6 October 2008

Cumulus Inc.

45 Flinders Lane
Ph: (03) 9650 1445 (no bookings)
Open: weekdays 7am - 11pm and Saturday 9am-11pm

Getting caught up in the Cumulus hype, that’s easy. Getting a table, now that’s another matter entirely.

Since Andrew McConnell opened his latest venture in Flinders Lane only a few months ago, crowds have been flocking. For breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night snacks, Cumulus Inc is pressing the right buttons. But thanks to the no-bookings policy, you’ve got to be snappy – or incredibly lucky – to get a table or a seat at the bar.

Given that, kate and zoe decided to go against everything our bodies were telling us and get up early for a pre-work breakfast. And yes, it was worth it.

Cumulus has one of those menus that make you wish you could eat three meals in the one sitting because it’s just so hard to pick just one. I’m normally a bacon and eggs gal for breakfast but at Cumulus there’s just too many tempting options to stick with the norm.

But in the end the Turkish baked eggs, spiced tomato, dukkah and labne ($14) won out and it was the right choice. The gooey egg had just the right amount of run, the tomatoes the perfect amount of spice the labne, the right amount of tang.

Sitting perched at Cumulus’ bar just makes you feel cool simply by association, which is why I decided to ignore the waistline and order a baked-to-order Madeline filled with lemon curd ($2.50) for a breakfast dessert. Divine. Why the hell don’t I start every day with one of these???

- zoe

Bircher muesli ($8) at Cumulus is top notch. With grated granny smith apple and almonds, it is the perfect consistency - deliciously moist and refreshing, without a hint of dryness. It's just a shame that the serve is not bigger, it's so good.

Toast and spreads ($6) is a generous serve of four pieces of chunky sour dough baked perfectly toasted, accompanied by four Cunliffe and Waters preserves from the Yarra Valley, cutely presented in little glass jars. Simple but perfectly done.

A glass of freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice ($6) and a pot of traditional Russian Caravan tea washed it down. The chrome pot the tea was served in was breathtaking in its design.

A glimpse of Andrew McConnell entering the open plan kitchen and getting to work raised our excitement levels another notch. Here's a chef that still gets his hands dirty in what's been described as his "side project" to his Carlton restaurant Three, Two, One.

Other breakfast dishes we're keen to try include toasted pain d'epices with banana and walnut ($10), crusty white bread sandwich, bacon, egg, tomato, avocado and lemon mayonnaise ($12), Tom Cooper's smoked salmon, 65/65 egg, sorrel, apple and dill ($16) and the full English with farmhouse slab bacon, blood sausage on toast, fried eggs and smoked tomato ($18).

A takeaway cabinet offers freshly baked muffins and breakfast rolls, and a busy barista pumps out organic, fair trade coffee.

French champagne is cleverly included on the menu, with a choice of NV Marc Chauvet Brut or Rilly-la-Montagne ($19.50) along with a bloody mary, organic orange juice, Harcourt apple juice and banana smoothie. What more could you ask for in a breakfast menu?

The interior of Cumulus is fantastic, in an old warehouse space with huge iron window panes, white walls, soaring ceilings, dark timber floors and a mix of banquette seats, regular tables and shared tables with stools, plus two bench spaces - one overlooking Flinders Lane and the other overlooking the kitchen and Andrew and his team at work.

The feel is very Melbourne.

- kate


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had lunch there on grand final day - food was great, the staff were organised and the meal wasn't rushed. Great the see the owner in the kitchen as well.

It was a great way to grab a bite to eat before walking over through the gardens to the game. As you say very Melbourne!