Three Bags Full — and now Two Birds One Stone. Are we counting down? Indeed Claremont Street, South Yarra has blasted off with the arrival of Nathan Toleman, Diamond Rozakeas and Ben Clarke’s latest project which opened its doors on 16 July. A mixture of excitement and friendliness is at play at Two Birds One Stone. While your eyes get a feast thanks to the savvy design upon entering, you’re quickly welcomed by the familiar faces who have set new benchmarks for quality cafes in Melbourne (Apte, Liar Liar, Three Bags Full).
Their secret is that there isn’t one. When there is this level of passion for food, coffee, service and design, the outcomes are far more assured. It’s not about developing a cafe and moving on; it’s about pouring heart and soul into a project and spotting the opportunity to reinvent within the industry. Nathan, Diamond and Ben aren’t the only common thread in this three-venue (and counting) success story. The people who work for them have been integral. Jack Stones, who heads the coffee side of things at Two Birds, spent months developing the house blend. There is also a fresh team and some stellar talent behind the custom Synesso and brew bar.
The coffee station is cleverly sectioned out with a bar area opposite. If you have spent time at Three Bags Full, you will notice that Two Birds One Stone has the same signature bar-style seating that surrounds the Synesso, giving people a chance to feel close to their baristas. The coffee board is clearly marked ‘black, white and filter’. It’s easy to understand, has the origins listed and celebrates specialty coffee without having to shout it from the rooftops. The Five Senses blend (used in milk coffees) is made up of Brazilian, Indian, Guatemalan and Colombian. The goal here for Stones and Clarke (who has focused heavily on the coffee programme) was to create a medium to low acid coffee which was still packed with flavour and well-balanced. The Brazilian beans certainly keep the acid levels low and deliver that lovely dark cocoa note and sweetness. The Guatemalan adds to this sweetness and lifts the acidity, whilst the Indian and Colombian (both Relationship coffees) add some rich berry notes to make this coffee very smooth, rounded and sweet. On the black and filter side of things you are always in for a treat and can expect a COE (Cup of Excellence) or rare micro lot coffee. You may even try some of Two Birds One Stone’s own roast on filter.
Within the first weeks of Two Birds One Stone’s opening, critics have also raved about the food on offer. David Finlayson (Harveys, Tapeo) heads the kitchen team and maintains a seasonal produce focus. The salt cod and potato fritter with spinach, poached egg and caper berry dressing has quickly become a house favourite. The presentation is impeccable (as you would expect) and ‘delicious’ seems to be the most common tweet made about Two Birds One Stone’s food.
Claremont Street, South Yarra has changed face and is quickly becoming a new destination street in Melbourne.
Two Birds One Stone
12 Claremont Street
South Yarra, VIC
Monday — Friday 7:00am — 5:00pm
Saturday — Sunday 7:00am — 4:00pm