45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.
I have five sisters. Yes, there are six girls in my family. No there are no boys. Yes it probably was hard on my Dad although he eventually gave up trying for a boy and claimed that six daughters was pretty special. He made the most of it I think. Lots of head rubs and cups of tea made for him and always sympathy from at least one person when he desired it.
All six of us are well grown now and some of us even have our own little brood. Every now and then we make an effort to meet together and it is always noisy and hectic and there is a lot of food involved and generally someone ends up sleeping on the floor next to someone they are not keen on. The best part of these little “sleep overs” are the shared make up tips. The worst part is the noise. There is no escape……
So this time the girls and I decided to get together sans children. We headed to the city for the night and stayed in a moderately dodgy hotel and visited Cumulus Inc for dinner. We were actually aiming for Mamasita but the line was sooo long and our chances of getting a big enough table were pretty slim anyway so we eventually just started walking along the hot spot that is Flinders Lane until we found something we liked. Committee eating is normally a failure but this time it was not. Yay!
We started our dinner propped up at the bar where a couple of us ordered cocktails. Now somehow the euphoria of finding a decent restaurant that we all agreed upon had gone to our heads and Kate and I ended up going “off piste” (it is a real phrase, look it up deniers) and telling the guy at the bar a few general ingredients that we fancied in our drink and then letting him chose the resulting cocktail. It went something like this. “I like lime and mint and she likes cranberry’s. Yes sure, whatever.”
$18.50 later we were handed two quite small ice drenched cocktails that immediately went to our heads because they were so strong (probably trying to ensure we did not notice the price tag).
Actually, it wasn’t me and Kate, it was “two of the sisters who shall remain nameless for the sake of their dignity.”
Eventually we were seated in the main part of the restaurant. We once again started the endless diplomatic negotiations to decide what we were going to order. The menu was fairly small and it was at this point that there was panic amongst the troops. Well it was only those of the troops who had not imbibed the gold lined cocktails, but still, there was restlessness. We had to just trust that what we were ordering was going to be good, because, well, it sounded pretty boring.
organic spiced almonds $8
Roast new season potatoes, confit garlic & oregano $12
I mean, take the words “organic” and “confit” out of the picture and it sounds a bit like Grandma’s shopping list.
Cumulus Inc has a great reputation. It has been awarded 1 hat by the Age Good Food Guide for 5 years in a row now. It was named number three of Melbourne’s Ten Most Influential Restaurants by non other than Matt Preston. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/masterchefs-matt-preston-names-melbournes-top-10-most-influential-restaurants/story-fni0fit3-1226751483236. Andrew McConnell is the chef and if you don’t know that he is some kind of rock star in the Melbourne dining scene then you have been living under a pretentious foodie rock (my husband- lucky he has me). So my point is, we just had to trust the restaurant and give it a try.
It was delicious. We loved every single dish. The whole slow roast lamb shoulder to share was AMAZING. We were all politely fighting over it.
“Does anyone mind if I? No, you first. Are you sure? Hey, who stabbed me with a fork?”
The potatoes were maybe even more popular (although I politely declined to explain what confit was to the more diet conscious eaters in the room.)
The service was also very good. Polite, informative, well timed.
The decor in the room was impressively unnoticeably sophisticated. Melbourne at it’s best I would have to say.
Overall we had an excellent night and the phrase “what happens at Cumulus Inc, stays at Cumulus Inc, may have been coined. Although I doubt that our giggly group of girls will be the first or the last to use it.
We didn’t even miss the superb mexican stylings of Mamasita. And that is saying something!
For more info you can visit their website. http://cumulusinc.com.au