Lûmé is a restaurant that encourages its guests to enjoy its food using the taste and smell organs, rather than through flowery menu descriptions and the horrible blight on fine dining that is tableside smartphone photography. The written tasting menu only arrives at the end, bringing in an element of mystery into the South Melbourne restaurant’s dining experience, and although your Instagram followers may miss out on your snaps of the spectacle, you’ll be giving it your undivided attention.
Co-owners and head chefs Shaun Quade and John-Paul Fiechtner put on a tasting menu of between 18 and 20 courses in Lûmé’s 40-seat restaurant, while the bar area seating the saem number has it own dedicated menu on traditional lines. Although the tasting dishes are constantly evolving, they do have locally-sourced Australian produce as a unifying factor. Local design firm Studio Y transformed the former “burlesque lounge” into the far more respectable place we see today. A vertical herb garden and lime trees provide the freshness of living greenery and a jolt of colour against a pale and earthy backdrop of wood, clay, concrete and light marble.