An Early City Breakfast at Cumulus Inc.

April 11, 2011

A couple of Fridays ago, I had a Professional Development day at the Royal Children’s Hospital in the city. As Ben works right in the CBD, my mind immediately shot to the possibility of an early city breakfast date.

Cumulus Inc. was the first place that came to my mind. I have visited this casual yet classy restaurant before for a quick breakfast. One morning about a year ago I sat solo at the bar and enjoyed a delicious bowl of bircher muesli before hitting the streets for a big day of shopping (you gotta be sure to fuel correctly for such demanding days). I always knew I wanted to revisit this gem, as there seemed to be so many delectable breakfast dishes on offer.

An so, on this particular Friday morning, Ben and I caught the 6:38am train to Parliament station and arrived just after opening time.

We started with coffees, skim lattes. While the blend of coffee they use is delicious, the froth was not silky smooth, which is always something I like in my coffee.

Ben also ordered an apple juice which was lovely.

I had a really tough time with the menu, clearly. Ben snapped this picture of me as I was deeply struggling to decide between savoury and sweet.

I was smitten with the idea of the Cumulus Inc. Breakfast, which involved a boiled egg, toast, an array of preserves, and a bowl of yoghurt along with tea or coffee. How cute is that? Here are the preserves ready to go.

In the end, though, it really came down to two dishes…the pain d’epices with poached quince and prunes with sheeps milk yoghurt (I die…) and the house smoked sardines with parsley salad and a slow-cooked egg. In the end the sardines one out, as I was craving an Omega 3 hit. But I am already planning another trip back so I can devour that pain d’epices.

The sardines were absolutely delicious, with a beautiful, measured smokiness to them. The parsley salad was refreshing and the sourdough lovely.

The egg was just ridiculous, look at that gooey yolk. Incredible.

I really enjoyed this dish. Five years ago I would have looked at my present-day self and asked “who are you??”… but oh yes indeed, I lustfully ate sardines at 7:30 in the morning. I’m so hardcore now.

The night before, I perused blogs to see if there were any well revered, ‘must try’ dishes – I tend to do that. The baked eggs frequently came up as a favourite, and this was the dish that Ben ended up ordering. I believe the menu changes slightly every now and then, so on this day Ben’s baked eggs were a lovely Shakshouka, with roasted peppers and a rich tomato flavour. They were topped with fetta and parsley. While this is a dish I safely feel like I could make at home, as opposed to the sardines, it was really yummy – hearty and nourishing, it was really lovely.

We left Cumulus Inc. with a delightful sense of satisfaction and nourishment, yet we were still hungry… hungry for a future visit, that is 😉 Oh pain d’epices, I have my eye on you.

Heidi xo
  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) April 11, 2011 at 7:35 am

    oh my – that egg looks perfect!

  • wholesomecook April 11, 2011 at 8:29 am

    I'm going to side with Ben oh the brekky choice. Of it's not mushrooms, baked eggs in red vege sauce is my second fave. And look at that grilled bread!!! Yum. 

  • Hannah April 11, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Oh gosh, I honestly would've struggled between those dishes too! I adore sardines on buttered toast with pepper and a drizzle of vinegar, but I also am head over heels in love with pain d'epice. Lucky you, to have such a choice! 🙂

  • Michelle Chin April 11, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I'm going to try hardware societe's breakfast this coming friday. 🙂 can't wait. 😀

  • Poptartlr April 11, 2011 at 9:14 am

    That egg looks so delicious! I can't believe I spent so many years not eating eggs (I had a thing about yolks when I was younger – I hated the texture)

  • Blithely Unaware April 11, 2011 at 10:14 am

    This looks gorgeous, I'd never thought of going to Cumulus Inc for breakfast. I don't know if I'd feel weird going first thing in the AM or not, shame I start work at 7 I'd have to go on a day off 🙁 🙁 🙁

  • Heidi April 11, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Lisa – it was gooey goodness perfection 🙂

    Wholesomecook – yes the bread MUST be good at breakfast places, and this one did not disappoint!

    Hannah – I know, I was very spoilt for choice 🙂

    Michelle – oooh I need to try that place too!

    Poptartlr – I spent years needing mine to be super cooked – hard hard boiled! What a waste, I know 🙂

    Blithely Unaware – yes go on a day off, they're open perhaps a bit later then – just in case you get super keen and get there at 7am on a Sunday 😛

    Heidi xo

  • ClaireyH April 11, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    That egg, I will have to try it, not a sardines fan, but could turn just for that egg!

  • The InTolerant Chef April 11, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    The quinces and the sardines were my picks from the menu too, I don't know how you possiblly chose between them!

  • Ashley April 11, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Aaah….I've been here for one or two dinners before, but have always heard about their breakfast and have been dying to try it out. Both egg dishes just look so divine! If only I could get the boy to wake up in the morning….

  • Anna Johnston April 11, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Oh, top of the list to visit. Love it. Cute piccy of you too… deep in thought. 🙂 Sardines… GOOD!

  • Heidi April 11, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    ClaireyH – I know, who thinks of a slow-cooked egg? Genius.

    InTolerant Chef – I struggled!!

    Ashley – yes, a tough problem 🙂 Bribe him with eggy goodness…

    Anna – I am a recent sardine lover, and I'm so happy I've joined the party 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) April 11, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Looks awesome! I really need to have more eggs (and finally learn how to poach them)!

  • msihua April 12, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Oooh man.. I wouldn't be able to decide! I've always wanted to go, but I'm not an early riser and its the other side of the cbd for me 🙁 Thanks for sharing!!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella April 13, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Ooh yummy! I really enjoyed my breakfast here too! 😀

  • Heidi April 13, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Kath – I find I often get cravings for eggs. So delicious and nutritious!

    Msihua – pop over to the CBD one day you're up early, it's worth it!

    Lorraine – it was verrrrrry delicious 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Keely aka The Richest Girl in Bondi April 13, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Cumulus Inc is my favourite place to breakfast in Melbourne… and the baked eggs are my dish of choice. There are so many other places to try, but I can't go past Cumulus, and Andrew is such a sweetheart / genius, I don't mind giving him my business at all!

  • Iron Chef Shellie April 17, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    oooo look at that yolk explosion!

    Would love to go there one day