Buongiorno, bonjour and “g’day”! (don't you like how they're all the same thing? ~ who knew Australian vernacular was so cosmopolitan???).

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It’s your old pal Kit (Christof) Fennessy here. I've been writing this blog with your help for ten years, and there's over a hundred and fifty recipes, restaurant reviews of Australia and around the world, and general gourmet articles in these pages for you to fritter away your idle hours on.

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Now, what's on the bill of fare today?

Sunday, May 8, 2011


45 Flinders Lane


Everyone's been to Cumulus. Except me. Every time I went past it was packed. Trendy young people and older sophisticates have scoffed there for years while I've been stuck outside in variously the cold, temperate and boiling hot. Tsk.

But last night, out alone wandering the cold streets of town on the way home (cue wind machine and darkening skies, drizzle rain machine effect, empty street, rat scurries out of breeze behind bin), I chanced my arm. Surely this time?

It was packed, a surprise from the empty street outside. They squeezed me in between two groups of attractive girls at the bar to watch the chefs. I asked the waiter for his menu recommendations, and found out something they don't advertise!...

...OK! I clicked on full post. So what's the secret?

Come on, do you expect to do the reveal that fast? We've got to have one minute of suspense.

Cumulus is a little bar at the top end of Flinders Lane owned by the same people who own Cutler and Co. It's all hard surfaces in basically one open plan room with the cooking staff on show. Gee they work hard! Think trattoria.

The ingredients are second to none. Wagyu cured beef is cut on a meat slicer, they have over eight different kinds of oysters (not all great, as usual), fresh tuna and confits (beef?). Pomegranate seeds feature, as do delicately palate balanced salads. What would you call it? Eur/Asian, Frenchie-Jap? Freshness is the main key but saturated fat decadence options are available for those with the need.

My friendly waiter recommended two oysters, the cold octopus with chilli - small hot and green - and mayonaise in oil (Yummy!) and his secret.

The secret? Show me! What's the teasing all about. Argh!

My pal suggested I get a half serve of the cauliflower and a half serve on the tuna dish (raw, served on cold minted peas). Just the right amount for one. Half serves are not advertised as an option on the menu and significantly financially saving.

Throw in a Peroni and a glass of award winning sauvignon blanc, and it's as good an eatery as anywhere on the planet.

So, the tentacley verdict? A bit too popular, hard to get seats for four or five, but a couple could get in OK if their timing's good. Bookings? You might take them, but it's not that sort of venue. I'd do the fly past as there's so many restaurants around the area. But it is worth the try. One chef's hat from the Age Good Food Guide, I give it seven tentacles out of eight.

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