Chau Tran and Minh Nguyen just want somewhere nice to work. They’ve come from the IT, finance and engineering industries but now they own Blackbird & Co., a cafe and restaurant based on collaboration and flexibility.

The menu changes based not just on new ideas from Tran, Nguyen and the chefs but also from the barista and the wait staff. In the morning that means buckwheat pancakes decorated with a peculiar but effective balance of berries, coffee mascarpone, bacon, fresh banana, miso-caramel and crushed peanuts; bacon and egg bánh mìs; granola spiced with ginger, star anise and five spice; and coffee from Five Senses.

The night menu, created in collaboration with Richard Robinson (ex-Momofuku Seibo), reflects more of Tran and Nguyen’s Asian-Australian identity.

Spring Bay mussels (some of Australia’s best) are served in a laksa broth with a crusty baguette buttered with pesto. Spanner-crab tacos are dressed with Japanese seafood sauce, radish, shiso, yuzu and togarashi (Japanese spice mix). Steamed king-crab legs are doused in an XO-butter-sauce mix.

The duo also designed the cafe-restaurant. It’s relatable and simple; mostly glass, white and wood, decorated with native flowers and ornate tiling.

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Updated: March 28th, 2018

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