Sunday, June 14, 2009

June 10, 2009: Cumulus Inc

I had a quick jaunt overseas in the past week (for the record: Copenhagen's best vego meal is the buffet at Riz Raz, and Little India is where it's at in Singapore), and Cindy and I decided that I needed to ease back in to the working week here in Melbourne. So Wednesday morning was spent finally checking out Andrew McConnell's raging city success: Cumulus Inc. It's been reviewed all over the Melbourne food blogosphere, with the few breakfast-specific reviews gushingly positive. First thing to note: having breakfast in the city on a workday means you'll be underdressed if you're not wearing a suit.

McConnell has a history of catering impressively for vegos, so we were optimistic that Cumulus would serve us up some interesting treats. The menu caters reasonably well to those of us not up to the Full English (although it's worth noting that vegans may be left with only fruit salad or toast to choose from). I was tempted by the Cumulus breakfast (boiled egg, toast, preserves, yoghurt, organic orange juice and coffee, $16) but in the end couldn't resist the Turkish baked eggs (with spiced tomato, labne and dukkah, $14).

These were pretty impressive - soft yolked eggs and a swirl of well-combined flavours. I missed butter for my toast, but there's really no need for it when you're dunking it in an eggy mess. I think I've developed something of a crush on labne - it's use in Min Lokal's baked eggs first sucked me in, and these finished the job. For the record, I reckon Min Lokal's are still slightly better, but there's no shame coming second to my favourite breakfast in Melbourne.

A quick note on the coffee: it's outstanding. But don't just take my word for it, Melbourne's most prolific coffee blogger agrees.

Cindy bafflingly maintains her anti-coffee agenda, instead ordering a banana smoothie ($7). It was enjoyable, but not $7 enjoyable. Unless they're using diamond-studded bananas, I suspect we could make our own version of this for about $2.50. That'll teach her to boycott coffee.

For her breakfast, Cindy went the healthy route: strawberry & watermelon salad with rosewater, mint, pomegranate & yoghurt ($11). In a similar vein to my breakfast, this was excellent but suffered from comparison. Cindy couldn't help comparing this dish with the watermelon salad at Hellenic Republic, which she thought was marginally more enjoyable.

I think the real reason that Cindy had been keen to visit Cumulus Inc was the possibility of breakfast dessert. They have a cabinet chock-full of scrumptious looking sweet treats, but we couldn't go past the baked-to-order breakfast madeleines filled with lemon curd ($2.50), which have been raved about elsewhere. They're well worth the 15 minute wait.

It's taken us a long time to get to Cumulus Inc - we're clearly not at the cutting edge of Melbourne food-bloggery - but it was worth the wait. Great food, excellent friendly service and not unreasonable prices. If I worked in the city I'd be there for coffee every day, but Cindy and I are more likely to revisit Min Lokal or Hellenic Republic if we're after something a bit fancy for a weekend brekkie.

Address: 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Ph: 9650 1445
Price: $6-$16


  1. I'm not cutting edge food blogger either when it comes to eating out (or in) but I do covet that wonderful toast!

  2. The coffee is SO good. I hardly ever drink coffee and I had TWO.

    The baked eggs for me were kinda "meh". Never mind.