Monday, October 18, 2010

Cumulus Inc, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

One of the hippest wine bars in town is Cumulus Inc. (open on Sundays to boot!), where I have a great time catching up with my best chick mate Jacqui.  Might as well enjoy a good feed and drink while we ruminate on the philosophies of life.

Close-up of the crab
The best way to enjoy Cumulus is not to treat it like a restaurant. Sit at the bar, and order a handful of grazing plates, and select your drinks one at a time. I start with a couple of exotic beers, then move onto a glass of SC Pannell Adelaide Hills Nebbiolo (an offering by Stephen Pannell, son of Moss Wood founder Dr Bill Pannell). Yes I know I'm mixing, but mixing grape and grain is one of life's little luxuries, to be enjoyed especially when one is on holiday, with no car to drive!  I'd love to give you more detail on how the Nebbiolo tasted, and tell you exactly which beers I drank (one was Italian, and the other Victorian), but seeing as I'd mixed the grape with the grain, all I can tell you is each was a tasty beverage!

We enjoy a great range of tasty little treats, like deep fried soft shell crab with a chilli mayo dip and a wedge of lime (interesting how everyone has a slightly different take on this poor moulted crustacean, but in this case the chilli dip was the star - spicy but not hot enough to burn the lining off your tongue), slow cooked octopus with aioli & dehydrated (what?! how?!) olive oil, and even a Jean Faup Vache et Chevre ( a semi-hard cheese made from a both cow & goat milk, from France - merde oui!).  The cheese was a delightful discovery - piquant and subtly, but not nose-burningly pungent (not that there's anything wrong with that).

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