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).
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.
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.
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.
Cumulus Inc. Eating House and Bar
45 Flinders Lane
Monday to Friday: 7am to 11pm
Saturday and Sunday: 8am to 11pm
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?
- Cumulus Inc, Melbourne – this post
- Queen Victoria Wednesday Night Market, Melbourne
- MoVida, Melbourne
- Orient East, Melbourne
- LuxBite, South Yarra
- China Red, Chinatown
- N2 Extreme Gelato, Fitzroy
- Cafe Gaia, South Yarra
- Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, South Yarra
- Steer Bar & Grill, South Yarra
- Brunetti at Myer Melbourne and Lygon Street, Carlton