If there is any café that epitomises what a classic Melbournian eatery should be, it would have to be Cumulus Inc.
Located at the top end of Flinders Lane, this café eatery is the ‘smart casual’ of the brunch world, formal enough for a business meeting but smart enough for an overseas visitor.
Established by Melbourne-famous Andrew McConnell in 2008, this eatery has gone from strength to strength, and continues to be committed to perfecting its food and ambiance.
Arriving mid-morning on a Sunday, the place was reasonably packed. Tables were at a premium, but we were happy to sit at the bar. The service from the bar staff was attentive and well-informed, and we ordered coffees soon after being seated.
The menu, on the other hand has a range of modern and classic takes for breakfast, supplying both lighter and heavier options. I was torn between choosing the Shakshouka, consisting of baked eggs in roasted peppers with Persian fetta and the marinated mushrooms, zucchini, black barley and soft-boiled egg. Luckily my friend was the same and I ordered the Shakshouka and she the marinated mushrooms so with both of us agreeing to try each other’s dish.
When our dishes arrived, I was impressed by the size and the flavours, especially my Shakshouka, which was a generous size (read three eggs and lots of fetta) and the marinated mushrooms dish was the size of a risotto.
Both dishes were delicious and filling, with the Shakshouka being the stand out for me, being sweet and sharp in flavour with the peppers and acidic due to the fetta. My friend enjoyed her marinated mushrooms too, though the flavours were more subtle than my dish.
Happy with such a generous feed, I needed another coffee to get through the morning but felt extremely happy to have such a nice start to the day.
Cumulus Inc. is a fabulous brunch or dinner destination, and while it is more than 10 years old, it continues to be a benchmark of what good food and wine can be in Melbourne.
Location: 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000
Hours: Mon- Fri 7am – 11am, Sat & Sun 8am – 11am