We went to Cutler & Co for a leisurely Sunday lunch recently with Maria and Daz from The Gourmet Challenge. On Sundays Cutler & Co have a set menu for $65, which we thought was a great opportunity to try them out.
The fit out of the restaurant is quite stunning, the long room kitted out in dark tones and with a rather flash automatic door to the loos. We were particularly taken with the industrial looking lights with a super long filament that hung above the tables.
There were four courses for the set lunch. We received all of the dishes listed for the first two courses, and then for mains and desserts we selected one dish each from several options.
We started with three small dishes: French breakfast radishes, Clair de Lune oysters, and cured ocean trout toast.
Bro started us off on our punny lunch by saying that the radishes were radiscal. Oh dear. I can’t say that the jokes improved from there, but I have recorded them for prosperity anyway! Apart from being radiscal, the rather cute, little crunchy radishes were mild in flavour.
The oysters were lovely. Served raw with a squirt of lemon, they were fresh and sweet.
The ocean trout toast was also delicious, with little cubes of ocean trout on top of the crispy toast. In Bro’s words: it was troutriffic.
The bread was so good that everyone had second or third servings.
Next we received a selection of starters to share.
This was beetroot salad with goat's curd and apple. It was really nice – seemingly simple, but the little beets were sweet and tender, and fortunately for us non-goat-cheese lovers, the goat's curd was only a little bit “goaty”. It looked beautiful as well.
We received a bowl of pearl barley with radicchio and ricotta salata. I quite liked the firmish barley with the salted ricotta and radicchio, although it wasn't very popular around the table.
The next dish was garlic sausage, potato and ravigot. This perked us all up after the barley. Bold and salty sausage and a bit of potato. Nice.
Next up: FRIED GREEN TOMATOES. Fried green tomatoes, people! Does anyone remember the movie? I have waited years to eat fried green tomatoes! They were great - crumbed slices of slightly tart green tomato on top of what I think may have been eggplant. I loved the little frying pans they were presented in as well.
The last dish before mains was peppers, migas and tuna mayo. This was another nice dish - the peppers were sweet, the bread was crispy, and while the tuna mayonaise sounded strange at first, we all loved it. Alastair said that it was a-mayonaising. Pun of the day!
For mains, there was an option of four dishes:
Alastair had the local line caught snapper, tomato, prawn and chorizo. It looked pretty good, particularly the big bursty prawn underneath the fish.
Bro and Daz had the roast quail, smoked sausage and sauerkraut. The sauerkraut was served separately in a small pot and it was really something – WOW HELLO PORKY PORK - there was nothing sour about that sauerkraut! (ba bow). It was all bacon porky goodness. Poor boys though, they had the biggest appetites and they received the teeniest dish!
Maria and I both had the braised lamb, buckwheat polenta and gremolata. The lamb was very tender although a bit fatty. I liked the soft polenta and the dark wilted greens too.
The fourth mains option was a baked ricotta, eggplant Calabrese and fennel salad, which none of us ordered.
And for dessert, there were three options.
Bro and Alastair both had the Earl Grey tea ice cream, chocolate ganache, and macerated prune. I had a little taste and thought it was delicious, and I adored the faint floral bergamot fragrance of the Earl Grey ice cream. Bro said that the ganache was also great, although I didn't try it.
Maria and I both had the quince baba, sheep's milk yoghurt and cherry. I found the baba a little dry - it was nice, but I was expecting it to be drenched in something. The quinces were gorgeous though. I wouldn't have minded a massive bowl of just the quinces with the yoghurt!
And Daz had... oh Daz... he selected the Gruyere d’Alpage and shiraz jelly (which I neglected to take a photo of – because I was in fits of laughter). Why was I in fits of laughter? Because Daz had been expecting dessert... and received cheese and crackers and a teeny dollop of jelly. Oh we laughed at the disappointment on his face (sorry Daz!). If I had been quicker off the mark, I could've said, "Gryuere’s your dessert?" (bah bow!) but unfortunately I only thought of that one at home. Isn't that always the way it goes.
We finished off with a round of coffees, which saw us all whip out our phones and google coffee puns. Really, really, REALLY terrible coffee puns ie if you drink a lot of coffee, you'll be in a latte trouble.
Dear oh dear. Apologies for the terrible puns. At least they kept us amused during lunch. Speaking of lunch, I think the Sunday lunches at Cutler & Co are a definite goer. There were lots of staff working that day - there seemed to be about twenty on the floor - so we didn't have any issues with service. Apart from a few minor things, overall the food was good (although not mind blowing) and good value for the quality of the dishes. We really enjoyed ourselves and I would be keen to spend a lazy Sunday eating there again.
Cutler & Co
55-57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Phone: 03 9419 4888