This one is in every foodie’s little black book. Almost everyone loves Cutler and Co. and so naturally I went in to this fine dining restaurant with very high hopes, but I don’t quite think the food lived up to it.
An experience. That is what dining at Cutler and Co means. Upon arrival you may either choose to go to the very trendy bar or if you have a reservation be guided to your table. Your jacket will be hung for you, your napkin will be placed on your lap. You will be asked if you would like water on the table, tap or sparkling (remember that while you are sipping away your sparkling water your bill is slowly adding up). You are offered a drinks menu and a dining menu by the accommodating and professional waitstaff. All this while sitting in one of the most beautifully designed dining spaces that I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing (but sadly the acoustics were quite poor and I found the restaurant very noisy!). Unfortunately I could not take any photos of this space because of the lighting conditions (or I did take them but they did not turn out). This is the Cutler and Co. experience. Amazing from start to finish.
On the same experience note, I would like to recommend all diners to go to the bathroom at some point during their dinner here. This too was an experience not easily forgotten. Aesop hand wash, fabric like hand towels, amazingly designed bathroom space and sliding doors!
But back to the food…
My fellow diner and I decided to skip the entrees and hors d’oeuvres so that we could fully enjoy our main meal, the feature of the night. Then we thought we would get desert after. We passed up on some fantastic entree dishes, boasting exotic ingredients such as celeriac, shanklish, quinoa and one of which contained lambs tongue! And the hors d’oeuvres which were different varieties of oysters.
The mains menu at Cutler and Co is not long, changing every so often, but usually consisting of a ‘Suckling Pig’ dish, one vegetarian option, several seafood or fish based options and a duck dish. There is also a degustation menu of 8 dishes at $140 per person.
We were offered either Sourdough rolls, that looked a little like muffins, or Rye rolls. We chose one of each. These came with butter and salt to our table. However the Sourdough rolls did not taste freshly baked and had become stale, the crust was also almost impossible to cut into.
I chose the Roast Suckling Pig with Morcilla, Sweet and Sour Shallots and Parsnip. which I was informed was ‘almost their signature dish’ according to the waitress. I had called up before arriving that day to inform the kitchen that I had food allergies, and they still recommended that I choose this dish so I was wrapped about that. On the whole, they were very accommodating to my food allergies, going though each dish on the menu and informing me how it could be altered to meet my needs.
However when my dish came out to the table, I have to admit, I was a little underwhelmed. The pork skin was beautifully crisp, and the pork was succulent and moist. But in between these two elements was about a centimetre of pork fat, not really a pleasant dining experience, it felt a little like having you mouth coated in slime. I spent a good portion of my time trying to remove this fat from the salty skin. But I have to say that the shallots where delectable, they melted in your mouth and filled it with a perfectly balanced mix of sweet and sour flavours.
The other diner chose the Wild Barramundi with prawn, young garlic, pickled pine mushrooms and nettle. The diner loved the presentation of this dish, it was truly an artwork on a plate. The Barramundi was falling to pieces under the fork. Each small element of this dish boasted a full flavour and the diner particularly enjoyed the addition of nettle to her dish.
We also ordered a salad of Mixed leaves, cucumber, spring onion and buttermilk dressing and honestly, I want the recipe! The dressing was creamy but without the tangy flavour of mayo. It was a perfect palate refresher and a mild accompaniment to our main dishes.
Unfortunately despite the offer of a specially prepared allergy free desert dish, we were full from our main courses and just chose to end our night with coffee.
There was not a moment in Cutler and Co were our needs were not being attended to. Glasses were constantly being replenished and the waitstaff were patient and friendly. To top it all off, guests are offered an after dinner Petit Fours before leaving.
All in all, even though I was disappointed with my dish, the experience was top notch!