we were starving. A tip: get some food in you first. The 5 courses served there were just not sufficient.

(Apple & Chilli Martini)

Our second cocktail of the night was by far the winning horse – the apple and chilli martini. But it wasn’t a normal apple & chilli martini, no, no. They started with 50% alcohol vodka and steep all the yummy flavouring fruits: apple, pear and chilli. It was intensely apple. It was intensely pear. And it was intensely chilli. No, it wasn’t hot at all. But it did taste every bit chilli. No only that, they attempted to turn it into a frozen cocktail by freezing it with liquid nitrogen rather than blending in ice (cos that would be too easy and ‘we would lose too much alcohol concentration’) so as delicious sounding as that sounds, it was lethal at about 50% alcohol. But oh my god it was yummy. They also topped it with deseeded chilli and a slice of dehydrated apple. (more…)

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