Lûmé’s high-concept, highly technical food often sets out to surprise and deceive, with dishes such as air-dried emu that looks like burnt eucalyptus; duck liver that looks like quince (and vice versa); and huge cocoa pods that burst open to reveal petit fours.
It’s a long way from where owner-chef Shaun Quade got his start – at a McDonald’s in Queensland. More recently he cooked at Biota Dining, Quay and the Royal Mail Hotel. It’s these experiences, of course, that inform the format and concept of Lûmé.
The full menu is only available at dinner and runs to at least a dozen pre-set courses. An abridged version of six or seven courses is served on weeknights and Saturday afternoons. Quade isn’t interested in playing it safe, so prepare to be challenged and delighted.
The same is true in the bar, where commercial soft drinks are replaced with house-made mountain pepper ale and roasted wattleseed cola. Cocktails could be made with mead; chilled tea; or Geraldton wax, a flowering plant native to WA.
Chardonnay, riesling, shiraz and pinot noir each get a full page on the wine list, but it’s otherwise refreshingly concise for a restaurant of this standing. It’s clear that plenty of thought has been put into it, rather than trying to make it everything to everyone.
The space is dressed in peach-coloured rendering and blonde wood, while tactical skylights provide an airy quality. The rear wall of the restaurant is entirely covered in edible herbs. It’s comfortable, inviting, warm and relaxing.