Two Birds One Stone
12 Claremont Street, South Yarra.
Riding off the success of Three Bags Full in Abbotsford and Liar Liar in Hawthorn, the team have opened yet another, this time in South Yarra, attempting to impress a very different side of Melbourne. Two Birds One Stone is tucked away amidst the high rise apartments of South Yarra in the shadows of the gaudy and garish thrills of Chapel Street and Toorak road. With its wide open windows and panelled exterior teamed with an ever growing line out the front, it is hard to miss despite the somewhat inconspicuous location. Inside, the white walls and polished tiles prove to create a rather stark environment which is broken down by warm lighting, designs that symbolise the very stereotype of the Melbourne cafe scene. Booths separate the relatively large space bringing the exterior in closer to the trademark communal table that engulfs the majority of the floor space.
Flying the flag for some of the best coffee in Melbourne, expectation on Two Bird’ is high, and although my espresso was perfect temperature, colour and arrived on time, there was nothing particularly special that made the Brazilian/Ethiopian blend stand out from other cafes. Adopting an Italian style espresso bar blend, the coffee was slightly watery and largely dominated by cocoa and ‘coffee’ flavour and did not prove to unleash the fruitful and bewildering tastes most common and unique to Five Senses coffee generally.
My flat white and latte presented very well also yet was slightly over extracted creating far too much bitterness to finish it (I want to blame the large number of coffee orders to fulfil on these hiccups and not the barista and coffee themselves but something tells me the popularity of the cafe means there is never a right time for the barista to work his/her magic during quite periods).
The food follows suit with Three Bags Full although provides slightly less to choose from and reminds me somewhat of Dead Man Espresso; Two Birds makes many of their relishes and condiments themselves and presents a large amount of meat dishes on their everyday menu. Despite this, my Two birds, aka breakfast with the lot was very tasty especially the fennel sausage although it could do without the Chapel street price tag. Everything was well cooked; no hiccups there, although our meals did arrive faster than it is actually possible to poach an egg which to me suggests a lot of dishes are not made to order.
The patrons add comedic value to the dining experience and I felt rather overdressed in my boots and winter shrug as almost everyone appeared to have come straight from their morning exercise, that is, with perfect makeup and hair to accompany their 2XU and Lululemon attire.
Overall, Two Birds One Stone is worth a visit with the following conditions applied: Go to the ATM first (you most certainly will not be packing enough cash), don’t go on the weekend unless you are prepared to wait and have a slightly less than perfect meal and depending on your style; if you choose to blend in, pay a visit to a sports apparel store on your way. The staff are fantastic and very accommodating whilst you wait for your table and service is of a high quality.