Paper Bird, Potts Point
When Redfern's Moon Park closed it’s doors in 2016, it devastated the fans of Ben Sears, Eun Hee An and Ned Brooks' quiet yet bold Korean offering in the inner city suburb. After enough time to finally process the immense loss, Paper Bird’s bright aquamarine arrival in Potts Point caused quite the stir - taking many more months than usual for the crowds to settle down to the mere regulars.
For unsuspecting pedestrians, green tables are the only giveaway to the semi-underground, all-day-eatery now sitting among Potts Point's heavyweight division of dining. Neighboured by The Apollo, Cho Cho San & Monopole, they’re all perched in the same part of town - making the area one worthy of an explore, especially for Paper Bird.
Weekends in the winter often leave the al fresco seating unattended, but rest assured, you're find the underground nest warm and full. The place operates confidently. There’s a cool and easy approach to service. Its hard to feel pressured, and it’s clear Paper Bird has now set into a reliable neighborhood diner with a rotating menu minimise any risk of boredom.
Moving with most, away from traditional menus, Paper Bird’s is built on share-plate philosophy. In saying that, how shareable these dishes are is debatable after first bite. A thin, crisp savoury shallot pancake is topped with delicate, torn jamon. Its far from greasy, incredibly light and equally moreish. The korean beef tartare known as Yukhoe, is rich red in color from a delicate coating of Gochujang and topped with pear, pinenuts and puffed wild rice. A glossy, black nori crisp is thin enough to snap and thick enough for function.
The egg and chive dumplings are perfectly formed. Layered with black vinegar and roasted hazelnuts, this is the kind of breakfast dish you’ll want to order when visiting for brunch. Forget the scrambled eggs (even though they’re available with char sui bacon), for you can really get that anywhere. Dumpling wrappers are silky yet firm, encasing a beautiful and moist egg filling which doesn’t fall apart.
The hash brown is a humble, golden-fried disc which softens their brunch menu to help cater for broader tastes, great for a group visit. The ketchup has a little zing but best left alone to really savour the crisp coating of fried potato. The hash brown is a humble, golden-fried disc which softens their brunch menu to help cater for broader tastes, great for a group visit. The ketchup has a little zing but best left alone to really savour the crisp coating of fried potato.
Steamed pipis in miso butter is yet another dish from Paper Bird you wish you could have more of. Visually stunning, the contrast of purple shell is nothing short of striking when against a bright yellow backdrop of butter and a topping of green chives. With no loss of flavour, this comes with rye to mop up what’s remaining. Last but not least, the port katsu sando. A sandwich often used for comparing kitchen skills, it’s not a wasted exercise here. Whilst the cut job is a little sloppy, the pork melts in mouth and the bread is reliably soft. I might leave this one as the last one I have to savour the experience. Perhaps the Shrimp brined fried chicken is one for next time.
With a raft of breakfast and brunch options around Potts Point such as Room 10 and Joseph Hyde, the offering here stands out as a little different, and admittedly a little more upmarket. At a higher price range there are far less crowds, making it great for brunch with out-of-towners, and quiet enough to engage in some quality conversation.
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