No matter what your age in my opinion, your birthday should be celebrated. Big or small some recognition needs to be made, it is the one day a year which you can unabashedly make it all about you. For me, all I want is to be around people I care about, have some delicious food, preferably a glass or two and if the weather wants to cooperate and be beaming all the better. Last year, I was in a shed debudding sticks which would be used for grafting future grape vines, it was miserable and cold outside and no one really had the energy to do much. So, this year I made sure I had the day off, wished for sunshine and organised brunch and drinks with friends. Graciously I was given a week of beautiful weather, a delicious brunch and a great day out with friends in Melbourne.
T’was the second day of Spring and the sun was out in full force. Slightly blustery but I enjoy blustery days. They remind me of change, magic and the Winnie The Pooh story The Blustery Day. Also the girly part of me says that my normal rather flat hair might be slightly improved by the wind tussled look so unless I have just been to the hairdressers I rarely see it as a bad thing. It was a warm enough day that I didn’t have to dawn my winter coat and everyone including my tram driver was in a good mood feeling the effects of the change of air I am sure. So the day was already off to a good start and it had only just begun. I had booked Two Birds One Stone on Claremont St in South Yarra for brunch. It is one of a string of family of cafes that love their hot cakes and/or pancakes. Marcus has been showing me Instagram photos of Top Paddock, Two Birds One Stone sister cafe, for ages and they looked like edible works of art! However, as none of us had ate at Two Birds One Stone before I decided we would go somewhere new to all as their menu also said they made pancakes.
I managed to arrive as the clock struck 11 with Jack and Renato holding fort in a perfectly sized private booth along the wall of the cafe. Everyone else was running a little late so we took on the task of testing their coffees, chai’s and deciding on food choices. Time passed on, I drank up my almond Chai and stomachs growled. The rest of our little crew finally arrived and we pounced on them to make decisions as we had been watching all the food come out and it hadn’t helped to squash our hunger. As per usual I couldn’t decide between sweet or savoury and the menu had a handful of each category to choose from. After a good ponder and toss up Renato saved me from my dilemma agreeing to split a soft shelled crab burger and their Instagram contest winner, coconut pancakes.
I began with my savoury half, the crispy soft shell crab burger with a book choy, carrot and coriander salad. It was full of flavour and juicy and really did look like the crab was going to walk out of the burger. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Sebastian in the Little Mermaid and Grimly’s remark “Let’s eat before this crab wanders off my plate!” Due to my appetite it didn’t have much of a chance thankfully.
Then it was onto the sweet course. I forced myself to slow down and savour every bite. The pancakes were the envy of the table and rightly so. They were beautiful and delicious. Three thick fluffy coconut pancakes stacked one on top of each other with caramelised pine nuts, candied mandarins, starfruit, coconut soba and a mango mousse. Delectable! Then my real treat came with a fabulous rendition of Happy Birthday, a lovely card, an amazing bottle of bubbles – to complete my champagne breakfast, an incredibly detailed sign summing up what my friends thought of me – rainbows, sparkles and unicorns and the best brownies I have had in a long time – Reece’s peanut butter cup chocolate brownies. (Thank you Fiona) What more could a girl ask for in a birthday brunch!!