Jeremy and I recently took a trip to Melbourne in April. It was a great escape from the strangely cold weather in Perth (when is Melbourne warmer than Perth!) and a chance to eat at some delicious places such as the renowned Cumulus, Inc.
It's a great little hole in wall tapas joint. Simple and elegant. The wine selection is refined and impressive; the food even more so. And the decor, it's like a slice of heaven, which makes sense since 'cumulus' clouds sit high in the sky as if the lining leading to such a place.
Clair de Lune oysters
We were seated at the bar, which is actually one of our favourite places to sit when eating. Propped up on comfortable stools we were facing the busy kitchen that was set up in an efficient and exciting manner. Complimentary bread is provided (all different kinds - rye, sesame crusted, brioche) with a knob of butter to start us off while we peruse the impressive menu.
Clair de Lune oysters are our first dish ($4 each). They're ocean fresh and have a great tang of salt. Clean and oh so creamy. They sit propped up on little salt piles to give it an elegant presentation straight away.
The next dish that came our way was grilled octopus. Its spicy from a heavy handed serving of paprika and basil. Blobs of oil and mayonnaise dot the place as a well thought of accompaniment.
One of the star dishes of the night was thinly sliced wagyu bresaola with artichoke chips and garlic aioli. This is still on my mind. The bresaola was the best I've had - fatty but not in a disgusting way. It melted in your mouth and retained so much flavour it was like it had been injected.
A salad of spiced cauliflower was our serving of vegetables (insert wry face). There was pops of fresh juice from pomegranate seeds and slivers of micro herbs tossed throughout.
Soft shell crab
Soft-shell crab was the dish we almost didn't order but thank god we did. It had a hands on approach, wrapping the crab in the lettuce and topping it with creamy mayonnaise and spicy kim chi sauce. Absolute wow factor here.
Goose liver pate
Our final dish was probably the equal best of the night. Home made goose liver pate with micro herbs, crumbled pistachios and served with buttery crisp brioche. If you don't like pate you probably need to stop reading here. I know it's cruel because the geese are made so fat that they can barely breathe and then they're killed to make this. But one bite... and you kind of forget that. It's so flavoursome I almost skip a heartbeat. The knife slices through like its butter and the bread just sings in your mouth. Its a symphony of flavours and I am one happy diner.
Needless to say, when I'm back in Melbourne, I'll be back here. Again and again and again. A thousand times yes.