Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cumulus Inc. (Melbourne) - ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

   Chef Andrew McConnell’s restaurants have always been popular,  being a Melbourne icon definitely helps.  Golden Fields is packed to the brim everyday,  the food there is decent although I had an issue of the authenticity/mislabeling of some dishes there.    When 1 Hatted Cumulus Inc. opened just a few years ago,  the wait for a table here (no reservations) was easily 1 to 2 hours,  sometimes you won’t even get one   A few years and 2 more opened restaurants later and despite all serving different foods,  the line is still as long as ever.   The only restaurant which can compete with its unwaning popularity is Chin Chin down the road.    Cumulus Inc. is a favourite of mine for a casual meal at night or for breakfast.   Like the previous restaurant,  Andrew also loves to use all parts of an animal to cook his meals,  although we didn’t try most of these dishes during my 2 visits.  How unfortunate as I miss his smoked tongues and pigs tails, etc.




On Flinders Lane… 
Easy to access in the city


2009 Sebastien Brunet ‘Arpent’ Vouvray Sec – AUD $14.50



Affinage Oysters Farmed by Moonlight Flat Oysterage, Batemans Bay, NSW -
These are some of the best rock oysters in Australia but hardly exported,  and right up there with French and Scottish standards in the growing process.  The Rusty Wire (left) is my favourite with a crunchy texture and minerality, the Label Rouge (right) was more sweeter which was the opposite of what we were expecting.   They didn’t carry the Angasi type tonight which is the Australian equivalent of a Belon oyster.




Foie Gras Parfait with Toasted Brioche and House Dried Raisin -  $17
This has been a gras parfait that I really missed,  it’s so smooth with just the right amount of gras and other seasonings/alcohol taste.   It’s strange how no one quite make it quite like these guys.  A 2nd revisit ordering the same had a similar but slightly weaker piece.   ~  9/10



Some Beers and Ciders -




(Half Portion) Boudin Noir, Smoked Tomato & Parsley Salad – $7
Served on a crispy crostino.  This is a very lovely boudin noir and has always been my favourite.  Made in a real ‘pudding’ way, this actually has no meat or fillers like rice, fat or bread.  The blood flavour is clean but slightly bold,  pairing well with the smoky tomato.  ~  8/10



Warm Jerusalem Artichoke Salad,  Truffled Buttermilk,
with Celery Heart – $17
The taste was good,  but the Jerusalem Artichoke tubers were way too oily and probably a little too soft – which spoiled the dish a little.  Loved the truffled buttermilk sauce though.  ~  5/10




Confit Leg and Roast Breast of Aylesbury Duck,  Grilled Leeks Mustard & Prune -  $36
This surprisingly came without any sauce but only the condiments on the side.  Luckily the duck breast were evenly pink and very tasty tender, albeit a bit tepid.  The leg confit was better in the temperature's regard,  which ate well with the leeks mustard.   We thought the plate should have be warmed up more,  a problem we found with some warm dishes here,  and just a bit of sauce would have been nicer.   ~   7/10


2007 Clos Guirouilh Petit & Gros Manseng -  Dessert Wine $14
This is one of my favourite sweet wines from the Rhone Valley.   Can’t rave enough about it,  as it is so clean tasting but not too sticky and sickly sweet like a lot of Sauternes/Beaumes-de-Venise or Ice Wines, or the funky late harvest Rieslings, etc.   For comparison, this to me is just sweeter than a Vouvray demi-sec.   It’s what I need to wind down a night sometimes!  Nice and Subtle : )


The strongest point about Cumulus Inc. is that the food is cooked right.  The recipes aren’t fanciful but they are always interesting enough for what is gastropub style of accessible food.  Some of the other nose-to-tail dining options here are also decent.   There were however 2 problems we discovered.   The hot food turned cold too quickly,  as the plates weren’t warm.  2ndly we didn’t order any desserts,  because quality seems to have gone downhill compared to before -  as we saw very ordinary or under-baked madeleines being handed out,  was a bit shocked at that.. 




Price:  Around AUD $60 to $80
Ease of Access:   5/5 (in the City
Food:  ♕♕♕♕1/2 – ♕♕♕♕♕ 

Opening Hours -
Mon to Fri 7am – 11pm 
Sat to Sun 8am - 11pm

Address:  45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000.
(03)9650 1445


  1. i never been to cumulus for a while. the last time we were here, madeleines were perfect. maybe it was because we were the only customers that time (7.30am in the morning!)

  2. I remembered having great and perfect Madeleines here too in the past (but that was probably 2.5 years ago lol!).

    I wanted to show my friend how good they can be on my 2nd visit (I ordered nearly exactly the same dishes on my 2nd visit as my friend doesn't eat organs, hmmm). But the desserts on the night handed out to others were really on the dismal side.

    Actually truth be told, I never managed to order the dishes I miss the most here on both occasions, how sad is that? I did however get to eat the Boudin Noir twice, as a consolation since I've always missed that. And that dessert wine I got, was still great as usual after a few years. If I had to choose again I will sweep the menu and the lamb, just so that I could re-judge the whole place arrrgghh.... *devastated* umm



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