Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri: 7am – 11pm
Sat – Sun 8am – 11pm

Coffee: Single Origin Roasters

Mr LB:
“Cumulus [kyoomyeles] noun
1. A dense, white, fluffy, flat-based cloud with a multiple rounded top and a well-defined outline, usually formed by the ascent of thermally unstable air masses.
2. A pile, mound or heap

According to the world’s largest food crowd sourcing tool (Urbanspoon), Cumulus Inc. has been voted 3853 times, critically reviewed six times, has had 139 food blogs written about it and received 483 dinner reviews. This is a cumulus amount! It’s a true testament to their ability to receive such a large and public review over its five years in operation, Cumulus Inc. is still seen in a favorable light. Some might argue it’s not as great as when it first made waves, however, the fantastic location that is consistently matched with impressive food can’t be denied. While dinner has always been the main talking point, it’s their brunch which Miss SL and I have decided to finally reveal to you.

I have brunched at Cumulus Inc. on a few occasions, and must admit I’ve enjoyed each sitting. The space, decor and lighting create the sense of something special. Whether I’m perched on the dining bar observing the chef or seated on the slickly designed chairs and tables, it’s an experience to remember.

On this occasion the breakfast crowd is diverse and refreshing, filled with business and creative types – mashed together with regulars and drifting tourists. The waiting staff are attentive and friendly, without ruining the experience. All this with sun light piecing through the large windows symbolises that morning has arrived.

Coffee at Cumulus Inc. have never jelled with me. However, after attending MICE and meeting the team behind Sydney’s roasting company, Single Origin Roastery, I discovered they provide their blend to Cumulus Inc. My long black [$3.50] was exceptional with a zingy flavor. Complemented with a crisp after note on the palate, it’s a quality coffee to start my day.

Brunching at Cumulus Inc. creates a tough dish selection. On the one side of the spectrum there are delicious and tasty healthy options such as Toasted honey granola & poached rhubarb with vanilla yoghurt [$10]. On the other side is the hearty and authentic English breakfast. I still recall the impressive taste of the baked eggs Miss SL had years before this blog was formed – so my choice was firmly locked in Shakshouka – baked eggs with roasted peppers and shanklish [$16].

Shakshouka – baked eggs with roasted peppers and shanklish

These baked eggs are not your common baked eggs and are in a class of their own. They are not traditionally baked (with many other places serving this with a hard exterior). Here, the eggs are served soft and gooey. This allowed for easy mopping up of the eggs with the Turkish bread. The roasted pepper sauce was powerful but a little oily, carrying a superb taste which married well with the cheesy texture. The herb topping (possibly sage) heightened my senses with an earthy taste that sums up this dish well. Put simply, delicious!

In my opinion, Cumulus Inc. is a firm Melbourne institution for breakfast and dinner. Both meals should be tried. The brunch menu is diverse enough to raise eyebrows. The setting is perfect to woo and dazzle. But most importantly, Cumulus Inc. was aware of their weaknesses and made the necessary adjustments. Whilst they are no longer my favorite brunch spot in Melbourne, it’s definitely worthy of a mention.”

Miss SL:
Cumulus Inc. is a venue that has taken me on both highs and lows. It was one of the first fine-dining experiences that Mr LB and I shared together back when we were a couple, bringing back fond memories of several shared plates and copious amounts of wine. It also brings back memories of the most delicious baked eggs I’d ever tasted back then – such a novel concept for a newbie brunch-goer. It was well-matched with beautiful coffee, too.

Over the years though, Cumulus Inc. tainted its reputation in my eyes. They’d sacrificed their brand, opting for a lower quality coffee bean and less skilled baristas. It was sad, and for many years, I stopped going altogether. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when Mr LB and I returned to Cumulus Inc. to discover that they now served Single Origin Roastery coffee that bursts with zesty, citrus flavours.

The venue was as warm and friendly, and the kitchen seemed to have picked up considerable speed since when we first visited for breakfast many years ago. They’d also removed the ridiculous Sunday surcharge (about 10-20% on the bill, if I recall correctly) which is a big bonus. The menu looked as delightful as ever and I was in the mood for something hearty, choosing the The Full English – farmhouse slab bacon, blood sausage on toast, fried eggs and smoked tomato (Mon-Fri only) [$18].

The full English – farmhouse slab bacon, blood sausage on toast, fried eggs and smoked tomato

What came out was a little less-generous than what I was anticipating, but it ended up being the perfect amount. The bacon was cut beautifully thick and it was full of salty-goodness to start my working day. The blood sausage was not actually a sausage but served almost like black pudding. The flavours, too, seemed very reminiscent of the very popular English dish. It was a salty, tangy element to the dish which was surprisingly a nice compliment to the already salty bacon.
The fried eggs were beautifully cooked and incredibly clean, with the egg whites looking pristine and the egg yolk rich and creamy. Finally, the smoked tomato was nice and juicy, but I couldn’t really pick up on any smokey-flavours.

Cumulus Inc. has taken some lessons learnt and applied them well to adjust to Melbourne’s very competitive brunch scene. The food here is as beautiful as it has ever been and the morning staff have lifted their game. If you’re working on that end of town, or passing by Cumulus the mornings, I highly recommend you stop in for your morning drop.”

Final Thought: “Lovely pit-stop for your morning coffee”

Cumulus Inc. on Urbanspoon

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