The Painted Bird has nested in Perth’s CBD. Co-Owner Kat Milton says the inspiration for the café name came from two references: a 1970s children book that Chef and Business Partner Ben Toye was reading to his son, and their signature dish.
“Ben’s trademark dish is a duck leg confit ‘painted’ with mustard and orange, and wrapped in puff pastry,” Kat says. “It’s delicious.”
The café-cum-restaurant opened late October. Kat was working as a restaurant manager at the time when she saw the block opposite their venue become vacant.
“It seemed an opportunity to good to refuse, so we moved in,” she says. “I’ve always been involved in food and hospitality, working in Europe and America, and the timing was right to start this place.”
The Painted Bird features dark furnishings with lots of lighting, high ceilings and a modern, clean finish. “A few people have come in and said that it seems very Melbourne driven,” adds Kat.
The Painted Bird serves Lavazza’s Grand Espresso blend, which Kat describes as “earthy, robust, and intense”. She says this is a popular blend for their business clientele who come in each morning for their caffeine fix and morning meetings.
“Coffee is such an important part of our business. We understand that in this state, and this country there’s such big emphasis on quality of coffee so we have to get that right,” says Kat. “Lavazza’s coffee had been recommended to us and we are really happy with their profile of coffee.”
With so much growing competition, Kat says it’s important to keep focused on what they do best. “In WA there’s a lot of smaller artisan businesses merging through, so our success comes down to serving an overall package – great food, coffee, and service,” she says.
Chef Ben cooks up modern Australian dishes with European influences. The Painted Bird Bar and Kitchen is open for coffee at 7.30am, lunch from 11.30am and dinner from 5.30pm. Must-try items include homemade gnocchi with beef, veal and lamb ragu.
“We want people know we’re here and ready to go. We’ve already built-up a regular fan base and we’re hoping to add to that each week,” says Kat. “I have always loved the buzz of a restaurant and café environment and I’m loving this place.”