23 Jan Short Straw, Hawthorn
It seems to be increasingly common to find food industry veterans teaming up to form new establishments. Short Straw is another of these, being hatched from the minds of Hugh Hindle, Steve Rowley and Matt Vero, whose combined resume features places like Homeslice Pizza, Coin Laundry, Tall Timber, Touchwood, Marquis of Lorne and Rustica Canteen.
Finding the cafe itself can be a little bit confusing. Despite what a cursory glance of the official address might imply, the entrance is actually on Mary St (hence, the ‘b’ part of its street number).
The interior design is minimalistic and features American oak, metalwork, and a sense of airiness thanks to its skylights and tall, peaked ceiling.
The kitchen is headed up by Josh Clark, formerly of Young Bloods in Fitzroy. Coffee is from Niccolo, though there’s also a rotating single origin coffee available. At the moment there seems to be a slight Asian slant to the menu with items like Thai sardine salad, and Vietnamese scrambled eggs with roti, papaya and optional salmon or smoked ham hock. The scrambled eggs looked absolutely delicious, and would be something I might have ordered if not for my stomach’s unfortunate intolerance for too much scrambled egg.
Though I didn’t order it for myself, I’m loving the rise of breakfast boards, which have a little bit of everything. Short Straw’s version includes a mini bircher made with organic yoghurt, with little chunks of granola stirred though and fresh berries on top. There’s also a slice of ever-popular avocado toast, including a poached egg, and a small pile of prosciutto. It’s a pleasantly generous size for the price, and the colours on the plate are simply beautiful.
My citrus-cured NZ King Salmon comes with a mountain of roasted cauliflower, beetroot leaves, sliced green olives, goats curd and poached eggs on rye toast. I’m still not too sure if I like goats curd, but the rest of the dish is lovely. The silky-smooth salmon is subtlely cured, and though not really salty, that’s what the olives are for. I also loved the cauliflower that appeared to have been prepared with a mix of spices that injected more colour, both visually and flavour-wise.
Short Straw has already become very popular with both locals and non-locals, and with its great food and friendly atmosphere, there are no signs of it slowing down.