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HE BURST onto the scene serving cow udder and camel hump, but chef Shaun Quade wants his South Melbourne fine diner Lume to be known as more than the “weird restaurant”.
It joins 12 other top Victorian nosheries – old and new – serving up their signature dishes at Taste of Melbourne next month, when the ultimate pop-up returns to Albert Park.
Lume makes its event debut, along with Pickett’s Deli & Rotisserie, chef Scott Pickett’s new luxe deli in the Queen Vic Market, and Hotel Jesus, the long-awaited second venue from the Mamasita crew in Collingwood. Other newcomers are barbecue joint Fancy Hanks and Adelphi Hotel dessert bar Om Nom.
Returning favourites include Supernormal, Movida, Gazi and Circa, as well as Mamasita and Royal Mail defending the best dish crown they won jointly last year for their respective ceviche and duck fat ice cream. Quade hopes Taste of Melbourne will bring his food to a new legion of diners. “We’re a baby restaurant,” he says. “We’ve only been open 14 months and there are still people who live around the corner who are yet to discover us.
“We’re kinda known for our weird stuff but we don’t want that to put people off. We don’t sacrifice children! Nothing’s ever done for the shock value. It always comes back to taste and how delicious a dish is. When you taste it, it makes sense.”
At Taste of Melbourne, Lume will offer four dishes from its current menu. On the savoury side, sample a “seacorn” taco with crab and corn custard, and barbecued octopus in a broth with emu ham. Sweeter dishes will include an ice cream made using La Sirene Praline chocolate stout and a dessert featuring Meyer lemons.
Quade, Pickett and Guy Grossi will run cooking classes, and there are tastings, demonstrations and live entertainment. Last year, about 25,000 punters snacked and slurped their way through Taste of Melbourne, which started in 2008.
devouring smoked chicken and cheesecake