RESTAURANT OF THE MONTH
FOR SOME TIME now Melbourne’s Flinders Lane has been evolving into a distinct dining strip with an ever-expanding range of venues, including a number of local favourites. One of the best known of these restaurants is Andrew Mcconnell’s Cumulus Inc. which since its inception has been consistently popular with diners drawn by its reputation for top notch all day dining. However, those in the know are already well aware that perched above Cumulus Inc. is another of Andrew Mcconnell’s intriguing dining destinations, Cumulus Up.
While their names may be similar, Cumulus Up definitely has its own very distinct identity, and accordingly the same patron who has enjoyed breakfast or lunch downstairs is equally likely to be sighted later the same day comfortably ensconced in Cumulus Up, wine glass in hand, displaying a visible sense of anticipation as they peruse the menu. The loft like space manages to be at once modern and yet at the same time also warm and welcoming, with exposed bricks, wooden and marble tables and gentle lighting emanating from round hanging globes adding to the almost intimate air of a hidden eyrie. The clientele is often almost as eclectic and potentially as entertaining as the menu itself, which only adds to the appeal.
A visit to Cumulus Up would not be complete without sampling the justly popular (and vaguely decadent) duck waffle with foie gras and prune, while Bruny Island blue mussels are served with broad beans and pickled sweet garlic. Even those normally wary of beef tartare may find they are tempted by Cumulus Up’s coarsely chopped beef tartare, tarragon and fried anchovy providing a delicious take on this classic dish. Fresh heirloom beetroot is served with house made curd and dill, and smoked eel cream and cecina accompany Jerusalem artichokes. Larger dishes include John Dory with sprouting broccoli, nduja and Pil Pil, or a succulent brined and grilled pork chop with baked cabbage and walnut. Side dishes may consist of spring greens and ground nettles, red coral lettuce with orange dressing and, of course, the essential for meat dishes—shoestring French fries. For those in search of an excellent steak, a substantial (400g) O’connor Porterhouse definitely fits the bill—that’s assuming they are able to resist the temptation of the even larger (600g) Murray Grey Rib Eye. Desserts such as the blood orange sorbet with burnt honey and vermouth, the nutmeg tart and the chocolate ice cream, cumquat jam and salted caramel provide a perfect excuse for indulging in an accompanying dessert wine, as does the selection of local and international cheeses.
Trying to categorise Cumulus Up as a bar, wine bar, or restaurant is difficult, as it effortlessly meets the requirements of each, with a comprehensive and broad ranging wine list, staff well versed in the dark arts of cocktail mixology, and a menu which lends itself equally well to casual grazing or a full-scale dinner. This fluidity, along with the inviting nature of the venue itself, may go a long way to explaining how quickly Cumulus Up can fill, even early in the week—and accordingly reservations are advisable.
Cumulus Up, Sun–thu 5pm–late, Fri–sat 4pm–late. Level 1, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. 9650 1445. cumulusup.com.au
n DRACULA’S. Theatre Dining. Dracula’s Cabaret has been entertaining visitors and locals alike since 1980. Their current show “Resurrection” blends music production acts, optical illusion, animatronic sculpture and rock-circus, with a song list that moves across the AM dial from Arctic Monkeys to Blondie. It’s flashy, kitsch hysteria, with no act too audacious and no heel too high. Enjoy a three-course meal and then once the show is finished, guests can continue the evening in the cocktail bar as they meet the stars of the show.
100 Victoria Street, Carlton. Tue–sat from 7pm. 1800 DRACULAS or 9340 2600. draculas.com.au
n LUCKY CHAN. Chinese. Lucky Chan offers guests authentic Cantonese cuisine, specialising in sustainably farmed live seafood, as well as offering the choice of à la carte. Signature dishes include the sauteed scallops and king prawns with imperial sauce, but you may also be tempted to choose a lobster or large crab from their live seafood tanks. Their wonderful food is beautifully complemented by an extensive list of quality Australian and Oriental wines.
The Riverside at Crown, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank. Lunch Mon–fri 11am–3pm, Sat–sun 11am–4pm, dinner Sun–thu 6pm–11pm, Fri–sat 6pm–12am. 9696 3966. luckychan.com.au
SAKÉ RESTAURANT & BAR MELBOURNE HAMER HALL. Japanese.
Saké serves a renowned mix of modern and classic dishes with a distinct local flavour. Flowing with the seasons the menu utilises the finestquality produce available. Located in the revitalised Hamer Hall at Arts Centre Melbourne and overlooking the breathtaking Yarra River and CBD, this venue is set over two levels including an outdoor dining area on the riverfront.
Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Lunch Mon–sun 12pm–3pm, dinner Sun–wed 5pm–10pm, Thurs–sat 5pm–11pm. 8687 0775. sakerestaurant.com.au
SOUTHGATE. Around The World.
Discover a unique collection of riverside restaurants, cafes and bars at Southgate Melbourne, located along the banks of the Yarra River. With exceptional city skyline views, Southgate is a dining destination sure to impress. Find fantastic casual dining at Bluetrain, Bavarian favourites at Hophaus, Cantonese cuisine at Red Emperor, modern Italian at Tutto Benne, contemporary Australian at Pure South Dining and so much more.
Banks of the Yarra River, Melbourne. 9686 1000. southgatemelbourne.com.au
n MUNICH BRAUHAUS. Bavarian. Munich Brauhaus is a traditional Bavarian bierhaus, where guests can dine, drink and party like Oktoberfest never ended. The state-of-theart waterfront venue seats over 900 people and is a bier lovers delight. Try the venue’s very own signature Munich Lager, as well as a series of exclusively imported Bavarian Biers, while the menu includes suckling pig, sourced locally from Riverlea and cooked over a charcoal spit.
45 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf. Sun–thur 11.30am–late, Fri– Sat 11.30am–1am. 1300 686 424. munichbrauhaus.com