Slow and steady wins the race. Somehow I don’t think that applies here. I’m pretty sure I’m doing nothing but lose by being possibly the last Melbourne foodie to visit Cumulus Inc. This one-hatted eatery is known for unpretentious fine dining, and for using top-notch ingredients. And finally, finally, I’ll get to experience that first-hand on a sunny Friday morning for, you guessed it, brunch.
|Alcomohol! At 11am!|
Arriving just in time to join the last of the brunch-goers, we sat down at the tall marble bench that looked right into the open-plan kitchen. Why pay for a meal and a show when you can have both in one go! And everything was perfect, right down to the little bag hooks under the bench, until the waitress came over, placed a couple of menus in front of us, and uttered the words that broke my heart.
|Obligatory Menu Shot|
‘There is no Reuben Sandwich today’
I may or may not have let out a wail of despair at this point.
|Shakshouka (baked eggs with roasted peppers and marinated Persian feta, $16)|
But the Reuben sandwich was all but forgotten when the Shakshouka (baked eggs with roasted peppers and marinated Persian feta, $16) landed in front of me. Still bubbling a little in a shallow pan, and served with a thick slice of sourdough toast drizzled liberally with fantastic olive oil, it proved to be absolutely delicious on a cold winter morning. As much as I hate to say this, it leaves the baked eggs at Hardware Societe for dead.
|Pain de'epices with Poached Quinces & Prunes, Sheep's Milk Yoghurt ($15)|
Pain for breakfast? Absolutely! So after lots of humming and hawing, we decided on the Pain d’epices with Poached Quince & Prunes, Sheep’s Milk Yoghurt ($15), which wiki tells me is a French spice cake. They were generous with the soft poached quince, and whole prunes were used, as opposed to little dicey bits. The cake itself was wonderfully spiced, albeit slightly dry, though the slightly sour sheep’s milk yoghurt was more than enough to counterbalance that. Cake in the morning without a side of guilt? Yes please!
|Madeleine Filled with Lemon Curd ($2.5ea)|
But wait! There’s more! We couldn’t leave without sampling the much raved about Madeleine Filled with Lemon Curd ($2.5ea). After a 15 minute wait, they were brought out covered with sugary snow. Now, don’t get me wrong, these are very very yummy – warm, buttery, with a pleasantly sour lemon curd inside, but I guess after reading all those fantastic reviews, I was expecting something a little more mind-blowing. All that said though, I would love to have one of these with my morning coffee, especially when they’re so fresh.
Even though they were setting up for lunch by the time we finished our meal, our waitress still asked us if we’d like anything else, maybe some coffee or juice? And I absolutely loved that, not feeling like we’re being rushed out at the end of a meal. Now that’s what I call good service.
Rating: 15.5/20 – Delicioushakshouka