GT reader dinner: Lûmé, Melbourne

Author: Maggie Scardifield
Photography: Peter Tarasiuk

"Sea corn and dairy cow", "meat hen in chamomile" - Shaun Quade and John Paul Fiechtner don't like to give too much away, judging by the menu at their new South Melbourne restaurant, Lûmé. "We're a fine-dining restaurant, but I hate calling it that," says Quade. "We like playing around with people's perceptions a little more than what's expected."

Technique and imagination are the most valuable players at Lûmé, which should come as no surprise, given the time Quade clocked at Quay and Biota, and Fiechtner spent at Le Chateaubriand in Paris and Hong Kong's Bo Innovation.

"A lot of people are scared of technique-driven food," says Fiechtner. "For us flavour always comes first, and then we play around with it."

For this month's Fine Dining Lovers' reader dinner, Lûmé presents a five-course tasting menu (with a few surprises in between), alongside matching wines chosen by sommelier Sally Humble.

A dish of emu and pearl is a playful start, with pearl meat mimicking a dinosaur's egg, the emu cured with salt and miso. Chamomile-brined chicken is up next, followed by Lûmé's "more Australian" version of a deconstructed black pudding, using lamb's blood along with native Tanami apples and their skins.

And to end the evening? A simple piece of nutmeg, of course. Well, we wouldn't be too sure.

Join us for dinner at 6.30pm on Monday 28 September at Lûmé, 226 Coventry St, South Melbourne, Vic. The cost of $150 per person includes five-plus courses, wines by the glass, Sanpellegrino water and a $10 donation to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. To book, call (03) 9690 0142. For more on the OCRF, call 1300 OVARIAN or visit

Lûmé menu
* Sour brioche
* Spelt pretzel

* Emu and pearl
Uehara Shuzo "Soma no Tengu" Usunigori, Shiga, Japan

* Sea corn and dairy cow
2011 Bannockburn Chardonnay, Geelong

* Artichoke and praline

* Meat hen cooked in chamomile
1999 Nakano BC "Chokyu" Koshu, Wakayama, Japan

* Lamb's blood ganache
Custard & Co barrel-aged, special-release apple cider liqueur

* Artichoke and praline

* Cacao pod from Maralumi
Simão & Co Vintage Fortified, Rutherglen

* A simple piece of nutmeg


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