I’ve tried to go to Top Paddock, the latest offering by the people behind Three Bags Full, a number of times since it opened at the end of January. Each time there is an enormous line, so I move on. This time around we decided to pop into Two Birds One Stone instead which is run by the same crew.
There was a waiting list there too, but we got a glimpse of the list and could see that there were only two groups of two ahead of us so we stuck it out. It was about 15 minutes until we got a table.
The menu was broken up into all-day breakfast and lunch offerings. All of it was standard fare; nothing was particularly exciting.
My Five Senses blend latte ($3.80) was a little disappointing, considering this place’s credentials. Very bitter and sharp.
‘Two Birds’ ($18.50, $22.50 with meat)
My dining partner got the Two Birds, which was their take on the typical ‘big breakfast’ type meal. Eggs on toast were accompanied by heirloom tomatoes, haloumi, spinach, mushroom and avocado. There was also an option of adding house-made sausage and Istra bacon.
When he got his meal both the eggs and the toast were cold. On top of this the mushrooms were excessively buttery, tasting of little else. It wasn’t all too inspiring.
Pulled pork bun ($16.50)
Although I usually crave eggs on a Saturday morning, I decided to change it up and go for one of the lunch options. Pulled pork was served on a brioche bun with apple and celeriac remoulade. It certainly wasn’t the easiest thing to eat as the apple and celeriac pieces fell out the sides and pork juices ran down my forearms. As much as I love watercress I’m not sure that it was the most practical salad leaf to have in a bun like this.
Nevertheless it was satisfying: the bun supported the tender pork well and the combination of julienned apple and celeriac added crunch and a mild sweetness. I came across a stray chunk of star anise, which was unpleasant, however the meal as a whole was good enough for me to forgive them on this occasion.
The food wasn’t amazing. My pork bun was quite nice but not something I couldn’t find elsewhere. The ‘two birds’ was a bit of a let down given that it was such a basic dish. The coffees we had were also mediocre at best. Prices were a tad on the expensive side.
The staff were friendly, but seemed flustered. Service was very slow with our meals taking approximately 35 minutes to arrive.
I have to wonder if Two Birds’ connection and proximity to the wildly popular Top Paddock has caused a sudden influx of patrons in recent weeks, and that perhaps staff have been struggling to cope. I’m sure that we wouldn’t have been the only ones to pass on Top Paddock after seeing the queue. If so, this would go some way towards explaining the slightly lacklustre experience we had.
I might give Two Birds another shot in a few months when Top Paddock has settled in and some other newcomer opens up. For now though, it’s probably best to go elsewhere.Two Birds One Stone 12 Claremont Street South Yarra
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