I had a classic Melbourne night out last night with Meat-and-Three-Veg. We went along to a Comedy Festival show (David O’Doherty) for some belly laughs and then wandered up Flinders lane to Cumulus Inc. But instead of heading to the iconic basement restaurant we went up the stairs to the right to the newly opened Cumulus Up.
|Upstairs at Cumulus Up – it feels like it has always been there|
It’s a new bar but it feels like it has always been there with exposed brick walls, a huge open bar and jewel coloured heavy glass lights dangling from the high ceilings. There’s a hefty wine list and a shorter selection of wines by the glass which come in 150ml pours. The pinot noir offered by the glass was lovely and smooth with a lightly spicy finish. But being part of Cumulus this is a bar where the food is not just an after thought.
|The duck and foie gras waffle at Cumulus Up|
There’s two substantial offerings of fish or dry aged rib eye ($60) for two and then a series of serious bar snacks. Already on its way to achieving cult status is Cumulus Up’s duck, foie gras and prune waffle ($8). It’s just as rich, decadent and crispy as I imagined but the serving size is tiny so don’t think about sharing this one.
|Kale chips at Cumlus Up|
Kale chips ($9) seemed a little bit too Gwyneth Paltrow in their virtuousness for my tastes but when they arrived they provided quite a good snack to nibble on. We made sure we got in all our vegies with an order of the heirloom carrots ($9) which were served cold and topped with walnuts for some crunch. I think these would have been better served warm and could have done with the addition of some cheese along the lines of San Telmo’s brilliant carrot dish.
The best menu item we ordered was the simplest, a huge puff of creamy burrata ($19) oozing its insides over some finely diced tomatoes seasoned with espelette.
|Burrata at Cumulus Up|
Think of Cumulus Up as a bar with some good snacking options and you’ve got the right idea. But don’t go there too hungry or expecting the same food options (or serving sizes) as you get downstairs at the restaurant proper.
Details: Cumulus Up, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne (Ph +61 3 9650 1445) Open Tues-Thurs 4pm- Midnight, Fri-Sat 4pm-1am.
Damage: Pricey. Our bill for one glass of wine each and snacks came to $60.