Birdcage Cafe Altona, 7 Harrington Square, Altona. Phone: 0414 224 821
Running a little ahead of time, I decide to take the scenic route to Altona’s Harrington Square.
But as I pass Bezirk cafe on Millers Road, I feel a twinge of guilt.
You see, I exchanged email a while back with one of Bezirk’s proprietors with a view to doing a CTS review/story – but we simply haven’t got around to it yet.
Now here I am, heading to another Altona cafe to do the biz on the eve of its big opening!
Oh well …
Happily, after I enter Birdcage Cafe Altona, I discover the couple behind it, Adrian and Cath, are the very same folks who run Bezirk.
Or rather, no problem at all!
Adrian tells me their initial focus when looking to open a sister joint for Bezirk ran more along the lines of a hole-in-the-wall operation.
But when they found and secured 7 Harrington Square, they decided there was no other way for it than to run with gusto with the greater space at hand.
And a lovely space it is, too.
It’s kinda minimalist, but in a warming way.
There’s a cute kids area.
And these rustic, concrete-topped stools are surprisingly bum-friendly.
The table base is constructed from a papadum machine, maintaining a link with the premisies’ previous carnation as a curry house.
Naturally, Birdcage Cafe is doing a fine line in brekkies, including the likes of breakfast pumpkin gnocchi and apple crumble pancakes.
But with more room, and more room to cook, Birdcage Cafe is going further than Bezirk in terms of lunch offerings, running to – for instance – a Thai beef salad and grilled salmon.
I’m told the menu (see below) testing has all been done and I’m on hand for a sort-of softish opening for friends and family.
So my lunch options are limited to the burgers – no matter.
Now, take it on board that my lunch has been prepared in the knowledge it is to be eaten by a food writer and that I did not pay for it.
That said … IMO this fried chicken burger ($17) is a sensation!
There’s nothing particularly sophisticated about it, but …
A massive slab of crisp, juicy and tasty fried chook; cheese; rough-cut, excellent coleslaw; a single rasher of very good bacon.
Excellent chips on the side.
Really top stuff, it all is.
And so substantial that I have no room left for a chunk of Nutella baklava.
Adrian tells me they’re creating some of their sweet treats in-house, but are sourcing others from local specialists such as Fresh Prince of Baklava.
Also keeping righteous local vibe going are meat from Paddock to Table in Laverton and hams and the like from Sycamore Deli in Altona.
My straight-up cafe latte is marvellous.