|Cutler & Co frontage, Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne|
|Campari and blood orange juice|
|Cutler & Co back room|
It’s not a huge menu to choose from, with the biggest choice being between the degustation and al la carte. We opt for the latter given plenty of flexibility to add on appetisers, share desserts and so on.
|Bread and butter|
Quality was showcased with the molluscs served alone with a cheek of lemon for squeezing. The En Surface oyster was particularly briney while the Rusty Nail was tastier with a stronger mineral flavour as well as creaminess.
The first bite through the slightly chewy dough is a king hit of salt and fish, but not overly fishy. I preferred a bit of lemon squeezed into the pastries to balance the saltiness. There was a wonderful sense of the whimsical brought by four fishy bread sticks - it was unusual, unexpected and rather exciting.
|Cured kingfish, smoked onion, pickled cucumber, beetroot, avruga|
A bit too much fun even, I used the matchstick pastry straws to scoop up the avruga caviar and creme fraiche. And garnished with nasturtium petals and leaves (or is that mallow?), it was like a stroll through a Japanese zen garden that left me much, much more than content.
|Mandarin duck - crisp leg, smoked fillet, boudin noir and lentils|
|King George whiting, prawn vinaigrette, broccolini and guinciale|
It was a well sized dish, joyfully scattered with a green medley of broccolini tips, other leaves and rocket flowers; steamed potato slices; very firm peeled prawns dressed with a mayonnaise; all doused with a healthy amount of olive oil. It was definitely one of my favourite main meals of the year, despite my not even being a fish lover, with an ingenious air of controlled madness.
|Roast suckling pig, xo spring onion, garlic and parsley root|
I couldn't help but feel that the pork dish was rather bare, and even pedestrian, compared to my exciting whiting main, but I suppose variety is the spice of life and one way to try to please all.
|Cutler & Co front room|
|Chocolate ice cream sandwich, vanilla parfait, salted caramel|
A crumbed block of frozen custardy, vanilla concoction sat in a pool of sumptuous salted caramel (of which every last bit was scraped off the plate), which was topped with a quenelle of uber chocolate-y ice cream. The ice cream tasted more of chocolate than some chocolate bars do, though was on the very sweet, throat stinging side when combined with the caramel.
|Petit fours - chocolate fudge|
After many hours sitting within the casual-but-so-cool interiors of Cutler & Co, after my expectations had been blown to bits all over the restaurant; it was time to return to the expectedly chilly Melbourne weather to find an expectedly grumpy cab driver to take us home.