It seems that wherever this man lands, the crowds come a-flocking. Restaurateur Paul Limberios (of city dining destination Sparrow & Finch) has spread his wings (pardon the pun) and opened two more spaces just up the road — Toobirds Bistro & Bar and Toobirds Espresso & Eats.
The latter is a grab-n-go concept with long glass cabinet filled with freshly prepared gourmet goodies. With salads priced at $10 (think felafel with Roma tomato, Lebanese cucumber, diced onion and sweet chilli mayo or a light and fresh beef strip salad with carrot julienne, bean sprouts, cucumber, mint, coriander, vermicelli noodles and peanuts) and rolls and sandwiches at $9 (hello Moroccan lamb with blanched kale, white onion rings, sliced roast lamb, diced tomato, baked herb ricotta, grilled zucchini and eggplant with tahini!) it’s the perfect stop en route to work or during the lunch-hour rush.
The bistro, on the other hand, has been designed with the working lunch or business meeting in mind. With a clean, modern interior, diners can choose to sit up at the high bar tables along the open window or sit darker hued restaurant area where large palm fronds can shield a sneaky bottle of wine during the lunchtime graze.
The food proposition is simple – hearty fare served quickly followed by a lovely cup of Allpress Espresso coffee ($3.50). The cuisine is modern Australian with a Mediterranean edge — think quinoa porridge and poached fruit ($8.5) or jamon and poached eggs with cherry tomato salsa, basil pesto, charred asparagus and virgin olive oil ($18) — while lunch and dinner feature plates of crispy flathead burgers ($18), beef scallopine ($29), fresh QLD crab spaghetti ($23) and tuna nicoise ($17). Alternatively, choose to nibble on share plates of fior di latte arancini with spicy arrabbiata sauce ($12), grilled haloumi with salsa verde ($9) or warm olive bread with dukkah ($10).
The wine list is fairly comprehensive, with Australian drops dominating the list, followed by Spanish and Argentinian varieties. If vino isn't your thing, they also have a good selection of cocktails starting at $10.
The verdict? Good food, good location and good service = bird in hand.