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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dinner @ Cutler and Co

We're joining Elle and Al for a double feature tonight - dinner at Cutler & Co followed by Star Trek. By the end of the evening we've found the answer to the following question: What's the difference between the new Star Trek movie and Cutler and Co? One is over-hyped and over-rated and the other is a Star Trek movie.

I know some people can be very sensitive about what they read, especially when it is of a place they are attached to. If you are one of these people I suggest you stop reading now to spare yourself the aggravation. If you decide to ignore this warning and then feel the need to vent your spleens by leaving anonymous abusive comments, realise one thing, you are not anonymous.

With that said, let me continue with our experience.

We have all been looking forward to trying out Cutler and Co and finally an opportunity arose. We have an early booking for dinner before the movie. We want to leave by 8pm and the restaurant wants us to leave by 8pm.

Cutler & Co is divided into three spaces, the large front bar, the elegant middle section and Siberia an area between the toilets and the back alley. Perhaps it was a product of this location but managing to catch the attention of flittering staff proved to be a problem. As we sat there with menus closed, heads craning like meerkats on the watch, it was only through chance that we finally got to order our wine.

An added bonus of this location is that while you dine you will serenaded by the sounds of bins being wheeled down the lane.

After another wait followed by the set spiel on the up-selling of entrees and mains that take more than an hour to cook we did manage to order.


Cutler & Co© by Haalo
Scallop with Jerusalem artichoke soup, almond foam - the soup is poured at the table

Cutler & Co© by Haalo
tuna with horseradish "snow" - the lovely pale slices to the right are tuna belly and to the left are slices of regular tuna. While it looks very pretty, this did not work - the horseradish snow was so overpowering you couldn't taste the tuna let alone appreciate its texture.


Cutler & Co© by Haalo

Our table ordered two servings of this pork belly and it was amusing that it came out in what could only be described as his and hers sized servings. While I can understand that servings can't be identical when there's such a disparity you can only look quizzically and laugh.

Cutler & Co© by Haalo

a plate of duck bits and pieces

Cutler & Co© by Haalo

Mushroom tart with burrata. It's hard to actually fathom how so many things are wrong with this dish.

It's obvious we don't mind deconstructed food but this is a dish that needed quotation marks around the word tart. Those two shards are the tart although there was one other piece, a stodgy soaked segment resting in the middle of the mushrooms, the taste and texture of tepid cardboard.

The burrata was mysteriously warm on the top, the mushroom at the top of the pile had one side warm and the other side going from cold to tepid - had it been sitting underneath a heating lamp?

The plate had no heat in it and those mushrooms found resting against the plate were cold. Call it quirky but nothing puts us off food quicker than having it served at these uneven temperatures.

From food to service:
We'd ordered two bottles of wine and while they were initially poured no-one returned to top up. It was left to us to ask for our wine, to which the waiter replied, that it was all gone but they would check. Needless to say he returned with said bottles that mysteriously still had wine in them.

We were also left wondering at the sight of a waiter being pulled by the elbow from our table as they were setting down our side dishes. I don't know, if the waiter is doing something wrong, take them aside and fix it, you just don't physically drag them away.


Cutler & Co© by Haalo
The famous Ice cream sandwich with salted caramel - besides having an amusing resemblance to a "snot block" there really wasn't anything stunning about this - the much lauded salted caramel seemed to be missing the salt. The effect was a rather too sweet dessert.

Cutler & Co© by Haalo

lemon cake

Cutler & Co© by Haalo

pear and suet pudding

When it came to bill time, like most of the evening, it was up to us to fetch it - after all, we needed to leave at 8 and supposedly they wanted us gone too but if it was up to the staff, we would probably still be waiting for it. On the way out it was also interesting to note that there were two vacant tables for 4 in the middle section as well as other tables in our section.

For a place that has been so lauded and for a place we'd all been positive about, the evening left us all reluctant to return. Actually, I can pretty much say that we would not go back to the restaurant, there are far better places with far better food to visit.

The details:

Cutler & Co
55-57 Gertrude Street

Phone: 9419 4888

Tuesday - Sunday: Dinner from 6pm
Friday: Lunch from 12pm
Sunday: Lunch from 12pm

Tuesday to Sunday - 4pm to midnight


There is one thing worse than the food, it has to be the website.

Cutler & Co on Urbanspoon


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