Cumulus Inc., Melbourne

Whenever we fly Perth to Sydney, we like the red-eye flight that gets us to Sydney early in the morning so we have the whole day ahead of us. As it turns out, this strategy doesn’t work quite so well flying Perth to Melbourne with a tailwind that gets you there in less than three and a half hours. We flew out of Perth at 11.40pm and arrived in Melbourne a little after 6am. Between eating and watching Monsters University, I managed less than an hour’s sleep (yes, I know, my fault).

We dropped our bags off at our accommodation, the Mantra on Russell Street in Chinatown, then walked to Flinders Lane, tired and slightly bedraggled but happy to be on holiday. We’d get access to our apartment closer to lunch time but meanwhile, this was my first time in Melbourne and there was exploring, eating and photographing to be done.

First stop, breakfast at Cumulus Inc. We skipped caffeine in favour of fruity vitamins: tomato juice and orange juice. Jac ordered the house smoked ocean trout bagel. She enjoyed the bagel, which was served warm and filled with cream cheese, trout, sorrel, cucumber and capers (AU$15).

House smoked ocean trout bagel, sorrel, capers & cream cheese (AU$15) House smoked ocean trout bagel, sorrel, capers and cream cheese (AU$15)

I chose the grilled Lyonnaise sausage, smoked hock, braised beans and 65 / 65 egg (AU$16), all served on a hidden slice of toast that ended up a tasty though sodden sponge. It was a hearty meaty dish, the grilled sausage like posh ham steak and the smoky beans generously littered with meaty chunks of pork hock.

Grilled Lyonnaise sausage, smoked hock, braised beans & 65 / 65 egg (AU$16) Grilled Lyonnaise sausage, smoked hock, braised beans & 65 / 65 egg (AU$16)

Some people may dismiss ‘slow eggs’ as the latest in chef wankery but I think it’s wonderful someone has the patience to cook soft eggs so precisely for our enjoyment. Cumulus Inc.’s version, the 65 / 65 egg, is slow-poached at 65 degrees Celsius for 65 minutes to create a silky quivery orb with a liquid yolk that oozed like lava at the gentlest poke with my fork.

The egg ooze Gushing! The egg yolk AND me

By pure luck, we got to Cumulus Inc. before the morning rush. The cafe went from just several tables occupied when we arrived, to bustling and full with a small queue forming for takeaway coffee by the time we were ready to leave.

It was a fantastic start to our holiday. We appreciated the friendly and efficient service – the first of many such observations during our stay in Melbourne. And that beauty of an egg, a exquisite memory of sensory pleasure that has stayed with me since the very first wobble.


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Cumulus Inc. Eating House and Bar
45 Flinders Lane
Monday to Friday: 7am to 11pm
Saturday and Sunday: 8am to 11pm

Cumulus Inc. on Urbanspoon

After breakfast, the first of many walks and tram rides around Melbourne. To see larger versions of these pictures of Melbourne, see my Google+ album.





About this series

In December 2013, my partner Jac and I went on holiday – Melbourne (3 nights), then 3 nights in Launceston (Jac, to stay with a friend) and King Island (me, for a photographic safari with a couple of friends), and finally, Hobart, where we spent Christmas (6 nights). This trip was not sponsored in any way.

The complete set of Melbourne posts
Not bad for three nights’ ‘work’, eh?

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  • Hi Cynthia, what a great snapshot of Melbourne and Cumulus. Breakfast is my favourite meal and this looks delicious. I have not been to Melbourne as an adult and this really makes me want to go!

    • Thanks, Jane. I had a great time in Melbourne and hope to go again soon. I (and most people I know) can’t believe it took me so long to get there. :)

  • Craig Hind

    Ah Melbourne! Actually you arriving so early reminds us when we came in by boat from Sydney. We also arrived super early and wandered around the city for a bit before being able to get breaky.

    Love those trams, despite not actually enjoying travelling on them much – I prefer the newer ones – but they are iconic.

    And, oh yeah… THAT EGG!

    • Craig,
      Yeah – we needed somewhere open nice and early for breaky. I was pleased Cumulus Inc.opened early as it was on my list – I wasn’t fussed what meal of the day, I just wanted to eat there :) I’ll write a bit more on my thoughts on trams in a later post, but yes I also prefer the newer more comfy trams. Much like my preference for the air-conditioned trains of Sydney rather than the old clunkers with no air-con. Yep….THAT EGG.

  • hungryagainperth

    Oooh really looking forward to your Melbourne posts, I’m going there in two weeks. Yay!

    • Hopefully I will get through several more Melbourne posts before you take off on your trip :) How long are you going for?

      • hungryagainperth

        Only exploring the place for about a week before heading to Hong Kong :) Will probably try to fit in 5 meals a day! Your posts have come at a perfect time.

  • I’ve been to Melbourne twice, definitely not enough. I am curious about new places that you’ll discover.

  • Cumulus is wonderful! If you ever get a chance to go back, I would highly recommend sharing the crumpets as a “pre-breakfast” – served with ricotta and honey, they’re simply delightful.

  • Annsley Wong

    Cumulus Inc has madeleines filled with lemon curd that are pretty divine!

    • Annsley, yep – read about them on other blogs and saw them on the menu but were a bit too full to justify ordering one, even to share. It’ll have to be for another trip :)