Wednesday 20 February 2013

Cumulus Up opens above Cumulus Inc; is excellent


I've been away from the blog, busy working on something new that I'm excited about sharing here once it's ready. In the meantime, guess what finally opened last week?

Cumulus Up
Upstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne (map)
9650 1445
Open Tuesday-Thursday 4pm–midnight, Friday-Saturday 4pm–1am, closed Sunday-Monday

Cumulus Up

There has been talk for several years about what Andrew McConnell & Co would do with the space upstairs from Cumulus Inc (at one stage it was just going be a function room, if memory serves). Luckily for us they decided to turn it into a wine bar, with a beautiful, distinctively Pascale Gomes-McNabb fitout that references downstairs and takes advantage of the abundant natural light.

It's called Cumulus Up. If it were up to me, I'd've named it Altocumulus - but then I'm nerdy that way.

There are a dozen interesting wines by the glass and plenty more by the bottle, mainly Australian and European though when I visited last Friday we had a punchy South African white. The food menu is pared back and snacky, with most dishes sub-$20. A notable exception is the honking big (800g!) dry aged rib eye to share for $90.

Cumulus UpOlives and pickles

Melbourne, meet your new favourite snack. The confit duck-filled waffle with dabs of foie gras and prune, $7, bears all the hallmarks of a cult classic in the making (disclosure: unlike the rest of our dishes, the waffle was comped). Lobster roll who?

Duck waffle

My favourite dish we ordered was the hand cut raw onglet with horseradish, capers, onion and sorrel ($16), though the panzanella with octopus, mussels and fermented chilli ($16) was also superb.

OngletOctopus, mussel and bread salad

The service is as professional as we've come to expect from an Andrew McConnell restaurant, and the atmosphere is relaxed. While the wine bar may be intended to serve as a spillover for those waiting to dine downstairs, I foresee plenty of nights where I'll be making a beeline for Cumulus Up and settling in for the duration.

Cumulus Up


Esz said...

They SHOULD have called it Altocumulus - it rolls off the tongue nicer too.

This is good news to have some other hip place to go to. Not that I've even been to Cumulus (what!) ;-)

Gonna tell the work crew (the FAATies we call ourselves haha) about this one. :-)

Ali-K said...

Confit duck waffle? I've gotta get back to Melbourne to try this one!

MoMo and Coco Dessert Correspondents said...

Looks like parfait is becoming the "it" dish for new restaurants. There's the parfait pillows at Brooks, Trocadero's parfait madeleines...and now parfait waffles!

Any desserts here that you sighted?

Rumpole48 said...

They should have called it Altocumulus... maybe they should rename it now

claire said...

Oooh Esz, you should try out Cumulus (Inc or Up or both) sometime!

Hi Ali-K: Jack on Twitter declared it McConnell's first real foray into "dude food". Waffles are increasingly cropping up on menus in Sydney and Melb...

Hi MoMo and Coco - there were four desserts on the menu, you should check them out! I'm keen to try the fool (described on the menu simply as 'fool').

Rumpole48: as I quipped on Twitter today, if they were to open a rooftop cocktail bar above the wine bar they could call it Stratocumulus ;)