Long Story Short review

Tim Tam pancake stack.
Tim Tam pancake stack. Photo: Wayne Taylor

40 Crockford St Port Melbourne, VIC 3207

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Opening hours Mon-Fri 7am–3pm ; Sat-Sun 8am–3pm
Features Licensed, Breakfast-brunch, Wheelchair access, Bar, Vegetarian friendly, Gluten-free options, Family friendly, Accepts bookings
Prices Cheap (mains under $20)
Payments eftpos, Cash, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 03 9421 6221

How does brunch sound? No, literally. What noise does it make? If it's the spectacular Dessert Burger at Long Story Short, it sounds like snap-crackle-pop as tiny nuggets of popping candy celebrate sweet living.

The dainty cacophony doesn't start straight away: what you see at first is a swirled mound of pink fairy floss, decorated with flowers and freeze-dried berry sprinkles.

There's a jug of coconut milk alongside: when you pour it over the spun sugar, it dissolves to reveal a brioche ice-cream burger. The popping candy is activated by the liquid and the breakfast music begins.

Long Story Short's cool interior.
Long Story Short's cool interior. Photo: Stefan Postles

Oh, it's food too, and it's good, if you're a fan of dessert for breakfast. Starting the day with honey gelato sandwiched in a sweet bun, slathered with white chocolate sauce and studded with fruit jelly probably isn't the doctor's recommended way to kick off every day but fairy floss is mostly air, right?

And the Dessert Burger is a special so you burn kilojoules by rushing in!

The Tim Tam pancakes, on the other hand, are bolted to the menu. They're a towering construction with chocolate soup, crunchy chocolate spheres, Tim Tam ice-cream and actual Tim Tams. Just writing that necessitated loosened my belt a notch.

Hot chocolate web.
Hot chocolate web. Photo: Wayne Taylor

If you're a chocoholic, you'll also be here for Melbourne's most expensive hot chocolate ($11.50): the cup is covered with a web that you melt yourself with a gooey pour over.

If you get the sense that Long Story Short is nought but a diabetic's waiting room, it isn't really – they just love an Instagrammable gimmick.

There are wholefood smoothies aplenty and some excellent, creative savoury food too. The steak sandwich is a handsome beast with an upturned lettuce leaf perched atop like a gymnast.

Dessert for breakfast: the dessert burger special.
Dessert for breakfast: the dessert burger special. Photo: Stefan Postles

The purple potato salad is a riot of rainbow crunch and the eggs and extras are cooked and plated with aplomb.

Take the corn fritters with poached eggs (and bacon if you like): a base of baba ghanoush is topped with a textured salad of nutty black rice, actual nuts and seeds. There's a lot going on – the spongy "kimchi popcorn" is underwhelming but the fluffy fritters themselves are excellent.

It's the modern Asian glass noodle salad I keep thinking about. The mushrooms, seaweed, seeds, tofu and crisp shallots, plus curious ingredients like dried mulberries, are so well balanced and dressed there's interest in every bite. I kept thinking I was full then I'd notice another forkful on its way to my mouth.

Corn fritters with black rice, baba ghanoush, kimchi popcorn and poached eggs.
Corn fritters with black rice, baba ghanoush, kimchi popcorn and poached eggs. Photo: Stefan Postles

The corner cafe is bright and white, tapering and triangular as it spools along Ingles Street. It's a trafficky location but inside the mood is clean and cool.

The kitchen servery is open and spacious and there's a general sense of calm and professional efficiency. The coffee is nice, the service is good and it's a great place for meetings.

Long story short, give it a go.