Cumulus Inc

Cumulus Inc Article Lead - narrow
Cumulus Inc Article Lead - narrow 

45 Flinders Lane Melbourne, Victoria 3000

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Opening hours B L D Daily
Features Outdoor seating, Bar, Accepts bookings, Breakfast-brunch, Business lunch, Late night, Licensed, Long lunch, Private dining, Romance-first date, Wheelchair access
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Chef Andrew McConnell, Casey McDonald
Seats 70
Payments eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 03 9650 1445

It's impossible to be all things to all people but Cumulus comes very close, adroitly straddling cafe and bar, bistro and fine-diner. No bookings means you'll need to wait (or lurk nearby), but once seated in the artfully raw, airy dining room or at the bar along the open kitchen, the charms of the menu emerge. It relies on unfussy flavour combinations, but with enough culinary pizazz to satisfy the sniffiest food snob. Typical is a beautifully bloody duck breast, perched on a mix of toasted barley, walnuts and pepitas, with lentils and dabs of turnip puree and plum. Sweet, crunchy, oily and earthy, it's a wonderful combination. Spiced cauliflower with goat's curd and pomegranate traverses similar territory, but you can go simpler still with a plate of superb cured meats or a bowl of Padron peppers, deep-fried and lushly salted. Given the quality of ingredients, Cumulus offers very good value, while cheery, helpful staff add to the unpretentious buzz.