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.
(‘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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(Lamb tenderloin, radicchio sauce and daikon)
The Jamon and Padrón peppers were excellent. These are the peppers that have one in ten chance of it being spicy and the rest are mild but flavorful. We ended up getting two spicy ones out of about ten. The spicy ones were charming and tasty, but they did temporarily kill my taste buds. The lamb tenderloin was also amazing. It was beautifully tender and yet had the most amazing flavors.
An interesting situation was when we visited an Australian Casino later that day, for dinner they were serving Jamon and Padrón. We were playing on the roulette, and we visited the restaurant. When we saw it, we were like, lets hit it. First, I thought it would be too much for one day, but I ate it anyway. After that, we sat to play slots games for a while where we were trying to win some real money. We left around midnight.
My overall opinion about Cutler & Co Restaurant, yea, get there and taste delicious food.
(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.
(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.
(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!
(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.
(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.
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)