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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


Melbourne Food Review: Min Lokal, Fitzroy 3

Min Lokal, Fitzroy

Min Lokal is a popular cafe with the Fitzroy locals for its charming, quaint little space in the backstreet location, nestling itself on the mostly residential George street.

As all of the write-ups on Min Lokal will tell you, its name is Swedish for ‘my local’. A lovely, non-Swedish but very much Melburnian sentiment. I am one of those people who adore Ikea and its quirky Swedishness, so I get the gist of how something suddenly becomes cool when it is Swedised (see what I did there?)

Baked Eggs - Dooba

(Dooba baked eggs – with minced beef, pumpkin and North African spices – $17.00)

The menu itself is hardly Swedish. Min Lokal serves a typical brunch menu – eggs, toasts, muesli, muffins, salads, sandwiches – with its own interesting twists. I visited there one Friday afternoon with a local, Joyce (of Melbourne Hot or Not) for our regular mum & bub catch up session. Joyce had been previously and didn’t think the world of it but she chose it for its proximity and its lovely spacious communal table to accommodate her gorgeous little bub.

As it was well past lunch time on a Friday, the cafe, rather uncharacteristically from what I heard, was not busy and we got ourselves a corner of the large communal table. The space was indeed lovely and uncluttered with large wooden communal table and comfortable wooden stools. Our waiter was nice and appropriately clucky (note to waitstaff: we mums love it when you pay attention to our bubs) and brought us water as neither of us had ordered drinks as I only had half hour to spend on lunch.

As I have heard good things about their baked eggs, I decided on the Dooba – baked eggs with minced beef and pumpkin sauce with North African spices served with rye toasts. Starving, I tucked straight into the baked eggs. The very first bite of the meat was very pleasant – rich and warm from its spices. The egg yolk was runny but the white was slightly rubbery as I progressed in the dish. Although it was the first time I ever had baked egg, I suspect that it wasn’t at all bad for a baked egg dish and Min Lokal deserved its reputation for its baked eggs.

As lovely as it was though, I was less thrilled with the portion size versus the price comparison.

Haloumi salad with radicchio, chorizo and chickpeas

(Haloumi salad with radicchio, chorizo and chickpeas – $16.00)

Joyce had opted for the haloumi salad with radicchio, chorizo and chickpeas. She let me have a bite and it was also a good solid dish. The composition of the warm salad ingredients was perfect for a brunch dish. Unfortunately, I think it portion, again, was disappointingly small for its price.

Overall, while I found the food, service and space at Min Lokal to be very pleasant for a leisurely lunching spot, I found it to be overpriced, poor value and possibly not worth all the raves about it.

But if it were min lokal, maybe I’d give it another go.

Min Lokal
Address: 422 George St., Fitzroy VIC 3065 [ Google Map ]
Phone number: (03) 9417 0333

Min Lokal on Urbanspoon

Read what other bloggers thought of Min Lokal:

  1. “… it pleases us”
  2. Addictive & Consuming
  3. Where’s the Beef
  4. Fitzroyalty
  5. Melbourne Coffee Review

This time last year I ate at: Syracuse Wine Bar and Restaurant, Melbourne CBD


Melbourne Food Review: Peking Duck at Old Kingdom, Fitzroy 5

Peking Duck at Old Kingdom, Fitzroy

(a Peking duck pancake, drizzled with hoisin sauce)

Behold the delicious eating invention that of the Peking duck. For those of you who think Peking duck is merely pancake-wrapped roast duck doused in hoisin sauce, err… well you’re probably right! But really, it isn’t supposed to be it. I suppose when one lives in Melbourne, one has to settle for a three-course Peking duck feast at Old Kingdom.

Golden roasted duck

(a whole duck is presented to the table before the slicing and dicing action ensues)

My dad told me about his recent work trip to China where he had a ‘full on’ Peking duck experience where one started off with cold cuts of duck’s tongues and eleven courses later ended up with duck-flavoured ice cream. No kidding. Now why don’t they do that in Melbourne?

(spring onion and cucumber, traditional accompaniment)

So the good people of Melbourne food Twitter community organised by Anna gathered up for a duck fest – a good three-course of Peking duck eating. Old Kingdom is one of those very popular, old institution. Due to its regular media coverage, it is a well-known spot for Peking duck eating. Which is just as well, let me tell you, because their other dishes are pretty much not worth the hassle of squeezing yourself into their cramp we’d-all-die-if-there’s-a-fire dining room. (more…)


Melbourne Food Review: Anada, Gertrude St., Fitzroy 2

Nicole and I landed on Gertrude St. one night for a Book for Cooks event. Luke Nguyen was in town and he was promoting his new book (the Songs of Sapa) and Little Lantern Foundation. We originally thought we should probably hit a pho joint or something Vietnamese but Nicole didn’t want to be too far from the book shop and rush there last minute (so we went outlet shopping on Brunswick St. first, figures).

We went past Anada and I remember about this place being recommended highly by @redvespa so we decided we would go in. It was literally 5.55 and we were waiting for it to open at 6pm (we had to be at Books for Cooks before 7). They did, right on time and graciously let us in without a reservation. Despite it being Tuesday, the place filled up around 7. So make sure you get a reservation in.

As hungry as we were, we wanted to have a light meal and tapas seem perfect. We both ordered a few different dishes to try. I ordered a glass of sherry (you gotta have sherry, surely) and Nicole ended up with a glass of rose.

We were served some bread to start with some nice olive oil and funky black salt. It tasted like normal salt. Yes I did nibble at the salt crystals. I do that. (more…)

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