Two Birds One Stone
12 Claremont Street
Before she left to do her MBA in the USA, my friend S was very good at seeking out the cafes of the moment and suggesting we do brunch there. So, prior to about eleventy thousand blog posts appearing on Urbanspoon, extolling the virtues of the new cafe venture in South Yarra by the people who brought you Three Bags Full (Abbotsford), a group of us lobbed at Two Birds One Stone for the last farewell brunch before she jetted off.
Located near South Yarra station, in Avoca Street, off the main drag of Toorak Road, the cafe has limited signage but you will know it by the outside seating and the throng of people. It was raining the day we came, so our gaggle of brunchers were very glad to snuggle into one of the larger booths inside. The decor is less grimy/industrial than north of the river (you know I mean faux-grimy), more white and bright, but still eclectic and fun – not sterile in the least!
Two birds one stone ticked some obvious boxes for me in the form of many dishes which come with haloumi on the menu (something St Ali also does well, for those playing at home). However, I was pretty hungry the day I arrived so I ordered the two birds breakfast, which came with two poached eggs, tomato, bacon, two mini pork, chilli and fennel sausages, and I believe I got mushrooms and spinach and tomato relish as well, for $18.50.
Two birds is the equivalent of the carnivore big breakfast. It was great, but I think I should have ordered something more interesting – it’s easy for a cafe to get a big breakfast right (and if they don’t, they really are bad!).
My friend ordered the vegetarian version of the big breakfast, cutely titled one stone ($17.50). Our two dishes were like yin and yang! Or something. Hers came with two pached eggs, bread, a side of haloumi (mmm vegetarian bacon), spinach, mushies, tomato relish, and as you can see in the picture, a lump of avocado and some ‘smoked’ corn.
The eggs benedict came with proper ham, and a gloriously sunny-yellow hollandaise sauce to brighten up the wintry morning ($16.50).
If – okay, let’s be honest, when – I come back to two birds one stone, I will make it a priority to order some sweet stuff. When I’m out for breakfast, I generally lean towards the savoury end of the brunch spectrum. Eggs, eggs, and more eggs. However. I had divine ricotta hotcakes at Three Bags Full, and it strikes me now, looking at the photo below of my housemate’s banana bread, poached dates and yoghurt ($15.50), that the people behind this cafe really do excellent breakfast-dessert.
The last dish ordered on our table was the home-made baked beans with haloumi and coriander pesto. You can see a side of the spicy pork and fennel sausages was added to this order. A generous amount of haloumi makes this dish, in my opinion.
For such a swish suburb, South Yarra really doesn’t have that many cafes that are well known in the public consciousness. If you head further down Chapel Street, Prahran-way, you can find some gems, but up in the Toorak Road surrounds it’s been a bit light on until now. Two birds one stone is destined to be one of those annoying cafes where you have to wait around to grab a table – it’s that good. I expect popularity to rise exponentially. I just hope next time I come back, I can get a table…