The eastern end of Flinders Lane is a foodie mecca in Melbourne’s CBD, and it’s dominated by chef/entrepreneur Andrew McConnell. The first time Greedy Girl visited Cumulus Inc, she was with two vegetarian friends. This time, she and foodie friend Madame Lapine pushed open the industrial-chic front door and pulled up stools at the long bar to sample a wider range of fare.

McConnell is a prolific developer of eateries. Not too long ago, he announced he would be closing his St Kilda restaurant Golden Fields (a winner of The Age Good Food Guide best new restaurant just two years ago) to open another outlet in Flinders Lane this March, further tightening his grip on this end of town. Cumulus Inc (with Cumulus Up a more recent addition upstairs) has consistently attracted a strong following since opening in 2008 – despite its no reservations policy (unless you’re getting a large group together). Seeking a close to the office respite from some very hot weather, we ordered a bottle of Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico and settled in for a feed. Dishes are designed to share, so we began with a couple of cold plates.

First up was the ami ebi prawns with aioli. The ami ebi shrimp (served whole) are different from ebi in that they are cured in juice rather than cooked. These were also smoked and the flavour was extraordinary. While Greedy Girl missed gluttonous husband’s peeling skills, she hoed in with gusto. The aioli was also very good – not overpowering in the garlic content.

Cumulus Up Melbourne

Ami ebi prawns with aioli

Next was the kitchen charcuterie selection. This was a very pretty plate and a power of food, featuring a chicken rillette, pastrami, capocollo, Joselito ham, and prosciutto. Greedy Girl used to love pastrami but finds it a bit too strong these days.  Having said that, the selection was very good indeed.

Cumulus Up Melbourne

Charcuterie selection

Next up, we shared a John Dory dish with some sides (pictured at the top of this post). Pan fried fillets of the fish were served with romesco sauce, fennel and mussels. It was light, had a lovely texture from the fennel and was quite refreshing. We paired this with two vegetable dishes – heirloom zucchini with roast lemon, mint and almonds and a cos lettuce salad with Ortiz anchovies and an egg dressing. Both were very tasty.

Cumulus Up Melbourne

Heirloom zucchini

Being very warm, we decided something icy would go down well for dessert. This was a mango jelly, coconut and lime sorbet granita. The mango was utterly delightful and the coldness of the granita was very needed – given the temperature was around 40 degrees celsius outside. The coconut sorbet was a bit heavy and we left most of that in the bowl. It was certainly a very generous serving and easy to share.

Cumulus Inc is McConnell’s city flagship and it will be interesting to see what he does when he closes the Supernormal pop-up in Fitzroy at the end of March and relocates it to new digs in Flinders Lane. There’s always something happening in his inventive foodie mind. Greedy Girl looks forward to it.

Cumulus Inc

45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Cumulus Inc. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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