For those who love suckling pig, I believe I have found the best tasting roast suckling pig on Earth. Imagine a perfect rectangular cut, a glossy thin layer of crackling that is consistently crisp right to the edge and just the perfect amount of fat in between a juicy slow-cooked tile of pork. The roast suckling pig at this Gertrude Street eatery is as good as it gets.

Cutler and Co, Melbourne - inside the restaurant

But it’s not the only thing you should come to Cutler & Co for. Andrew McConnell has really worked his magic on a phenomenal menu which pairs lots of love and dedication with some superb cooking techniques and the best produce in an understated casual type of way.
In an inviting industrial set up, this bistro is non-pretentious and all about the delicious.

Cutler and Co, Melbourne - bread, Jennifer Lam and Zen Huang at the restaurant, cocktail

It is as popular for drinks as it is for lunch and dinner, with highlights in the cocktail menu including the colada ($18) which consists of Cachaca, flamed pineapple and toasted coconut and the after five ($18), a vivid blend of Canadian Club with Antica Formula, apricot and kaffir. I have the sartre ($18), a mix of Cariel vanilla vodka with ginger, apple and chilli. It is fruity and refreshing but unfortunately not hot at all.

Cutler and Co, Melbourne - moonlight flat oysters, clair de lune and rusty wire

The structure of the menu is ingenious. There’s the a la carte section of appetisers, entree, main and desserts, a section dedicated to things for sharing, and another section called ‘additional’ which has two options – a selection of entrees (giving you the first half of the degustation) or the menu selection, an eight course degustation. I love the flexibility of being able to taste most of the starters while getting a full serve of a main course of our choice. It is perfect for those who like me, don’t like full blown degustations which go on for far too many hours.
In addition to the selection of appetisers ($39 per person), my boyfriend Zen and I also opt for a couple of Moonlight Flat Oysters each. Moonlight Flat Oysters are cultivated in the tidal estuary of the river near the town of Batesman Bay. Various sites in the estuary are carefully selected for oyster cultivation, throughout their stages of growth. This determines their unique flavour, texture and size. We try the Clair de Lune Bouton ($4 each) which has an exquisite flavour, the Moonlight en Surface ($4 each) which is finished closer to the surface under a flotation process, giving it a softer and cleaner taste and The Rusty Wire ($4.50 each), which is whatever oyster is ready for harvest that day, and is bolder in flavour.
First course in the selection of entrees is cured kingfish served with horseradish snow, pickled cucumber, shaved calamari and dill oil. The icy cold snow is sensational and adds a level of fresh vibrancy to this dish.

Cutler and Co, Melbourne - cured kingfish, horseradish snow and dill oil

Next we have a flavoursome amuse bouche; a combination of octopus, chorizo, aioli, and smoked paprika served on crisp bread and topped with pickled garlic on one end, and pickled ginger on the other. It is a simple dish executed really well.
Following that is the pressed quail terrine, foie gras cigar, orange and pistachio. The slab of terrine is delicious but the crunchy and robust foie gras cigar and accompanying radicchio and witlof are what stands out.
At the same time, the next course is served. It is a heirloom tomato salad with marinated vegetables, fromage blanc and tarragon. The saltiness of the olive and almond paste in this dish helps accentuate the natural flavours of the heirloom tomatoes and is balanced well with basil and creamy fromage blanc.

Cutler and Co, Melbourne - selection of entrees, heirloom tomato salad with marinated vegetables, fromage blanc and tarragon, pressed quail terrine with foie gras cigar, orange and pistachio and pickled garlic , pickled ginger, smoked paprika, octopus, aioli and chorizo

For the main course, Zen has the pan roast John Dory ($39) which is crisp-skinned and and stunningly aromatic. It is served with a small pan of deliciously braised surf clams, chorizo and cuttlefish.

Cutler and Co, Melbourne - pan roast john dory, surf clams, chorizo and cuttlefish braise

Meanwhile, I’m sitting here hoping this slab of roast suckling pig ($43) never ends. Thankfully the serving size is rather generous and I’m able to prolong the experience of eating the best roast pork I’ve ever had. On the side, I’ve got a small pot of cubed parsley root, turnip and plum that heightens the rustic essence of this dish.

Cutler and Co, Melbourne - the best suckling pig on earth

Cutler and Co, Melbourne - roast suckling pig, parsley root, turnip and plum

Dessert is a tough choice between the crowd-pleasing chocolate ice cream sandwich with vanilla parfait and salted caramel ($17) and the poached figs with bay leaf, rice milk custard, strawberries and rose ($17). I end up with the latter; the figs and strawberries are luscious and sweet and the rose adds a delicate tone to the overall taste. It is simply divine!

Cutler and Co, Melbourne - dessert

I highly recommend Cutler & Co for any occasion – a casual meal or a celebratory dinner, it won’t disappoint! And if you’re a suckling pig lover… From one foodie to another, I advise you to get yourself there. Now.
Cutler & Co.
55 – 57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, VIC
Phone: (03) 9419 4888
Web: www.cutlerandco.com.au

Cutler & Co on Urbanspoon

  • i’m really sad i missed dining at the very recommended Cutler & Co 🙁 but it’s really good to see what the dishes look like and that you enjoyed it. hopefully next time i won’t miss out. it will be high on my wish list. at least i got to try his other restaurant Cumulus Inc 🙂

  • Oh I’m a little disapointed this place is in Melbourne. I really wanted suckling pig to be in Sydney so I could enjoy it.

  • haha, I was getting all excited about this new place I’d never heard of and then reading down and finding it’s in Melbourne – aargghh!! Oh well, another excuse to make travel plans!

  • Jen

    Awww sorry about that! I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in Melbourne recently and am so in love with everything it has to offer, including this amazing roast suckling pig. By the way, Jetstar just advertised another airfare sale!

  • Jen

    I agree, it’s quite sad it’s so far away. Andrew McConnell needs to open a restaurant in Sydney!

  • Jen

    Are you planning on blogging about Cumulus Inc? I hope you do!

  • Hey Jenny!
    Thanks for the recommendation, we LOVED the pork belly and the foie gras cigar!

  • haha, I was the same. Intrigued – then Melb. Oh well, I’ll just keep it in mind for the next time I’m there. Melb really has that amazing and cozy mid range that seems to be lacking in Sydney.

  • Can you now go on the hunt for perfect roast pork in Sydney? 😉 The rectangle does look mighty perfect on the plate =D

  • Jen

    So glad you go to try it too! 😀

  • Jen

    I so agree! In fact, I’ve been seriously considering moving down to Melbourne for that!

  • Jen

    Hahahaha, I don’t think Sydney can compete with the serving portion of the suckling pig at Cutler & Co! I dunno, I’ve had quite a few good ones here but not as memorable!

  • Hahahaha, I don’t think Sydney can compete with the serving portion of the suckling pig at Cutler & Co! I dunno, I’ve had quite a few good ones here but not as memorable!
    LOL i think your right. The portions around here are woeful to put it lightly