Although Potts Point locals were saddened by the sudden closure of Bourke Street Bakery, a brand new all-day eatery should lift a few spirits. The folks behind Redfern's Moon Park, which closed in September 2016, will be opening their anticipated new venue, Paper Bird, on Monday, July 31, with Korean, Japanese and Chinese spins on breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Initially, Paper Bird will open for breakfast and lunch only (Monday to Friday 7am-3pm, Saturday to Sunday 8am-3pm), and will not be taking bookings for breakfast and lunch. "The breakfast dishes will be familiar, but with an Asian twist," says Ned Brooks, who co-owns the eatery with head chefs Ben Sears and Eun Hee An. "Singapore barbecue bacon, smashed avo and eggs on toast with dried fish, toasted muesli and persimmon ... It's often about swapping one European ingredient with an Asian one."
A friendly nod to former tenants, Paper Bird will be serving Bourke Street Bakery sourdough, rye, potato bread and croissants for brekkie, and they'll be doing all-day Xi'an cumin lamb sausage rolls with cumin and black vinegar. They're also serving up breakfast bao, bagels with smoked trout zuke and floss, and 'King's Congee' with rice and milk porridge, crab corn and doughnut chips. Doughnut chips. If you've been missing that Moon Park fried chicken, you'll soon be scoffing it again on a fried chicken and bacon muffin called 'The Big Bird', or as an all-day snack — five pieces of shrimp brined fried chicken with soy and syrup will set you back $25.
The all-day lunch and dinner menu will see plenty of curious offerings including Chongqing popcorn, bocconcini kushiage, menbosha (that's a prawn toast sandwich), crispy scallion pancakes, Japanese cheesecake with preserved cumquat, sweet potato doughnuts with date ice cream, and milk bingsu with anglaise and yuzu curd. And that's just your first visit with one buddy. Don't look at us.
On the drinks menu, you'll find about 100 wines, with 20 or so available by the glass. Brooks, who'll be running the bar, says, "Around 50 percent are Australian and 50 percent international, from France, Italy, Spain and America." There's also a high-end sake list, a bunch of beers and cocktails. Single Origin will be taking care of the coffee.
Going against Sydney's current obsession with guttings and renovations, the team hasn't torn the site apart. "The fitout is already lovely," Brooks says. "It was made by craftsmen and we don't want to touch it too much. We don't want to see a beautiful bar top and dark wooden banquettes get ripped out and turned into landfill ... Sydney is an expensive city, but people still want to go out to drink and eat. One way to reduce prices is to spend less money on renovations."
Designed in collaboration with Phillip Arnold of Plus Minus Design, the space offers indoor seating for about 60, including 10 spots at the bar, plus 15 places outside.
Paper Bird will confirm a start date for dinners soon, and reservations will be available only through the website.
Paper Bird will open Monday, July 31at 46A Macleay Street (enter via Crick Avenue). Opening hours will be Monday to Saturday 7am–midnight, Sunday 8am–3pm.
By Jasmine Crittenden and Shannon Connellan. Image: Nikki To.