Visiting the Birdcage today was like a geography lesson. My curious nature couldn’t help but ask what inspired such a name for a café. No it’s not because the menu puts an emphasis on seeds, although they are available in the breads. Much like its sister café Bezirk; the Birdcage takes its name from the area it’s situated in. The section of Altona the Birdcage cafe is nestles in, is colloquially known as the Birdcage, and neighbouring streets are named after birds. I did a google maps check, and found Kookaburra, Wren, Dove, Emu, Seagull and Lark were among the street names.
Owners Adrian and Cath Davey designed the café themselves, which has some fascinating features. There’s a large tree complete with foliage that climbs up the side wall in the dining section, which is adorned with hardwood table tops that sit upon old components of a pappadum making machine. It was left behind by the previous Indian restaurant, so they thought why not recycle the structural shell of the machinery, and put them to good use. The main counter is made from old timber sleepers, and the stools are had from recycled timber legs and concrete seats. The space is child friendly, with a special kid’s area lined with AstroTurf. Even their custom La Marzocco Linea PB espresso machine is green, and matches their coffee supplier’s logo. Campos roasts both their blend and single origin bean, and today’s single origin was the Colombian Huila Del Monte. This washed Caturra was grown at an altitude between 1500 and 1900 meters above sea level in Southern Colombia, and has a rich body, with cocoa and toffee notes.
Most the produce used in the menu is sourced locally, along with the pastries behind the glass display cabinet. Breakfast offerings include Apple Crumble Pancakes; Pulled Pork Benedict; and the Breakfast Burrito. Lunch is served after 11am, and features the fried chicken burger; the beef burger; and grilled salmon with crispy chat potatoes and a lemon mustard dressing.
Birdcage Altona Cafe
7 Harrington Square
Altona VIC 3018