When it comes to celebrating, my family likes to eat. In fact, every occasion from birthdays and anniversaries to exam results and home comings are honoured with a meal - preferably at a great Melbourne restaurant - although sometimes around the kitchen table at home.
So last night we set out to celebrate my brother's 21st birthday at Cutler and Co.
This is no longer the "awesome new" restaurant in Melbourne, and most of my family members had already been without me :( but it was my first time, and based on the number of positive blog reviews I've read about it here, here and here, I was expecting a lot... and I wasn't disappointed.
My sister and I (and possibly someone else on the table but I was too busy inhaling food to take too much notice) both ordered the entree special: Yabbies with potato and truffle remoulade and shaved Yarra Valley truffles. It was in a word, exquisite. The julienne potatoes were al dente - even slightly crunchy, like a more traditional celeriac remoulade but with a milder flavour. The yabbies were just barely cooked and fantastically sweet - offset perfectly by the deep earthy rich truffle. One of those dishes you have to keep reminding yourself to eat slower and savour.
Mains took a really long time to get to the table, but we were placated with some delicious seedy bread and butter and another bottle of beautiful pinot noir - The Acre something from Mornington Peninsula.
I ordered the silver beet, pine nut and potato pastry which was satisfying but not as mind blowing as the entree. The pastry was perfect, not too buttery yet not dry, but the flavours of the filling were just a little bit ordinary - not bad, just not spectacular. The dish was served with a cute little "private" salad of (we think) fennel, mint, cabbage, dill and some orange juice, I was glad of the personal salad because the one on the menu that we ordered for the table was little more than some chopped up lettuce with vinaigrette - not very impressive.
Again there was a fairly long wait for desserts - I ordered the now famous chocolate ice cream sandwich with salty caramel. I must admit, as a kid I was never a fan of the much loved Monaco bar, it was just crappy vanilla ice cream between two soggy biscuits and so I was a little nervous but a single mouthful induced lots of hand clapping and squealing and then, reverential silence as I diligently scraped the bowl clean.
Overall, everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meal and the service was lovely, very attentive, friendly and warm which is always a pleasant surprise in uber-cool places.
I have to apologise for the lack of photos - I'm not yet in the habit of lugging my camera around with me everywhere... I'll get better though, I promise.
Alright, I think I'm going to go cook myself some kale, a underated humble vegetable that is the perfect antidote to too much salty caramel.