Cumulus Inc

June 13, 2012

45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Went to Cumulus on Monday for a bourgeois Queen’s Birthday lunch with Miss M. We had an absolute ball chatting about people and places – I’m off to the States soon so M (who is American) was giving me tips. Cumulus was, as usual, packed, but we perched at the bar and watched the chefs masterfully prepare the dishes. Also as expected, the food was awesome.

A repeat from my last visit (couldn’t help myself, it’s just. that. good), the tuna tartare, was once again brilliant. The thick and meaty tuna goes so well with those sweet peas, and visually it’s a beautiful dish.

From the charcuterie section we picked out a pheasant terrine with pickled rhubarb. Not bad, it had a delicate flavour and went well with a spot of mustard, though I would have preferred more of a gamey flavour to it. I think deep down I was hankering for some foie gras or bresola (sold out, unfortunately).

The dish of the day was the roast Aylesbury duck breast with toasted grains, lentils and quince. SO GOOD. Initially I thought that only five small slices of duck was a tad stingy, but it turns out that there’s more shredded duck in that beautiful warm salad, along with crispy, bubbly pieces of duck skin, puffed rice, walnuts, lentils, freekah, quince paste and various other seeds. To paraphrase Miss M, if there was a bag of this bird food-esque mix available, I’d buy about a kilo of it and eat it for lunch everyday. It was nutty and sweet and crunchy in all the right places, and the duck breast was cooked perfectly tender.

We also shared a salad of spiced eggplant with sheep’s milk yoghurt and pomegranate. It was similar to a baba ghanoush, I suppose, very smokey and with a soft, skinless texture. The yoghurt and the pomegranate provided tangy bursts.

We finished, in true Cumulus style, with a pair of madelines and some cappacinos. We saw the madelines being piped and put into the oven, before being pumped full of tangy lemon curd. Being freshly made is the draw card, for me. They are soft, warm and fluffy inside, and outside has this wonderful crispy edge that sends tingles down your spine. The perfect way to end a fabulous meal!

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Filed under: European, Melbourne CBD, Modern