Two Birds, One Stone…
Much has been already written about Two Birds, One Stone… The owners are very savvy café entrepreneurs who establish funky, attractive, modern eateries and eventually sell them to another generation of owners. With Apte, and 3 Bags Full already under their belts – it was with a flurry of excitement that Two Birds, One Stone opened up in South Yarra last year.
This post is probably late – given that their new venture – Top Paddock is about to open up in Richmond. That just gives you a flavour of the amazing number of cafes opening up around Melbourne – who can keep up??
The ambience and interior is fresh and simple – with a real eye for detail. Water is served in big, brown pharmacy bottles – and the fresh white washed walls are complemented by a couple of huge and fabulous flower arrangements. Everything is “just so” – creating clean, uncluttered and relaxing ambience. Except for the noise levels – which get pretty intense!
The coffee is very good – and most cafes in Melbourne know they can’t get away with anything less these days. The coffee is mainly supplied by 5 Senses – and while I am happy with my ¾ flat white – they also do a range of drip coffee, aeropress, syphons, pourover and cold drip for the coffee hipsters out there!
Twice cooked marmalade French toast with oranges and vanilla panna cotta
Now – you all know I have a thing for French toast, so I had to check this out to see if it rivalled the superb and excellent French toast at Hardware Societé. Not even close. Actually – that may not be fair as it’s a completely different dish. The French toast is actually very cakey – quite firm and crumbly with a definite marmalade flavour. This had been pan fried to a lovely burnished bronze – but again, was quite heavy. I did love the panna cotta and syrupy oranges on the side (what a great idea – panna cotta for breakfast!!). It was a good dish – but not a destination dish! You know what I mean.
Corn fritters with house smoked salmon, avocado and herb tendrils
On my second visit, I actually tried one of the “lunch” dishes – because – let’s face it: Fritters = breakfast! Especially when you don’t like eggs – unless they’re cooked in something like French toast, pancakes or fritters! Go figure. Anyway – the fritters themselves are a little doughy and chewy. It’s a pity because the concept of the dish is right up my alley – beautiful smoked salmon, gorgeous avocado and enough greens to make it look healthy! Again – theoretically sound, but something missing in the execution.
So, overall – Two Birds, One Stone is a beautiful café – it’s got great ambience, great coffee (although not hot enough according to one of my dining companions) – and the food looks and sounds great – but it doesn’t quite hit the heights of some of Melbourne’s great cafés. It will prosper anyway – because of its pedigree, it’s almost laneway location, and the lack of immediate competition in this locale. Definitely worth a visit to check it out – but my guess is that you won’t find yourself craving a return – unless you’re in the area. There’s just too many great options out there…