It was a beautiful summer’s day in Melbourne, so to escape the torrential rain I headed for Bluebird Espresso in Collingwood, a recommendation from one of our Twitter followers. Unfortunately, I have a habit of blinking to keep my eyes from shrivelling up in my skull, and therefore I drove past Bluebird three times. After eventually conceding, parking atop another vehicle and walking what seemed the entire length of Johnston Street, I fell over a little blue chair that I thought had been carelessly left on the walkway. Alas, it was Bluebird. And what a quirky little place it turned out to be.
I recommend that if you do want to find Bluebird with ease that you don’t avert your eyes from the street in any way. This means you may get hit by a car, but (as I was about to find out) the French toast at Bluebird is worth getting hit by a car for. In reason, of course. I mean, maybe not a 4WD, but definitely something like a late 90s Nissan Pulsar or something.
The cafe is small. Tiny, in fact. And I was lucky enough to land the last available table inside. Everybody in there reeked of intelligence, so to try to keep up I ditched my NW magazine and grabbed one of the many National Geographic magazines on hand near the front window. While I was studying the most recent development in the dung of dung beetles I was asked for my order and duly asked for the French toast with fresh summer berries, mascarpone and Canadian maple.
Excited, I set aside the dung beetle craziness and soaked up the feel of Bluebird while I waited.
And boy, did I wait. I waited through everyone else around me who placed their order after me but got their food first (I know this because I was listening in to my neighbours order and instantly got food envy). I waited through a coffee and a juice and about a trillion attempts of me trying to get a good shot of some of the daggy landscape prints that adorned the walls. All up I waited around 40 minutes for my one dish.
Usually I wouldn’t be overly fussed about this wait on a Saturday morning. I think what miffed me was that others were getting theirs before I was (because I’m the centre of the universe and it really pisses me off when people don’t recognise that). And also because I had a hairdressers appointment at 10.30am, and by 10.15am I still hadn’t been given my meal. I felt bad because the waitress was so lovely and hip and cool, but all I wanted to do what push my table over and scream at my lack of French toast.
When the French toast did arrive, I marvelled at the beauty of it. I mean really, is this the prettiest toast you have EVER seen?! The thing is, how good it looks doesn’t t even nearly compare to how amazing it tasted. I knew my theory that mascarpone was the right thing to put on French toast was correct. I knew it! My God, is it the right thing to put on French toast. And those Canadians! Bastardising the English language and rubbing Americans up the wrong way isn’t all they’re good for – their maple syrup is pretty much bottled angel pee (for the record I love all Canadians. Even Michael Buble who is starting to get a bit annoying).
The berries were fresh and tasty, the toast was perfectly cooked and the whole thing worked. It changed my life*.
The only recommendation I have is to not be in a hurry when dining here. Luckily the whole place is as laid back as a backpacking stoner in Amsterdam, so it’s not hard to just sit back and unwind. In fact it’s nice to find a little pocket of Melbourne where time seems non-existent. Grab someone you want to be in the company of, head down there and bring in the weekend at a leisurely pace.