Hootan Heydari and Jono Hill (Heartattack and Vine, A Minor Place, Wide Open Road) were audacious when, less than one year in, they closed down their Johnston Street diner, Bedford Street, to have another crack at the space.
“When we sourced that space in Collingwood it already had a grungy feel to it,” says Hill. “We thought we’d go in and capture that spirit a bit and run with it, [but] by the time we opened the doors we were kind of like, ah this is different to what we wanted.”
There’s a slight coming-of-age spirit to the transition from neon-lit Bladerunner-themed Bedford Street to the sprightly daytime Terror Twilight (which is named after an album from the indie rock band Pavement). It’s almost as if Heydari and Hill woke up one morning with a hangover, decided they’d never drink again, then actually followed through with it.
They replaced the beer taps with a large pastel-pink espresso machine, added indoor plants, warm wood features and a vinyl display. They built a wall over a cavernous archway to, as Hill puts it, “make it feel more intimate.” There are now even photographs of Heydari’s grandfather and Hill’s grandmother hanging about.
The food has also taken a more wholesome turn. The Bedford Street fried hot-chicken sandwich has been replaced by a roast-chicken sandwich with lemon mayo, frisee lettuce and pistachio, bacon and prune stuffing. Together with pastries from Cobb Lane Bakery and the breakfast sausage and fried egg, made with mince from Meatsmith and served on a house-made English muffin, this is about as calorie-intensive as the menu gets.
According to director of coffee Dylan Hewitt (also Wide Open Road), the place has “taken a bit of a 180 from the fried-chicken days”.
Heydari and Hill brought Wide Open Road head chef Pia Hambour (also Tomboy) to make “stuff you can get away with eating everyday and feel good about” as Hill says.
As well as all-day breakfasts, Hambour serves chicken or shitake and kombu broths, which come with a variety of pick-and-mix sides such as bok choy; enoki mushrooms; bean shoots; and Thai basil or miso glazed eggplants. You can then pick one of three proteins – grilled Tasmanian salmon, poached chicken or fried Sichuan marinated tofu.
If broth isn’t for you, you can also apply the protein to a brown rice, broccoli and winter greens or three-grain mix bowl, with sides like roasted sweet potato or grilled haloumi.
Hewitt, who also runs a Brazilian jiu jitsu gym, helped create the healthy drinks menu, with (alongside coffee from Wide Open Road) smoothies, cold-press juices and supplement add-ins with productive-sounding names such as Alpha GPC and L-theanine, which is supposedly good for brain function.
“We’re not using anything too hardcore,” says Hewitt.
11–13 Johnston Street, Collingwood
Mon to Fri 7am–5pm
Sat 8am–5pm, Sun 9am–5pm