Boringly, work has been really crazy lately (hence the somewhat reduced frequency of new blog posts). In addition to feeling like I have neglected the blog a bit, it’s also been a bit a little hard to find time to hang with Mr M. The solution? Mid-week breakfast catch ups with the two of us, starting off first with breakfast at Birdman Eating.
I have eaten breakfast loads of times at Birdman Eating (and a couple of lunches thrown in as well), but to date had decided not to blog it. I decided to revisit this strategy because I just got my hands on a new fancy pants camera and I was overexcited to try it out (and before anyone asks, the camera wasn’t a freebie, I bought it with my own cashola).
Birdman Eating is a quirky little cafe, situated on Gertrude St. Apparently the name Birdman comes from the annual Moomba Birdman Rally as well as the myth of Icarus. I have always been somewhat bemused by the decor, which includes suspended vases and little winged action-figure types hanging from the ceiling. The figurines are actually quite delicate and beautiful and someone spent a lot of time forming those wings from feathers.
Birdman has loads of breakfast options that pleasingly differ from the standard breakfast fare. Tried and tested breakfasts include the black sticky rice with yoghurt and mango ($10 lovely texture, hints of sesame and freshness from the fruit) and quinoa porridge with coconut, banana and palm sugar ($11.5 caramelised chunks of banana, almost toffee flavour of palm sugar). Ricotta features, in hotcake form ($14.5) and baked with fruit ($12.5). Or you can try something more substantial like Welsh rarebit ($8.5), steak sandwich ($16), grilled kippers ($17), black pudding with potato hash and fried egg ($17.5) or kransky with bubble and squeak ($18).
I usually can’t get past the baked eggs ($12), which change regularly. The morning we went there were sweet potato, capsicum tomato and goats cheese, beef stroganoff and pancetta and tomato sugo on offer. Mr M went for the pancetta and tomato and was not disappointed:
These babies come out piping hot in their little skillets and pack a flavour punch. Here, there was a sweetness from the sugo with salty little bits of pancetta. Yum.
I mixed it up a little and tried the braised beans on toast ($13.5):
Joyfully, Birdman Eating has gluten-free bread on offer and this specimen above was damn good. When I first looked at the toast I didn’t think it was actually gluten-free (it looked too tasty and too normal), though a quick comparison of my bread and Mr M’s bread quickly put my mind at ease. I had an ‘incident’ a while back where I ordered a gluten-free pizza and it wasn’t gluten free. Tummy aches ensued and I am now a little paranoid about making sure what is supposed to be GF is actually GF.
This lovely bread is from Fatto a Mano, just up the road from Birdman Eating. As an aside, they also do a cracking spelt bread (for those who are just wheat-free not gluten-free). I will say that this is one of the best gluten-free breads I have had ever, and certainly the best in recent memory. Unlike other GF bread it wasn’t cakey or falling apart, it had some actual flavour and wasn’t horribly dense (GF will always be dense, but this was acceptably so).
Back to the beans, these impressed me almost as much as the bread (and sorry for the overexcited spiel there!). These were rich and tasty, with a range of different beans, little chunks of carrot and capsicum and a hit of cumin.
All in all, a very satisfying breakfast (and a nice hit of quality time too!). It was lovely to go to Birdman mid-week and enjoy a relaxed breakfast, such a different experience to its crazy pace at the weekends. But, Birdman is worth braving the crowds, it’s been a stalwart for years for a reason. Personally, I’ll be visiting again on a quiet weekday… a perfect start to the day.
283 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
(03) 9416 4747