Despite the name that reminds me of the horrors of having to sing Bye Bye Blackbird with accompanying hand actions in primary school choir, my first visit to By Blackbird on King William Rd was very much an enjoyable one.
Cute furnishings and a large number of cushions with pictures of a dog make the decor feel both cute and quaint and a little more individual than this kind of thing can be (you don't see this kind of dog in decorations in these places often).
To drink, I ordered a hot dark chocolate with raspberry. It was creamy and delicious - not overpoweringly rich either. The dark chocolate flavour was nice and not bitter and the raspberry flavour was strong enough so I could definitely taste it but not so strong as to be overpowering.
My partner got a hot white chocolate with coconut. The sip I had was good with the coconut being a strong and natural tasting flavour, and that being all very well for me as I'm not a huge white chocolate fan. There was also a plain dark chocolate, or a milk chocolate with orange option that I will have to try.
The flavours were good with the crumble being sweet but not overly so. The cream helped cut through the sweetness and the apples had a lovely cinnamon zing to them and were cooked perfectly, still having enough body to them not to be just mush like some crumbles I've had before. The textures worked well too and I thoroughly enjoyed this little gem.
My partner went with a lemon tart. The little taste I had was enough to confirm it was indeed good. The pastry was delicious and not bland like some tarts while the topping had a good texture to it and the right balance of sweet/sour for me. Yum.
By Blackbird is a recent addition to the King William Rd strip and is certainly a welcome one. It shouldn't come as a surprise that it's such a lovely little place really - it has been opened by Chakey - the same person who is behind Au Matin Calme. So, the fact that the pastries are top notch is pretty much a given. The name and the cafe itself are apparently inspired by The Beatles' Blackbird. That little fact just makes me like it more.
The thing I liked best about By Blackbird wasn't the food or the drink or the decor - though I liked them all. It was the feeling that the person behind it all is really passionate about it and the vibe that gives a place. It's like the little dog that is featured signifies the individuality of By Blackbird, and the impression I get is that Chakey is doing it her way and loving every minute of it.
I even liked the cute little tea cups especially the two with paintings by Gustav Klimt that I saw one of the girls putting back in the cabinet just before we left. I will be back for more goodies, to try a cup of tea and a coffee (I imagine it'd be good) and to enjoy the atmosphere again. With the late night hours on Friday and Saturday perhaps I'll even be a blackbird singing in the dead of night.
my favourite place - I cross town to go there for those fabulous fruit tarts and pastries, quiches and pies. A beautiful array of teas, top notch coffee - it has everything I long for - but best of all are the delightful and passionate Chakey (chef extraordinaire!) and Jin (front of house) who make me feel so welcome and at home. Even tho I live close to a couple of other really good cafe/bakeries, I still regularly make the trip to visit By Blackbird