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Birdcage High Coffee at TWR - Crown Perth

Home > Perth > Afternoon Tea | Cocktail Bars | Coffee | High Tea
by Shannon Meyerkort (subscribe)
Writer. Storyteller. Author of Brilliant Minds: 30 Dyslexic Heroes Who Changed Our World (Affirm Press, 2022). Find out more at
Published February 25th 2023
Something new in the world of high tea
TWR Birdcage High Coffee
Image supplied

It's fair to say I've consumed a few high teas in my time, across multiple decades and multiple states; served on tiered trays and buffet-styles, with free-flowing champers or kid-friendly juice, in a rustic garden setting and the top floor of old-Sydney. I'm a huge fan of small, tasty morsels that can be consumed with the fingers... especially when I haven't had to prepare those morsels myself.

But until now, I'd never even heard of High Coffee.

TWR (that's The Waiting Room) is an elegant bar in Crown Towers, popular for its cocktails and Gatsby aesthetic. Like the rest of Crown Towers, it's a beautiful space, with soaring ceilings, natural light and such intricate wall and ceiling décor that my artist mother was constantly pulling her camera out.

We were guests for their Birdcage High Coffee, and waiting at our table was an enormous (albeit empty) brass birdcage, with three tiers just begging to be filled with plates of food. It is suspended over the table, making reaching for the last macaron a competitive sport when you've consumed one of the accompanying cocktails. It's a unique touch in a crowded market, as is the focus on coffee, but the real test naturally, was always going to be the food.

TWR Birdcage High Coffee
The birdcage just waiting to be filled

TL:DR – there's not a scone or sandwich or quiche in sight, and thank heavens for that because each element of the TWR Birdcage High Coffee is perfectly formed and thoughtfully curated. Delicious.

The author at TWR Birdcage High Coffee
The author at TWR Birdcage High Coffee

There are two options with the High Coffee Menu, $69.50 per person (minimum 2) for nine items of sweet and savoury and an hour of bottomless tea and coffee from an extensive menu, or $89.50 per person for the above plus a coffee-inspired cocktail.

To some people, nine food items might not sound like much. But let me reassure you no one will leave feeling like they need to stop at a drive-through on the way home, and unless you eat like a bird, nor will you pass out in a food coma before you find your ride in the sea of cars, otherwise known as the Crown carpark. They not only hit the sweet spot, but they also find it and caress it.

Too much? I think not.

These are interesting, indulgent and somewhat unusual dishes.

A lobster and sesame spring roll with nam jim mayo.

A Smurf blue macaron with lemon myrtle.

A melting moment made with hazelnut and coffee.

A truffle croquette.

A chocolate cigar.

TWR Birdcage High Coffee
Mango and passionfruit sphere, blueberry and lemon myrtle coffee macaron, yuzu and raspberry cremeux

My only gripe (and it's a gripe I've had with every high tea I've ever attended) is that the balance of dishes is weighted too heavily on the sweet, with three savoury to six sweet [when someone invents savoury-only high tea, please call me!].

While it is called High Coffee, this is because some of the dishes have coffee as an element and all of the cocktails are coffee based. If you're a tea drinker, you're still taken care of.

The hour of free-flowing drinks includes all your barista coffees from affogato to lattes plus dirty chai and hot chocolate. Then a range of 12 teas including Fragrant Jasmine Green Tea, Rose and French Vanilla, Ti Kuan Yin Oolong, Early Grey and English Breakfast.

I opted for a chai latte and later, an Arabian Mint and Honey. Funnily enough, each came with a small chocolate shortbread, probably unnecessary considering the plates of delicacies dangling over the table (but I still ate them anyway).

The food arrived around 20 minutes after we did, and when I was halfway through my Chai. We had the option then of ordering a cocktail, each of which is matched to a particular layer of the birdcage.

The Caramel Espresso Martino is best suited to the savouries, the ABC (a rum-based coconut concoction) is matched to the heavier, chocolate-based sweets and the Chateau de L'Orange has been designed for the lighter desserts.

The cocktails seemed unnecessarily complicated in their flavours and for me personally, they were the least favourite part of the experience. I'm more of a glass of bubbly type of girl. But the mixologists at TWR are well known for their inventive creations and the ABC was particularly fascinating, coming with a frozen cold brew coffee bear – the substantial ice cube gradually melting and intensifying the coffee flavour of the cocktail. Very clever.

TWR Birdcage High Coffee
ABC cocktail with a frozen cold brew coffee bear

But back to the food, because that's what we're all here for… and as I write this the next day I can still remember particular dishes, wishing I was having them again.

Perhaps it was only because I was writing this review and we were feeling analytical after a coffee-based cocktail, but we agreed there are certain dishes you typically find at high tea. Scones with jam and cream definitely, a tiny quiche, a custard tart, a brownie, perhaps a homemade pie or fancy sausage roll. You will find none of these at TWR.

I love a good scone as much as the next person, but there's no place for them amongst the next-level decadence that swings gently above your table. I think it's fair to say that the dishes at the Birdcage High Coffee are among the most intricate, flavoursome and delicious I've ever had. Your server will explain what the dishes are, but thoughtfully, a menu is also provided so you can explore each item in your own time – and take your time because there's a lot going on – and there is an unexpected or surprising element in each.

TWR Birdcage High Coffee is available from 12pm to 3pm daily in the Crown Towers bar. Advanced bookings are required (by midday the day before), with a minimum of 2 people and bookings must be made in pairs. If you're a party of three, I'm not sure how you'd go – but a phonecall would surely sort that out.

TWR Birdcage High Coffee
Chocolate cigar, almond and vanilla financier and chocolate hazelnut melting moment

Each sitting goes for two hours, but interestingly, the bottomless tea and coffee only lasts an hour – so remember to order your final coffee before you hit the second hour. Leave the kidlets at home because High Coffee is only available to 18 plus, probably because some of the desserts contain traces of alcohol, and because it's located in a bar. And because you really wouldn't want to share anyway.

Prices are $69.50 per person or $89.50 with a specialty coffee cocktail.

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*Shannon Meyerkort was invited as a guest
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Why? Decadent and delicious
When: Daily, 12pm to 3pm
Phone: (08) 9362 7778
Where: TWR, Crown Towers
Cost: Prices are $69.50 per person or $89.50 with a specialty coffee cocktail.
Your Comment
like you, I hadn't heard of high coffee either but it looks spectacle. From the pictures you could have been in Paris.
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|6413) 26 days ago
the high coffee has me puzzled. who wants to eat a work of art. give me scone with jam and cream any day.
by Ellenni (score: 0|5) 24 days ago
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