12 Claremont Street
South Yarra VIC 3141
+61 3 9827 1228
In light of the events of this evening (no, I’m not talking about State of Origin, ahem), this post about yet another brunch place pales in comparison. I’ll be reviewing Two Birds One Stone – because it’s not like fifty other bloggers have written about it already. Then again, it’s not like we’ve seen ALP leadership spills in the last few years…
So yes, Two Birds One Stone (TBOS). It’s one of Melbourne’s most popular weekend brunch spots at the moment. At present, there are 45 blogger reviews of it on Urbanspoon and a queue that last just as long in minutes on Saturday mornings. I’ve been staying away from brunch places recently but when Queensland friends Dom and Kate, who were here a few weekends ago, wanted to do brunch one Sunday morning, I decided that TBOS would be the perfect place to take them.
This is TBOS when it’s not as busy. As you can see, there’s still a lot of traffic but this was just after the storm that was Sunday morning, just so you have an idea. The waitress told us that there were no tables available but if I leave my name and number, she would call me. She also estimated a 30-minute wait. ‘Fantastic!’ we thought. ‘MoVida Bakery donuts, here we come!’
We had only been away for 10-15 minutes when we got a call from the café saying that our table was ready. I told her that we were a few blocks away and that it’d take us 5-10 minutes to walk back, and her response to that was a very displeased, ‘Okay, you guys have two minutes before we give your table away.’ I was like, ‘Uh dude, you DID say 30 minutes!’ but regardless, I hung up and we quickly made our way across.
Thankfully our table was still there and thankfully, a much nicer waiter wearing a cute little bowtie ushered us to our very cramped little table in an already very cramped dining room.
After a night of cocktails and wine, I desperately needed a coffee. My latte was surprisingly not that fantastic for a café that’s supposed to be reputable. It tasted a bit burnt and it lacked body.
Kate, having already raided the hotel’s breakfast buffet table earlier that morning, didn’t want a big breakfast. Even though she was tempted by the wonderful-sounding dishes on the menu, she decided to be good by ordering the fruit toast. I didn’t have any of it but she declared it the best fruit toast she’s ever had.
Dom chose a dish from the all day lunch menu, a tantalisingly creamy combination of mushrooms and cheese all in one. Everything was right about this dish: the creamy polenta and gorgonzola cream all rolled into one, the earthy medley of mushrooms and the crunchy hazelnuts, all tied together with the soft whispers of truffle pecorino. It was divine.
In hindsight, I should have been more adventurous with my breakfast choice. I should have ordered the roast chicken sandwich with house made sausages or even the Reuben sandwich. Instead, I went for their house special that pretty much contained every ingredient that every second café in Melbourne puts on their house special dish. The only difference was that the avocado wasn’t smashed like my 17-year old self on year 12 formal night.
To be fair, my breakfast was pretty nice. The poached eggs were lovely as you can see, and so was the crispy pan-fried haloumi slice and the sweet heirloom tomatoes. I’m just being a bit of a crankypants because I suffered a case of food envy. Note to self: never play it safe for breakfast again, unless you’re eating at a Vietnamese restaurant.
So my visit might not have been perfect (hell, the coffee certainly wasn’t) but I can see why TBOS is getting all the hype. The staff were generally lovely and despite the whole place being busy, our food did arrive relatively quickly. While I won’t be rushing to order the Two Birds breakfast again, I definitely have my eye on some of that mushroom polenta. Mmm.