Mason & Bird owners Matt Nguyen, Jaclyn Noel and Brad Johnston have some serious pedigree. Nguyen and Noel worked as managers at Rockpool, and Johnston was head chef at Print Hall bar.

The long commute to work combined with the desire to break out on their own prompted the trio’s treechange in July 2016.

The cafe, in the Zig Zag Cultural Centre, makes heavy use of wood to complement the ochre-coloured rammed-earth walls. The look is a tip of the hat to the area’s history: the cafe’s namesakes, Ben Mason and Francis Bird, ran Mason Mill, one of the earliest timber mills in the Darling Ranges. All the furniture was built using marri, jarrah, karri and acacia timber by Noel’s father Lloyd, an avid woodworker.

Toasties, burgers and braised lamb pappardelle feature on the approachable all-day menu. Non-standard issue ingredients such as sobrassada (raw, cured sausage), speck bacon and kefalograviera cheese speak to Johnston’s fine-dining background.

In an effort to support locals, meat is sourced from Sebastian Butchers down the road while honey comes from Maida Vale Natural Honey. The coffee beans are from Little Owl Roasting Company, while a collaboration with Sunnydale Dairy has resulted in the creamy house-blend of unhomogenised milk.

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Updated: October 24th, 2018

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