Cumulus Up

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Chef Andrew McConnell has cracked the big time in Melbourne, literally. With a fistful of venues around town he's given the whole dining scene a good ol' shake up and now he's moved into the domain of beverages with a new wine bar. Good man. Cumulus Up has only been open a short while but will be adored for years to come. Just upstairs from all day diner Cumulus Inc., you can literally spend the whole night quite happily at the same street number (45 Flinders Ln). Since visiting Cumulus Inc. and Cutler & Co. a couple of years ago I was impressed with the type of food he was serving all in a neat little package of service, wine and style.  

Some cumulus themed mirrors, perhaps? Gomes-McNabb does it again Source: Daily Addict

McConnell has teamed up once again with architect Pascale Gomes-McNabb to wave her magic wand over the place. It seems that together they are basically unstoppable! Similar to Cumulus Inc. in design, though upstairs the palette is darker and moodier, with mismatched chairs a bit of this and that. It is all ultimately welcoming. Like being invited to the cool kid's party, a Melbournian would never admit to it as such. He or she nonchalantly sips a glass of red, thinking 'Goddamn, I wish we could smoke in here'...

Sort of like an XL dining room, Cumulus Up is a great rendez-vous point Source: Good Food

If I knew more about wine I'd make some witty comment about the wine list but I do not and besides, I just had a beer. Beer + bar food = a resounding YES. The menu reads well, it all sounds good really (well wouldn't it?). The best thing is its versatility; pop in for a drink before dinner,  plant yourself for a proper meal or just a nightcap (and sweet) before bed. There's even a Chef's Selection Menu which sounds intriguing ($65). You can skimp or splurge, the ball is in your court.

Et voilà!
Kale fritters. Chips sans guilt, because they are dehydrated and not deep fried...right? Once you crunch into one, you forget that you're getting a serve of veg (justifying away here)! Perfect for lounging with a movie ;)

Duck waffle, foie gras and prune ($8). Though there were initial misgivings, I insisted we ordered this (like a crazy person). A seemingly odd combination yes, but it works (or McConnell has made it work). A genius creation of a buckwheat waffle mixed with confit duck (+ skin), piped with foie gras parfait and topped with prune purée. Everything about this is just so crazy it's perfect - all those textures and surprise of the duck inside. Di-viine.

Now, to a more traditional crowd pleaser: spiced lamb ribs with smoked tomato. The serve was so tiny I was a little bit disappointed! But at $7, it's not so bad. The ribs were ridiculously tender, you could pull the meat off the bone without any effort

Golden roasted chat potatoes - these were on special request, not usually on the menu. The C-Up kitchen was kind to accommodate. Oh and FYI, they can roast the hell out of potatoes. It must be all the duck fat they've basted them with!

This was a great way to end my first night in Melbourne (reunited, at last!). In all seriousness, it seems McConnell can do no wrong. Yet again, he has come up with the goods on this little standout bar. A decent wine list with excellent bar edibles will keep the masses coming. Will Cumulus Up stand the test of time? You betcha.

I couldn't help sticking another photo in, it is just TOO GOOD, okay. We had one of those "Are you serious?!" moments...the my mind is blown/good kind. Try it! Photo credit: Kristoffer Paulsen

Thanks for reading!
Cumulus Up on Urbanspoon


  1. Photogenic spot! Love the marble background on the waffle pic.

  2. That place looks divine! Wouldn't mind a serving of kale fritters and golden potatoes right ;-)

  3. omg i want everything in this post! the duck waffle looks incredible!

  4. I’m really happy to say it was an interesting post to read. I learned new information from your article, you are doing a great job. webstagram



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