Short Round's bright, airy dining room. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones
Where and what
Only open a few months but already crowded with locals, Short Round's menu specialises in keeping things local - hyperlocal in many cases, with even the fitout and furniture coming from just down the 'hood. The stools and benches are from woodwork workshop Pop & Scott in Northcote, and the vintage school chairs from retro shop Model 143 in Preston.
Former Three Bags Full chef Kate Pratt has created a seasonal menu with an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients across a range of traditional and not-so-standard breakfast and lunch dishes.
Star dish: the labourer's lunch. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones
Where to sit
A former shop that has been at various times a butcher and a pet shop, the 1880 building is airy and spacious, with the obligatory communal table in the huge front window, a mix of smaller tables and benches and tables outside on a lovely terrace.
Butterscotch waffles with vanilla mascarpone and toasted pecans. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones
Coffee comes from Proud Mary, organic tea and chai from Somage (with changing specials) and the compact booze list is just as local, with whites from King Valley and Yarra Valley (and one organic from New Zealand), reds from King Valley and Mornington Peninsula, and beer and cider all from microbreweries (the furthest travelled is the Bridge Road Brewers Pale Ale, from Beechworth). There are also seasonal cocktails on offer - currently the Pimm Daddy, (Pimms, ginger ale, house-made strawberry syrup, cucumber, mint and lemon, $11) and a traditional Bloody Mary ($12).
The current spring menu runs from simple fruit toast and Myrtleford butter ($8) and vanilla bean oat porridge (albeit glammed up with ''strawberry dust'' and pistachio praline; $12), to toasted cherry loaf with nutmeg cream ($12) and sliders (bacon and cheese scramble on brioche, $9.50 for two), through to heartier dishes like the quirky Bloody Mary's brekkie ($16.50), a poached egg in tomato and vodka sugo, Tabasco and pancetta with a Worcestershire reduction, which really does taste like a tangy Bloody Mary. The star dish on the spring menu is the labourer's lunch, a localised incarnation of a ploughman's lunch, the traditional British cold lunch of cheese, chutney and bread. Short Round's version features tasty kransky and ham from local continental butcher Velimirovic - operating in Thornbury for 63 years - piccalilli, braised cabbage and vintage cheddar served with mixed bread. There's no dessert menu as such, but some delicious butterscotch house-made waffles with vanilla mascarpone and toasted pecans ($13.50) are masquerading here as brunch, and are a perfect final course (and ideal for sharing).
A mix of older locals who have probably been buying their small goods from Velimirovic for decades, and more recent arrivals to ''the new Northcote''.
This bright newcomer is on its own in this part of High Street, but the seasonal menu would likely create a fanbase anywhere.
- Features - Licensed, Outdoor seating
- Chef(s) - Kate Pratt
- Opening Hours - Tuesday to Friday, 7am-4pm, and weekends 8am-4pm. Plans are afoot to extend summer hours.
- Author - Kylie Northover