Secret Tattoos & Mom’s Spag Bol with Two Hands NYC

Look into their hazel eyes & feel the coffee high...

Good things come in pairs (or was it threes?), especially when they’re a #MaleMonday! Last week, were walking by neighborhood newcomer, Two Hands, when we spied Giles and Henry. Cheeky, Australian, and a lot of LOLs, the boys had us blushing all afternoon. Go for the boys, stay for the açai bowl and ricotta on toast, oh and the coffee too!

Names: Giles Russell and Henry Roberts

And is that an accent we hear?
Giles: I’m from Bondi, Sydney, Australia
Henry: And I’m from Pymble, Sydney, Australia

Let’s take thing back: Can you remember your first food memory?
Giles: Mom’s spaghetti bolognese and the chocolate milkshakes at Pearl Beach Cafe in Sydney
Henry: Mom’s shepherds pie

People know you by… Gilesy and Flobba

“Flobba” is probs the most Australian thing we’ve ever heard. As teenagers you were…
Giles and Henry: Loud and proud but then we relaxed with age

OK, now for some quick-fire Qs. Eye color:
Giles and Henry: Hazel

Star sign:
Giles: Cancer/Leo (on the cusp)
Henry: Taurus

Last album you downloaded:
Giles and Henry: Panama Always (EP)

Both of you? You guys really are connected at the hip? What about your go-to karaoke songs?
Giles and Henry: Anything by Elton John

Tattoos—name them and talk about them, quick:
None, I’m a clean skin
Henry: Many, some are private and meaningful and some are too embarrassing to even explain.

We won’t go there. Describe a day in the life of Giles and Henry:
6:00 a.m
. Wake up and have a cold shower to remind us of the beach

6:30 a.m. Get into the cafe and start prepping for the day. Bake our banana bread, Anzac biscuits, and choc-chip cookies. Freshly squeeze our bottled juices—green, red, and orange. Test the espresso and pour a double shot of espresso, each.

9:00 a.m. Eat some breakfast have another coffee. Start planning the day’s menu of sandwiches, salads e.t.c.

10:00 a.m. Prepare lunch for the day, 11-3 p.m. is our lunch rush; 3-7 p.m is when the afternoon coffee crowd comes through. We close at 7 p.m. Clean. Dinner. Bed.

OK,  now describe the ultimate day in the life of Henry and Giles:
Wake up next to the person you love, morning coffee by the ocean, run and swim followed by a healthy lunch with friends and family. Afternoon beers and a good game of backyard cricket. None of which you can do in NYC [laughs], but in New York there is always something different and exciting to do. An “ultimate” day can be anything and everything—the best thing about the city is that you actually can’t even imagine the amazing adventures that may lie on your path that day.

ULTIMATE! OK, onto to food. Do you watch cooking shows?
Not really. We read a lot of cooking and food articles and cookbooks, we’ve watched a few of Guy Turland’s show YouTube series, Bondi Harvest—they’re great.

Who taught you how to cook?
Our mom’s, ourselves, and watching chefs in restaurants and cafes we’ve worked at like Sam Smith at Porch & Parlor, Bondi Beach.

You’ve had a terrible day, what do you make yourself when you get home?
Chances are that we’d go out for dinner. It’s New York, when you want to feel better you splurge so someone else can make you amazing food. The choices are endless and we try and go somewhere new each time, this gives us inspiration for our own dishes when we head back in to the cafe the next day.

What’s your signature dish?
We love breakfast, it’s a meal that doesn’t get the attention it deserves here in New York, we like simple and healthy, so you’ll find avocado on toast, ricotta toast and an açai bowl on our menu, among other dishes.

Ideal meal to cook to impress a girl:
Anything Italian—a light pasta dish with a really fresh salad—and maybe a seafood main with seared scallop—you can’t go wrong.

Taste you couldn’t live without: Chocolate and coffee

Ohhhh, which brings us to the all-important question, how do you take your coffee? Australians know best…
To be honest, all ways. It’s good to know what our coffee tastes like as an espresso but also with hot water (Americano) with a little bit of milk (machiatto, cortado, flat white) and a lot of milk (latte). In Sydney, we’ll always get a classic cappuccino with the chocolate dusting (which we do here at Two Hands) in NY we’ve learnt to love drip coffee, when done right, it’s the perfect kick in the pants in the morning!

Motto in life: Love what you do and love all those around you.

Photography by Tricia VanGessel