24 Feb Lulos’ Imaginative Combinations
This is sophisticated food, a creative blend of Spanish and South American flavours, a blend of the European old world and the new world. As maitre de Corban Hill says, the South American tapas’ are “definitely not authentic” but they “used licence to create modern flavours.” The result is often delicious, always intriguing.
The Lulo fare opened with Tasmanian oysters in coriander pickle. This was followed by Queensland (sustainably fished, apparently) Spanner Crab in a mix of pickled garlic, avocado, Avruga Caviar and lemon air. It tasted like a gorgeous, citrus flavoured cloud as it passes over the sea, a delicate blend of air and water.
The paprika bread combined chewiness with traditional spice, perfectly rounded off with olive oil. Further food refracted through the traditions of Spain came in the form of Jamon Iberico: Bellota Jamon aged 36 months and acorn fed from Salamanca. This was strong and pungent, suitably Iberian.
The culinary journey returned to South America with the arrival of the Cerviche Special. The ingredients were Yellowtail Kingfish and Hapuka cured with lime and blood orange plus Peruvian yellow chilli. The garnish consisted of blood orange, mandarin jelly and baby Coriander. This was fresh and sharp, a touch of culinary liberty. Where the Spanish jamon reminded of the dry weight of tradition, the Cerviche was reminiscent of South American freedom.
The shredded pork special consisted of confit pork: guindilla wrapped in Serano jamon and served on a picatoste (pig in a blanket). The use of pomegranate to balance the saltiness here was most skilful. Next was a waygu beef tartare which was dressed with Mojo (Red chilli sauce from Mallorca) served with crispy cassava and pickles. The cassava chips were delicious but the wagyu did not entirely convince.
It was back to South America with bone lamb cutlets, which were served with chimmichurri sauce, injected with Sobrasada (chorizo paste) all on a puree of smoked eggplant. This combination of strong meat flavours with subtle eggplant puree delivers a stimulating combination.
The meal ended with crema catalana, a cinnamon and lime custard with spun sugar was accompanied with churros and a chocolate dipping sauce. A lovely mix of the sweet and the Moorish.
This is a genuine fusion of cuisines, a creative mix of long history and new taste adventures. It is not cheap, but quality like this never is.
Lulos: 798 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn. Ph: (03) 9818 8321