You don’t go to Two Birds One Stone for a quiet breakfast, not on the weekend anyway. It's so new the pavement out front is still under construction and so popular half of South Yarra seems willing to wait up to an hour for a table, DSLRs in hand.
It's the first of three new south side ventures from the crew who brought you Hawthorn's Liar Liar and Abbotsford's Three Bags Full (note, these venues were long ago sold). Hands-on business partners Nathan Toleman, Ben Clarke and Diamond Rozakeas have two more venues due by the end of the year: one will take over a defunct pizza shop near the Jam Factory on Chapel Street; the other will be a larger, custom built café on Church Street in Richmond that will house the 'master' kitchen – future factory for all their baked goods and filled baguettes.
What would a freshly opened Melbourne café be without Scandinavian design, terrariums and bare bulb light fittings? Feels like home. Beige coloured benches make good use of window frontage and we love the seats, extra wide three-legged numbers just perfect for big bottoms. Prize position is at one of the three booths. Here you'll find semi-private seating for five-six people where one can be tucked safely out of the way of circling future customers. If you're not that lucky, try for one of the half dozen tables for two, or the communal table for 20.
A metre long, custom-made Synesso pumps out 5 Senses coffee. The boys do have their own roaster on the go (at another café) but right now that’s just for shits and giggles. They'll let us know when they're ready to inflict their brew on the customers.
Head chef David Finlayson (ex-Press Club Group, who will eventually oversee all three venues) has split his menu into breakfast and lunch sections but he needn't bother – all of the things are available all of the time and seriously, you do want the crushed pea, fetta and 12-hour roast saltbush lamb sandwich for breakfast.
Get down to business with a gleefully rich salt cod and potato cake on wilted spinach made all the better with a salty, caperberry and red onion topping to cut through those tasty fats. Sweet little cakes are made on site, all with perfect frosting to cake ratio (at least 1/3 icing, if you're wondering) – think carrot, chocolate, peanut butter and more chocolate.
If you're gonna go and check this baby out (and we think you should) go early or late. Things should settle down eventually, but even amidst the mania, the staff is handling things with aplomb. Hang in there kid, you'll get a table eventually.
The Two Birds One Stone also run The Kettle Black.