We are back on our regional tour bus, this time heading to the South East town of Traralgon, passing by a coal-fired power station on the way. Fortunately, the town is well away from these concrete electro-towers and there is plenty of choice when it comes to eating out.
The talk of the town is Three Little Birds, taking its name from words of advice given by the grandmother of the owner (we discover on one of the interior billboards). Peering inside, we see raw timber furniture sitting on fake turf, creating a backyard feel in the storefront window. This is the only instance the turf is used, the rest of the venue utilising bar seating or tables in the cavernous interior of the double store space.
We score a bar table near the kitchen, and read about the coffee varieties on the blackboard. There is plenty on offer, allowing you to mix and match grind depending on your prep method of choice. The explanations for which variety goes with which method handy for the uninitiated wishing to try something new. Staff look a little stressed, although the service is not at capacity. We wager they are a couple short of a full weekend team. Coffee orders are eventually taken and received some time later. The filter coffee takes a little longer, most likely due to staff shortage. Whilst the apricots described in the bean variety can be tasted in the filter, too much water has been added, diluting the rest of the coffee flavour. Standard coffees are of good quality though.
The burgers are quite popular, even at brunch so we decide to order at least one. The rest of the table opt for the breakfast side of brunch. There is a huge amount of vegetarian and meat options available, less for vegan and coeliac diets. Whilst something could be thrown together for the latter, the choice may be quite limited.
One of the more exotic meals (Singapore noodles, dukkha smash and poached egg) was a letdown. Not enough Singapore noodles were used to counteract the large quantity of dukkha, which overpowered the flavours. Thankfully coriander was used in moderation, which could have been disastrous if applied more liberally.
The burger and other breakfast options were much more satisfactory, providing good portions and more rounded flavours. Prices, however, were a little too high for the serving sizes.
It’s a shame the service was not up to scratch on the day we visited, as we are told the venue is usually thriving with friendly smiles and timely meal arrivals. Three Little Birds is definitely a top pick when visiting Traralgon, but you wouldn’t drive two hours just to experience it.
Rating – 64%