A while ago a friend recommended brunch at Hungry Birds. After she talked up the quirky location and fun, mexican-inspired brunch menu and I was sold. So last weekend I suggested to Gerard that we brave the cold and rain to make the trek out to Brunswick, while any kind of mexican food is always a draw for him there was also the bonus of the cafe’s free NBN wifi to get him excited.
After managing to leave a warm house and warm car to get to Hungry Birds I was a little disappointed (read annoyed and shivering) when I realised that the seating is 100% outdoors. In the cold. And rain. The lone gas heater tries its best but there’s not much you can do to keep such an open (and when we visited, wet) space warm. Having made it out of the house we decided to just harden up and deal with it, and I was glad we did. I quite liked the food and the atmosphere. I also really liked their wall hung plant pots (I’ve been looking for some for home, the black ones on the left of the photo below were from www.wallgarden.com.au, sadly they only come in black and packs of 10).
When Marg suggested we hit up Hungry Birds for our Saturday Brunch adventure, I stared off into the distance. The name sounded so familiar, but I couldn’t place where I’d heard it before. I spent a good 30 seconds completely oblivious to the outside world; and then it hit me – it’s the first café in Australia offering free NBN Internet wifi. For those living under a digital rock, the NBN is a controversial government initiative to rollout high-speed Internet to the entire country, but lets not get into that here. What’s important is that one of the test sites is in Brunswick, and Hungry Birds is located right in the middle of it.
I went straight to the gadget bat cave and selected my trusty iPad (v3) to test the glorious NBN access. I wanted to try it out, but I didn’t want to look too keen. That, and it’s very hard to have a conversation with someone when a laptop is third wheeling between the eggs. So we arrived at Hungry Birds, and I nonchalantly asked for the wireless password. I typed it into my iPad, and then ran the obligatory speed test app from SpeedTest.net. The iPad visibly groaned under the pressure, managing 20.98mbps down and up to 33.00mbps up, with a 9ms ping. It effectively was as fast as the app could download it (the iPad was the limiting factor, we’ve seen reports online of someone with a laptop getting over 90mbps). I let out a little chirp, and content with having seen the future, put my iPad down and waited for our food to arrive.
So three paragraphs in, and I haven’t mentioned anything about the café besides that it has NBN access. Obviously the NBN is a massive marking draw card, but there is definitely more to Hungry Birds than fast bytes (pun intended). It’s in a quirky location, the staff are friendly, and the menu has a Mexican inspired vibe. What more can you want while you wait for your hoverboard?
I had one of the specials, the chicken pasilla crepes – two crepes filled with chicken, baked in chilli sauce and served with cream (sour cream?) and lettuce ($16.50). These were great, I loved the sauce and thought it was really well balanced by the cream and the freshness and texture of the lettuce.
Gerard had the eggs rancheros – fried eggs with ranchero sauce, tortillas, beans, cream and lettuce ($14.50) with a side of bacon ($4). Gerard enjoyed the eggs but thought the chicken crepes were ultimately the better choice. He also (uncharacteristically) thought that the bacon was a mistake and would have preferred the dish sans-meat.
Good food and good internets, what a combination! Enjoy it when it’s not raining.