745 Nicholson Street, Carlton North, VicBirdie Num Nums has been around for a while now, but I've never actually heard a great deal about it. Now I know why. BNNs is located in Carlton North, just across the road from the Empress Hotel. There's not too many cafe's around the area that I know of, so I expect this joint to be pumping! As you can tell by the photo above, it's definitely not the case. Very strange for an inner city cafe at 10am on a lovely Saturday morning.
The cafe itself, is beautiful. From what I understand it was an old butcher shop, converted into a cafe. There's still lots of old fittings in the room and it's quite a nice setup. I'd be happy with it if it was mine.
It's a pity that the food at BNNs isn't as appealing as the cafe itself. While the menu reads really well and the food sounds appetising, unfortunately, it just doesn't deliver and neither does the below average service.
The disappointment began when we all ordered coffees and they all arrived pretty much cold. I think they either forgot to heat the milk or they had just left them sitting too long before sending them over to our table. Either way, we sent them back and asked for hot coffees. Funnily enough, the coffees we got second time around were just as cold. Hopefully the food to come would be better. We waiting about 30 minutes from the time we ordered for our food to arrive.
I ordered the Baked Beans with Chorizo ($?). These arrived at my table almost stone cold. Considering we were about 4 meters from the kitchen, the food should be piping hot! The actually baked beans were really, really tasty and sweet and my poached egg on top was only slightly overcooked. It's a shame they just couldn't get it out to me hot.
As good as my breakfast was, despite the fact that it was cold - the other 3 people I was with weren't so lucky. Firstly, everybody's poached eggs were solidly cooked to the point where they were powdery. Everybody's food was luke-warm. Everybody's toast was either burnt or had patches of charcoal on it.
The eggs on the Eggs Royale ($14) were cooked solidly.
The eggs in the Egyptian eggs ($15) were also seriously overcooked.
The eggs in the big breakfast ($16) were, guess what? You got it, overcooked!
Also, the roast tomato in the big breakfast, I doubt was even roasted. Roast tomato should be soft and broken down and cooked until it's sweet. These were panfried roast tomatoes. Lazy.
And even more unforgivable than cold meals or overcooked eggs, was the fact that they were serving store bought hash browns! Do people still do that these days? How hard is it to grate some potatoes and make your own?
We called one of the waitresses over to complain about the eggs and the fact that they were overcooked. Her response was "oh....." and then walked off into the kitchen. When she came back, she asked "would you like anything else?"
Was she serious?? You couldn't get eggs right, you couldn't get coffee right, you couldn't get tomatoes or hash browns right and now you want us to order something else? Get real.
Birdie Num Nums is not somewhere I'd be heading back to in a hurry. It's a shame really, because the place has the potential to have people lining up to get in there on the weekends. This could be the perfect local hangout for Carlton North people, but instead, I'm sure they'd rather head up to Brunswick or into Fitzroy North, just down the road for some hot coffee and perfectly cooked eggs.