Moonlight shines with Steve Feletti Masterclass at Cumulus Inc

Cummulus Inc
45 Flinders Ln, Melbourne
03 9650 1445

I have recently taken a liking to oysters and have become quite addicted to it.  Since Hubby is an oyster fan too, I thought it would be good to take him to an oyster Masterclass event organised by Cumulus Inc.  I called up to check what’s on the menu and was told that there will be four courses of oysters and one dessert, with matching wines for $95.

On that night, I walked into the Arc 1 Gallery, where Cumulus Inc hold events and corporate dinner.  There were rows of shared tables with sharp suited men and well dressed ladies… Then there was me.  I felt a little out of place.  Is this the crowd that normally goes to events like this?  I felt like I am in a gallery opening in New York, a la Sex and the City.

First course arrived promptly at about 6:40pm and it was a sandwich.  We got exactly half a watercress sandwich with anchovy. This must be a joke.  No oysters.  I thought we were  promised 4 courses of oysters and one dessert (without oyster).  Erm… Is this an appetizer?  Nope, it’s clearly written on the menu: nasturtium sandwich with Montpellier butter… What’s with all these fancy word for watercress? it felt like we’ve been ripped off from the beginning.

Second course- I finally got some oysters- half a dozen of different kinds of oysters so you can really taste the different flavours.  From left to right: the first one Was salty and fishy with grains of sand in it… Ick.  The second one was better, with a sweeter flavour which I quite like.  The third one was creamy and salty, the next one was creamy, slightly salty and quite sweet.  My second last oyster tasted a bit bland but creamy, and the last one was just gawd awful cos it tasted like rubbish water.  As a beginner oyster lover, I thought it was great to try different oysters.  Now I figure out that I really like a creamier sweet flavour over salty ones.  Readers: have you got any recommendation of yummy creamy sweet oysters?

Third course-Thomas Keller’s oyster and pearls.  I thought the concept of this dish was interesting.  Served in a tiny glass, the caviar and tapioca forms the “pearls”.  The whole dish was rich and buttery.  The only letdown was the oyster, which is wayyyy too salty.  With the third course being such a tiny dish, we began to wonder whether we needed to have KFC tonight.  I remembered going to a Clinque dinner event and in the toilet every one complained about the small portions of food and what they were going to eat after.  As I looked around at all the well heeled size six ladies around me, I seriously doubt if such conversation would be heard here.  Some tables even left their bread plates untouched, which we eyed on it jealously.  I think we eventually asked for more bread, and between hubby, myself and a stout suit we shoved as many bread into our gobs as possible.

Gawd, the fourth dish was probably the worst.  Some huge sausage with cold oysters.  I seriously don’t get this dish.  Incongruent was the first word that popped into my head when I saw this.  WTF?  Is this too Avant-garde for me? The hot sausage and the cold oyster, the strong sausage flavours matched with the subtlest of oysters… And we are supposed to have the sausage first.  Mind bending.  Maybe its an ode to some sort of sex ritual with the sausage representing the male organ and oyster representing the female bits?  The wine is worse- the smell and taste of it is like some Chinese medicine you rub on your bruises.  Continuing this theme of avant-grade sexual representation this might have been for the carpet burns or bruises  from silk scarves.  Who knows?  It’s just friggin weird.

Last course was supposed to be dessert.  But it’s as if the beautiful patrons need more laxatives and veg to keep them skinny, we got prune cake w chocolate ice cream  and parsnip.  It’s not bad, but it ain’t that great either.

Maybe I am too spoilt by Fringe Food Fest.  I really expected that if I paid $95 per head I would get the best ingredients, mind-blowing menu, a feast.  What I got was crap and for that I am giving Cumulus Inc 3/10 for this visit.  Shame on you Cumulus Inc.  I expected so much more.

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