A Monday That Didn't Suck
It had been a pretty average weekend, with work piling up and Sarah having a grand total of about 4.2 minutes free. After three very late nights infront of a computer, then a Monday at work, there was only one reasonable course of action. Out for dinner.
Once we decided to try a city venue it led to many hours of list making, with thanks to many people on twitter who are always willing and ready with a recommendation when the call goes out. In this instance however, we stuck with our initial gut-instinct - Andrew McConnell's Cumulus Inc in Flinders Lane. This is one of those "no reservations" kind of
affairs, which I'm generally not in favour of, but we had to see what all the hype was about.
We arrived early (6:30pm) to try and beat the dinner rush. We did, but the place was already buzzing with hungry patrons, and we were offered either a table along the
rear wall (which looked perfectly nice) or a spot at the bar overlooking the open
kitchen. We chose the kitchen view room. It was fun watching everything from start
to finish, but there was the draw-back of it being essentially a full visual menu.
Everytime something gets picked up and walked past, you think "Damn, THAT's what
I should have ordered."
So what did we order? Well, while oysters are a bit of a specialty and shucked to
order, I can't stand the slimy little f(*#ers so I suggested we didn't bother (much to Sarah's chagrin). We ordering a bottle of Tasmanian Pinot Grigio for a fairly warm
Melbourne evening (Iron Bay 08) from the wine list, which spans continents and wallet sizes
with ease and without becoming overwhelming. Once we moved onto the food menu, things got
a little more complicated.
Sharing and caring is the order of the day, and although my distaste for sharing is well known it's a slightly different matter here. For a start the menu is divided into small
plates and charcuterie, sides, and larger dishes. This makes life pretty easy in that
you order basically the same number of dishes per person per course as you normally would.
We first went for the charcutrie plate to share, which contained a wonderful pressed chicken terrine, some wagyu bresola, hand cut Sicilian salami and a few other tasty treats.
I convinced Sarah that the two of us couldn't possibly finish the whole slow roasted
lamb shoulder, but that didn't stop us drooling over it whenever it was ordered and
taken past our vantage point. Mind you, the dishes we did order - quail and veal, with
a side of potatoes with roasted garlic, were absolutely delicious. We will, however,
be back for the lamb shoulder on another night.
I didn't think I could have been happier with how our evening had progressed. That is until
I saw desserts. The Chocolate, malt ice cream and salted caramel was rich, creamy, and a million other adjectives that make your mouth water. But the real surprise was the Rum baba with aged rum. Rum baba is a kind of soft sponge, served on a rum and vanilla cream type affair with a rum sauce drizzled over the top. In this case, the rum source was made entirely of 7 year aged rum which was left unatended at our table as we were instructed to add to our tastes. Turns out I like more rum on my baba than Sarah does, I may have been a tad vigorous, but I would happily add rum like that to all of my desserts from now on given half a chance.
So there you have it. A perfect way to forget a crappy weekend and start the week on a high note. If Cumulus Inc. can't cheer you up, I don't know what can.