Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Birdman Eating III

Edit 11/03/2016: Fitzroyalty has declared Birdman Eating to be closed.

October 20, 2011
While we've visited and enjoyed Birdman Eating for several breakfasts, we only recently looked over their evening tapas menu and gave it a go. It was a risk to take our friend Mike there - he's got this thing against shared plates - but after a little while wandering the neighbourhood, being turned away from and individually vetoing other restaurants in turn, we persuaded him to try it. The menu's just over half vegetarian and had a few items I was very keen to try.

Our waiter was a bit distant, just barely helpful and not really friendly, but successfully committed our order to memory.
First to arrive was the fried haloumi with a salad of red rice, dried sour cherries and pistachios ($15). Having enjoyed the flavour riots that are Ottolenghi's grain salads all year, this was disappointing. I couldn't taste the cherries or pistachios at all.

Unfortunately after our first plate, there was a long wait before we saw any more food. This was a little surprising, since the restaurant was at best half full. 

The rest of our order arrived all at once. The confit kipfler potatoes with chilli salt and vanilla aioli ($9.50) were the highlight - a little greasy, but beautifully seasoned. The unexpected vanilla didn't stand out.

Meanwhile, the ricotta gnocchi with blue cheese, pear and chives ($16.50) didn't really come together. The gnocchi were large and bland, the blue cheese appeared as a few dry clumps... without a sauce these were just disparate ingredients in a pan.

It was not a performance to convert Mike to tapas. Yet having paid little more than $20 each to eat the rest of us didn't feel awfully cheated. If the dishes had lived up to their descriptions and we'd enjoyed the environment a little more, we would have been happy indeed with the price. Since they and we didn't, our next meal out with Mike is likely to involve jumbo burritos.

You can read about our visits to Birdman Eating for breakfast here and here. Meanwhile, the tapas menu has received very mixed reviews from others; see eyes on the fries, Foodie About Town, FOOD CHEE, The Love we make - The Love we take, Out of my kitchen, mochii eats, Fill My Belly in Melbourne, message in a bottle, The Gourmet Challenge and The Neo Melbournian.

Birdman Eating
238 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
9416 4747
veg tapas $7.50-17.50

Accessibility: Tables outside are on a sloping footpath. There's a small step on entry and tables are a little crowded. There's full table service. We didn't visit the toilets.


  1. Vanilla aioli sounds a little crazy! The potatoes look delicious and greasy though...

    I do get your friend's aversion to shared plates, I really dislike sharing things.. I have a pretty big appetite and hate having to feel guilty if I want to eat more, or making sure everything is doled out fairly, etc.. I tend to only share with my partner!

  2. That's a shame, I have always loved this place, especially for their coconut, and black rice pudding. I have yet to eat dinner there, it sounds disappointing. I share Michael's dislike of share plates, sometimes I just don't feel like sharing, especially when the food is average. Always next time :)

  3. Hi Mattheworbit - I do understand your concerns about fair sharing when you're hungry. I feel very much the same when it comes to chips. :-D

    Adriana - I haven't tried their black rice pudding, though I've been meaning to! I would consider going back for breakfast again. :-)

  4. I had the asparagus ricotta hotcakes, with salmon + rocket + dill salad today.

    hotcakes were dull, underseasoned and lacking asparagus. salad was so-so.