Anything that chef Andrew McConnell touches turns to gold. With his indisputable Midas touch already valued in spades thanks to the Builders Arms Hotel, Cutler & Co., and the soon-to-be Supernormal, Flinders Lane's Cumulus Inc. is all part of the McConnell experience — and is one definitely not to miss.
Cumulus Inc. is a sensory dream. A seamless mix of outstanding food and beautiful design, it's an encounter that makes good note of the self-professed 'eating house and bar' as truly that — a place to drop by any time of the day. With the expansive warehouse windows transporting you anywhere from New York's Meatpacking District to the narrow laneways of Paris' Montmartre, the space still remains inherently Melbourne, embellished with fine black details and an expansive marble bar.
Consistently awarded one chef hat by The Age Good Food Guide since 2010, Cumulus Inc. caters for every desire and occasion from breakfast to dinner. A solo early morning coffee, a celebratory dinner or even a few after work drinks (upstairs at Cumulus Up) are all yours for the taking. With service that is intuitive, the experience is even better; taking your time is welcomed, not discouraged.
Thanks to a modern Australian slant, the beauty of Cumulus Inc. lies in its elegant restraint. Dishes are unembellished, executed effortlessly and source only the finest of local produce to do so. Come waking hours the house made crumpets, whipped ricotta and rooftop honey ($10) are decadent, whilst the house breakfast — a boiled egg, toast, preserves, yoghurt, orange juice, coffee and tea ($16) — proves that sometimes the originals are the best. Such beautiful simplicity continues throughout the day, with the corn-fed chicken breast with puffed rice, pearl barley and sorrel ($34) easily a dinner party favourite.
Whatever you do though, a visit to Cumulus remains incomplete without sampling their infamous madeleines ($2.50 each). Baked to order to arrive at your table filled with runny lemon curd and oozing with steam, they're an absolute delight. Pair them with a coffee or, even better, a glass of champagne.
Cumulus Inc. is a reliable gem in the city's crown. If you are yet to visit, get to it. It'll remind you why Melbourne is one of the best cities in the world.