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Cumulus Inc. Melbourne

2011 June 29
by Reemski

A long weekend in Melbourne, in Winter. I couldn’t wait. I haven’t had a proper holiday for coming up to three years, so these short breaks are a welcome respite from the daily grind. The reason for our trip was to check out the Tutankhamun Exhibition, but also an opportunity to get away before the baby comes.

Last time we stayed in Melbourne we stayed in St Kilda: funky and full of fun but miles from the city. This time we elected stay at the Sofitel in the city which allowed up a bit more leeway in terms of exploring.

One place I didn’t have to go far to find was Cumulus Inc, one of the stable of Andrew McConnell’s trendy Melbourne restaurants. First we tried going for dinner, and we couldn’t get in, so I arranged to meet a couple of Melbourne based girlfriends for breakfast first thing on Saturday morning instead.

I got there first and was quickly seated. The space is really light and bright with an industrial edge. Very funky. Once the girls arrived, our coffee orders were taken promptly while we looked over the menu. I liked that the menu was fairly short. Some eggs a couple of different ways, granola and muesli, toast and jams, a reuben, and some delicious baked goods.

The girls both opted for the Grilled Lyonnaise sausage with smoked ham hock and beans and a 65/65 egg (an egg poached for 65 minutes at 65°C)

This delicious pile of beans and smoky ham topped off with this creamy egg was just divine. Very smoky, so be warned those that aren’t keen on that type of flavour/aroma. Comforting and rib sticking is what I call this breaky.

I couldn’t pass by the Shakshouka, baked eggs with roasted capsicum, tomato and fetta…

I had no trouble at all mopping up these eggs, and for those of you who know me, know that this is one of my favourite breaky dishes.

There were only two dud issues with this meal: first, my second coffee: it was a decaf and utterly undrinkable. It smelt like chemicals! Now, seriously, I know it’s my own fault for ordering a decaf, but why are they so horrendous???? The other issue was the placing of the bill on our table, indicating that they wanted us out!

The next morning, after having an enormous meal at the recently savaged Grossi Florentino , I wandered downstairs to breakfast on my own with the paper. I was again seated promptly, this time at the bar over looking the kitchen. A prime viewing spot for preparations. I decided on the lighter “cumulus inc breakfast” which is a boiled egg, toast, jams, coffee and orange juice and some yoghurt and poached fruit for $16. Lovely. I settled in and watched as my breaky was prepared:

Great coffee, lovely food. Lovely chefs in the kitchen! However, I was given a limited choice of cutlery and needed to ask for an additional knife so I didn’t contaminate my jam spreading knife with my egg knife. Maybe I’m just fussy?  And even though I was sitting at the end of the bar, the bill was dropped in front of me mere moments after I had put the last bite in my mouth. This time it was far more obvious that they wanted me gone…no second juice or hot chocolate, no time to linger over the paper, lickety split, they wanted me out. I was there for a grand total of around 45 minutes from the time I walked in till I walked out.

So thanks Cumulus for your fab food and great fit out, and good caffeinated coffee, but I won’t recommend that anyone visit if they’re looking for a relaxed breakfast!

Cumulus Inc
45 Flinders Lane
03 9650 1445
Cumulus Inc. on Urbanspoon
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6 Responses leave one →
  1. June 29, 2011

    I hate it when they rush you out. Good service when eating out is maybe more important than the food itself.

  2. June 30, 2011

    I’m rather disappointed by the whole ‘bill on the table’ thing. A place with the reputation that Culmulus Inc has should provide the whole experience. A boot out the door does not meet that criteria, regardless of how good the food and service was, and really turns me off. Shame, because I was looking forward to trying it on my next Melbourne jaunt.

  3. July 4, 2011

    I find their service very disappointing for the amount of money they charge (I went for dinner) – and what with the no booking thing. I’d stick to Cutler & Co. personally. At least you get decent food AND service.

  4. July 4, 2011

    Great to hear you had a nice trip to Melbourne! How was the exhibit?
    Too bad about the bill situation, but the food looks delish. I’ve been meaning to check this place out but just have too many on my Must-Eat list! Perhaps I’ll swing by for that yummy shakshouka.

  5. July 6, 2011

    No I don’t think you’re fussy at all — there’s no way I’d want to use my ‘eggy’ spoon on my jam toast. Shame your visit wasn’t perfection as there are lots of great brekky venues (or anytime venues, really) in Melbourne.

  6. August 7, 2011

    i kind of understand both sides there…you got seated promptly,….thats maybe because they have a policy of hurrying people along after they have eaten…so it kind of works both ways i suppose…its hard finding the line between the two sometimes…but with great food the seats are probably in demand. i think 45 minutes for breakfast in a busy cafe is probably the right amount of time…

    the knife thing is totally appropriate….egg and jam…no mixing there…

    great blog by the way…

    cheers matt

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