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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ladies who lunch: Cumulus Inc

Several weeks ago, Lisa and I headed to Cumulus Inc for lunch. I am quite behind with posts so I won't tell you exactly how many weeks ago! We arrived around 12.15pm, and while it was already packed by this time, we managed to snag two seats at the bar. Lisa and I are not very tall, and I often have comfort issues with high stools, but these felt fine and we were okay perched on the stools during our meal.

On one wall of the restaurant are shoe lasts that double as coat hooks. I wonder who designed the installation – probably not someone as short as Lisa and me. When I went to hang up our coats, the lowest hook was taken, and I could only just reach the next lowest one.

After an initial look at the menu, we received some help from one of the staff, who guided us in our ordering. We started with the kitchen's selection of charcuterie ($21). It was bought to us by a waiter who announced, "I come bearing a plate of meat."

"You certainly know how to charm," I replied.

Cumulus Inc

On the plate was a piece of pheasant terrine with spiced prunes, wagyu bresaola with fresh horseradish, proscuitto and... what's that fourth thing? The memory is weak... The only thing that I didn't like on the plate was the spiced prunes (when normally I like prunes). I found the flavour of them a tad strange with the terrine.

Cumulus Inc

Next we had the baked gnocchi with tallegio and white truffle oil ($15). This was served piping hot, with the big fluffy gnocchi covered in the rich cheese. I loved this!

Cumulus Inc

We were advised to go for a second lighter option, as the gnocchi was quite heavy (although, truthfully, it was so delicious that I would have had no problem finishing it by myself!). Our second dish was the cracked wheat and freekeh salad with barberries and preserved lemon, toasted almonds, shredded parsley and labneh ($12). This was delightfully nutty and fresh.

Cumulus Inc

And over coffees, we had 2 madelines with lemon curd ($2.50 each). Lisa and I debated on the correct pronunciation of "madeline" (mad-e-lean? mad-e-line?) and ended up saying it incorrectly anyway. The madelines are freshly made to order, so they took a little time to arrive, but the wait was well worth it. They were warm, dusted with icing sugar, and filled with lemon curd and were a sweet little ending to our meal.

After such a lovely lunch, I very regretfully headed back to work. It's fortunate I don't have lunches like this every day - I would never get any work done in the afternoon!

Cumulus Inc
45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
(03) 9650 1445

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