10 Jan Short Straw, Hawthorn Take 2
Short Straw underwent a renovation late last year, breathing fresh life into the food offering and ambience of the venue. I first visited the cafe when it was still a newbie, and it’s always interesting to see how cafes evolve. The coffee counter has moved to the other side of the room, allowing for the addition of a coffee window. There’s a new mural, chairs hanging from the walls, and different suspended pot plants, which now span the whole floor. The centre partition has been stripped back to feature some exposed brick, and floorboards have replaced the tiles. Overall, it’s a more unified look.
Short Straw is the stablemate of Collective Espresso and Pardon Coffee. Baker Meets Barista supplies all the cafes with baked goods, though each bakes their own muffins on site every morning.
New year, new menu. Five dishes have now been introduced. It’s pretty hot today, so we have an iced coffee, and a Breakfast Smoothie of banana, berries, oats, almond milk, cinnamon, and pea protein. The smoothie is delicious, and not as heavy as expected.
Given the weather, we choose something a bit lighter for our savouries. The Poached Mushrooms on Super Seed Loaf come with semi-dried tomatoes, hazelnut and herb crumb, parmesan and pesto. Both vegetables are bursting with juices, and the tomatoes provide a pleasant zing and lift. The toast today is a bit tough, but the abundance of seeds make for a nice chew and texture on the crust.
Poke makes an appearance at Short Straw too. This interpretation has an extra dose of healthy, using multigrain rice. Soybeans and sweetcorn are mixed through the rice base, and it’s all topped with sliced of cured sesame seed salmon, refreshing seaweed salad and avocado. The ponzu dressing is light but flavoursome, and it’s a dish we fall in love with.
When the Banana brioche French toast arrives, it emits an enticing, sweet fragrance that’s almost coconutty. One slice of the toasted brioche comes with diced caramelised banana, the other, with poached pear and chantilly cream flecked with poppyseeds. There’s enough texture from the crispy surface of the toast to balance with the softer toppings. The pear side is lighter than the richer and heavier banana, but both are very good.
My impression of Short Straw remains positive, and with the kitchen continuing to serve top-notch dishes like these, it’ll be on my list of favourites.