September 7, 2011 1 Comment
238 Gertrude St
Fitzroy VIC 3065
(03) 9416 4747
Mon – Fri: 7am – late
Sat – Sun: 8am – late
Coffee: Genovese Coffee
“Bird, man and eating. It’s an odd mix of words. Having conducting my own educated googling, I had discovered that there is a Japanese’s manga (aka comic for the readers who aren’t aware) made in 1971 where birds develop superior intelligence from bird-aliens and humans become the equivalent of a juicy worm. If you are confused or pulling a weird face, don’t worry, I am with you. While it is evident that a Japanese manga can be based on anything, there is a friendly cafe that shares the same name. This cafe resides near the bottom of Gertrude Street that has proven its worth with a continued large presence for at least three years that I know of. I introduce to you, Birdman Eating.
Birdman Eating is a favourite for many amongst Gertrude Street, with consistently favourable reviews and a guaranteed wait during the weekend brunch rush. Given it’s popularity, it’s quite surprising that it is actually located within a small and narrow shop space. With that said, outdoor seating is generous with large communal tables to cater for big and small groups with further seating options inside. The kitchen is tucked away at the back of the cafe and it is certainly a tiny space. However, don’t be deterred by its size as it produces some fabulous dishes for brunch, lunch and dinner. It’s an all-rounder! Decor is simple and modern with a range of chic hanging lights, flower vases affixed to the roof and subtle side wall colours. The ambiance proves a cosy and warm feel with slightly dimmed lighting which oddly enough matches well with the array of brunch patrons – from the Brunswick hipsters to the proud people of Prahran.
Coffee Up! Birdman Eating sources coffee from… Genovese Coffee. It’s not a favourite coffee of mine as many previous reviews have highlighted this fact. The underlying reason is that usually my coffee comes out in a big cup with a dull coffee taste. The coffee bean is not a complex and lacks the flavour explosion that others offer, however, I have increasingly noticed that some coffee goers don’t really care about the quality of the coffee as long it is half good.
Well on this occasion my Long Black [$3.50] was better than just ‘half good’. The coffee had a lovely light head and with a hint of cherry like taste. It is a surprising enjoyable and simplistic coffee with a slight overtone of bitterness. It is not the best quality coffee going around, however it’s a good base level to which all in some way can enjoy.
Birdman Eating is known for its baked eggs of which they have two types that are innovatively plated on a small cast iron saucepan. They are definitely worth trying and guaranteed to satisfy the tastebuds. With that said, there a number of other high-quality and innovative dishes to choose from for any occasion or mood.
On this occasion it was mid afternoon and I decided on the Warm Octopus Salad nicoise with green olives, beans, potato and egg [$18]. The salad portion looked small but it certainly delivered a hearty meal. Taste-wise the dish was superb with an overall fresh and salty flavour. The octopus had a defined smokey flavour. The watercress salad was seasoned well and overall this salad was certainly not dull in any way. What I really loved about this dish was the additional brunch factor by adding a par boil egg which enhanced the salad. I am warming up to brunch salads and the creativity they deliver and this dish is certainly up there.
Birdman Eating is an absolute all-rounder when it comes to food and you would be crazy not to visit. It has certainly earned its well deserved status along Gertrude Street. If you have been to other cafes along Gertrude Street, I believe it’s time to indulge at Birdman Eating.“
“I’ve finally decided to bite the bullet and buy a dutch-style bicycle, and so what better excuse to make a day of purchasing and brunch? It was a cheerful Sunday and rather late for brunch when we arrived at an old favourite of ours, Birdman Eating. We’d first come here approximately 2 years ago for breakfast and again for an incredible dinner early this year where we had a mini degustation.
The cafe interior is dark and moody, with fake birds and ornaments hanging off the ceiling, giving the place a quirky vibe. On the way to bathroom (down the side corridor), the tiny kitchen is visible as the chefs pump out the mains. The brunch menu represented the dinner options that we’d previously experienced, so while I was excited about everything there, I opted for something I hadn’t tried before – the Deconstructed “Fish N Chips” Poached & Roasted bacalao, confit potatoes & aioli [$17.5] and an iced coffee [$5.50].
The iced coffee was just what I needed for such a warm day. It was slightly bitter but provided me the classy mix between a milkshake and coffee, which I was after. When my meal arrived my stomach grumbled. The serving size was delicate and I wasn’t sure if it would fulfill my brunching needs.
The meal itself was gorgeous. The fish seemed dried out and re-cooked – it had a tough, salty texture and at first I thought they’d given me chicken. It was in fact fish, and it was delicious! The potatoes were beautifully golden, lying atop a bed of creamy aioli which balanced the fish.
We’d ordered a side dish of Zucchini & fetta fritters [$10.5] just in case we weren’t full, but as I continued through my meal I realised it was unnecessary (for me anyway). Perhaps it was the kipfler potatoes, but I was stuffed by the end of it.
The zucchini fritters were a little greasy, as they had been deep-fried. The inside was just so soft and warm but unfortunately the chef seemed a little heavy-handed with the salt which the yogurt could not even save. We have had this dish previously though and it had been magnificent, so perhaps we had just caught the chef on a bad day.
Overall Birdman Eating is an excellent venue for breakfast, brunch or dinner. If you haven’t already been, you should make yourself a date there.”
Final thought: “Excellent food concepts”