Two Birds One Stone: South Yarra, Melbourne

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It’s one of the many feuds Melbourne and Sydney has aside from better sports (Sydney, in my opinion), better transport (I think neither, really, although Melbourne streets are far more organised) and better nightlife (sadly,  Melbourne thanks to lock out laws), but I’m still undecided on whether the brunch scene in Melbourne or Sydney is better. Thanks to places like Single O and Paramount, I think Sydney is starting to edge out Melbourne on the coffee scene, but the more I explore Melbourne the deeper my appreciation for their cafés grows.

My partner and I support the Melbourne Storm in Rugby League (a story for not this blog), so as is becoming tradition we make the trip down during the finals for any home games they have during that period. Thankfully this time the semi-final was hosted on a Friday night, so I could spend the Saturday with my friend CP who was visiting her brother for a few weeks.

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Down a side street in South Yarra is a place called Two Birds One Stone, which is a nice small little cafe that is pet friendly (CP went crazy over the French Bulldog outside), single origin coffee and a bright interior. There are options for outdoor seating, cozy little booths or a shared table in the middle of the space.

They had something sweet for those who prefer the pancakes over savoury brunch, great coffee for the caffeine-dependent, and efficient wait staff. For the three of us this made for an agreeable option between all of us, even though it was admittedly not my first choice of cafe (but my initial pick had a half hour wait, and PM is not that patient when he’s hungry).

CP and I being the coffee drinkers, we both got cold drinks. I opted for the cold batch brew, but CP was a little confused that her cold brew came in a conical flask. That’s what all the cool places do nowadays! The batch brew made for a good contrast to my food, and given the hot turn of the Melbourne weather was a great drink to have. It was a little sour compared to some other ones I’ve had, but a lot better than the cold brew I had in Grounds previously.

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Ricotta pancakes with rhubarb & raspberry compote, vanilla mascarpone, berries and toasted pistachio.

PM got some pancakes, as per his usual MO for breakfasts (remember my comment about people not liking savoury brunches? Yeah, he’s one of them. In fact, he doesn’t like brunch at all, hence why I’m often going with other people instead). I’ve had a few misses in choosing cafes that he likes because of this, because the sweet options are usually limited and the portions quite small. But here was a stack of fairly thick but fluffy pancakes with vanilla mascarpone and a rhubarb and berry compote. PM polished this off pretty quickly with no complaints, so that is already a few points right there.

The flower got placed on my dish instead, however.

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Oven baked smoked salmon omelette with salsa verde, pickled beetroot and mixed greens

CP opted for the salmon omelette, which I would be all for (salmon and eggs!) if not for the pickled beetroot. Beetroot is probably one of my top three most hated vegetables, right up there with zucchini and eggplant. Yes, I know two of those are fruit, but put those in a fruit salad and we won’t be friends anymore. However, that omelette looked damned fluffy and so delectable that I might have forgiven the beetroot in that dish.

As for me, since the eggs benedict was out (there was only a pork option) I chose to get The Breakfast (vegetarian), with a side of smoked salmon.  I was at first hesitant because of the avocado (it is known amongst my friends that I’m not their biggest fan), but I thought half an avocado would be ok (and PM wouldn’t mind having some)…

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The Breakfast: eggs on toast with avocado, spinach, mushrroms, roasted tomatoes and haloumi

… a whole avocado. They gave me a whole avocado. It’s unlikely that they knew we were from Sydney, and there was all this talk about smashed avo being so expensive that people wouldn’t be able to afford a house, but even so that seemed a bit much. I managed to have a half before I got tired of having so much avocado.

But the rest of those items… yum yum. I’m not even a huge fan of haloumi either (yes, I know, sue me) but the variety of salts and sweets on that plate were just constantly entertaining my taste buds.

My only gripe about the place (apart from the obviously gluttony in regards to avocado) is that there is only one unisex bathroom. Which, given the size of the place, kind of makes sense. But it does mean you need to keep an eye out for that person who entered before you so you can make a mad dash for it or risk waiting again!

Two Birds One Stone offers reservations, but the walk in time isn’t very long early on a Saturday morning. It’s not on the main streets in South Yarra, so there isn’t much ambient noise from cars going by, and it makes a good stop when you actually want to have a relaxing brunch with an old friend.

Two Birds One Stone

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