I know it’s a bit tacky to say it, but Bluebird Espresso put a real song into my day. Perched near the front window and served by chirpy staff, I would have been happy to nest here for the day dining on some delicious breakfast options.
If you haven't heard about it on the grapevine you’d probably just fly on past tough. It’s located in a fairly dead seeming part of Johnston Street between Smith and Hoddle Streets. However, if you go for a walk along there and you’ll almost certainly be surprised at just how many cafes and small restaurants can be found, all the way up to the train line.
Even if the food wasn’t good I'd be willing to forgive them almost anything so friendly was the welcome. You occasionally get unfriendly glances or comments as a blogger when taking photos, in some ways it goes with the territory. It's in fact one of the reasons we usually try to get their just as cafes open – not only does it leave most of the day still free but it also means that you don’t disturb other diners by getting them in the shots, probably the grievance about bloggers that I have most sympathy with. However, staff here laughed and seemed genuinely pleased that we were interested enough to take photos, a pleasant and most welcome surprise.
In some ways the café is fairly similar to most of its Fitzroy or Brunswick cousins. A few tables out the front, a narrow shop with open kitchen area, and what appeared to be a courtyard out the back. On the inside anyway it's a bit of a compromise between an adequate number of tables for people wanting to eat there and sufficient spacing between them, particularly on a fairly cold and wet day. A few knick knacks on a shelf behind the counter to draw the eye and amuse, completing the picture of a serious café that didn’t seem to take itself too seriously.
The menu contains a few interesting options without including anything which regular Melbourne café visitors wouldn’t have seen before. It also satisfied one of the tests which Snooze has recently started to apply, not using an overly long menu to disguise a lack of imagination or give the impression of variety in their fare.
Both of our breakfast choices were good. My own choice of the Mexican style eggs came on tortillas rather than the more usual bread and a salsa which I neglected to note the main constituents of except for a generous amount of corn. The eggs themselves were lightly fried so that they came with the same liquid centre you get from well poached eggs and for a bit of a kick some optional chorizo, a spicy sausage. All good, but not as good as Snooze’s choice.
It was quite funny, when her Dukkah eggs arrived the first thing Snooze said was how wonderful it smelt. Ten minutes later, after the same dish arrived at a neighbouring table we hear ‘Just smell this’. To be honest, I was somewhat jealous myself given that it did smell very good, and was generous in size to boot. The size was generous and came with two perfectly poached eggs, so perfect that they were still oozing at the end of the meal. The only downside was the chorizo (or as Snooze calls it the "new bacon"). The chorizo was a tad too spicy for the delicate dish and iI would have preferred it with bacon.
Bluebird Espresso is a good and very friendly café somewhere where you wouldn’t expect to find one. Better than just a good local and somewhere worth travelling to try.
Food – 8
Ambience – 7.5
Service – 8
Price – 7
134 Johnston Street
Collingwood VIC 3066
Tel: (03) 9078 7047