Apologies for my lack of updates of late. It's almost the end of semester and things are seriously getting outta controooool... As much as I find this to be the most interesting/enjoyable semester I've ever had, I honestly cannot wait to graduate in December and move on from uni for good. Let's just say, it's been a long ride and I'm ready for my next chapter.
Question: How many of you working folks actually prefer studying over work?
Anyhoo, a few of my friends and I got together a while ago to celebrate our friend Ming's birthday. Seemed like a fitting place for a special occasion. Plus, we thought it'd be fun/delicious to get the famous roasted lamb shoulder to share.
The first time I came to Cumulus was actually 3 years ago (long time, I know), and it was for lunch with my mate Chris. We ordered the braised/crumbed pig's tail and rabbit stew from the specials menu that day and it was DELICIOUS. So, I was quite interested in coming back to see how it'd fair since then...
Complimentary bread to start
These went quickly from the table. Partly because we were starving from being seated so late. Also, it was lovely.
Moonlight en Surface -- $4.50
The Rusty Wire -- $5.00
I'll admit, the only reason why I wanted to try the moonlight oyster was because I thought it sounded cool (what a sucker lol). I loved the slippery and crunchy texture of the oyster. Very clean and natural flavours too. Good.
Tasted quite strong of briny water of the sea. It wasn't bad but I still preferred the first one.
Grilled octopus, smoked paprika & basil -- $10.00
Liked this! Chewy but not tough little bite sized pieces which went well with the aioli-like sauce. The smoked paprika really shone through in this one for me. Nice.
Tuna tartare with crushed green pea salad -- $32.00
GREAT!! Nicely sized chunks for you to really taste the tuna. Crunchy fresh peas and goats cheese curd was seriously delicious. Not as sharp, tart or strong but adds creaminess and flavour against the tuna. Nice. But pricey =/
Boudin noir, smoked tomato & parsley salad -- $14.00
Slightly creamier than most of the other blood sausages I've had but still as rich and flavourful. Only wished they had introduced a mort tart or acidic salad/slaw to counter the intensity of the sausage. Or maybe a light drizzle of vinaigrette would be JUST nice. Just to add moisture to the dish too.
Fried soft-shelled crab with lettuce and kimchi mayo -- $21.00
This was really disappointing to me. My piece was really soggy and a tad salty. Also so undercooked that I swear I could've mistaken it for rubbery, uncooked flour/batter, seriously. Whyyyyyyyy...
I didn't like the taste of the kimchi mayo too and thought it wasn't right for the dish. The lettuce really didn't do much for me, either. Bad crabs and weird combo all round.
Whole slow roasted lamb shoulder to share -- $69.00
Finally! The dish we've been waiting for...
It was... Nice. Except for the outer edges of the shank, every part of the lamb was really moist and tender. I saved the skin till the end and it made me soooo happy when I put it in my mouth. Crunchy and melting fats.
Though, I must say that the roast lamb I had at Porteño in Sydney last year reaaaally set the bar quite high. Still the best I ever had, by far. Still, I quite enjoyed this. Though, I couldn't help but feel it was a bit too simple of a dish (very much doable at home) to be charging us $69.
Would've been nice to have some sides/salads to complement the amount of meat we were having. The small serve of picked onions in red wine vinegar was good, but not enough to go around.
Spiced eggplant, sheep's milk yoghurt & pomegranate -- $16.00
Lots of flavour from the spices. Served cold and the dollops of yogurt and scattered pomegranate fruit went quite pleasantly together. Interesting.
To cap off, damage was $45.00 per person. Fair (I guess), considering we ate a lot. Though, I still found the tuna and lamb shoulder a bit overpriced.
Am I particularly fond/crazy over Cumulus Inc? Surprisingly not.
The truth of the matter is that I definitely had a bit of trouble deciding what I'd like from the menu, because the choices for the mains were really limited and there wasn't much else that particularly excited me from the menu. Even though I really enjoyed the octopus and tuna dish, it wasn't enough to make me say it was a great meal. Everything else was........okay. Even the lamb was good but nothing fantastic, I feel. Just baked with salt for a very long time.
In fact, I really wish they'd bring back those 2 dishes I had a looong time ago (the pig's tail and rabbit stew) because those were SOOOO good and would've made the menu a lot more interesting. I still think about them till now. They cook the food well (apart from the soft-shelled crab), but still not too big a fan of the usual dinner menu. Just sayin'.
Anyway, hope you're all eating well wherever you are... Please stay tuned for the next post because it's going to be an EXCITING one, weeeeeeee~!