Short Straw, Hawthorn

6/12/2017 , 0 Comments

Hidden in a side street off Glenferrie Road, Short Straw is a busy cafe in the Hawthorn area that prides itself on both innovative dishes and old favourites, and a range of light snacks. Easily accessible by tram 16 and close to Glenferrie Station, the cafe has fast become a favourite in the area.

I was surprised at how spacious the interior of Short Straw was - from the exterior, you wouldn't expect such a large space. There's two main areas of seating; one of which is in a slightly elevated area that has light streaming in from above as well as the windows to one side, as well as outdoor seating for small groups. The designs on the walls is minimalistic, with the white walls contrasting with the plants and wooden chairs (yes chairs!) hanging from the ceiling. Upbeat old school music from the 90s played in the background, which is a nice throwback.

The menu at Short Straw isn't very extensive, however there's a good range of savoury breakfast and lunch style dishes to choose from, and a variety of drinks including smoothies, juices, coffee and tea. We went with the Poke Bowl ($16.50) and the NY Bagel ($17), and drinks wise a soy latte ($3.50) and an OJ ($5). The soy latte felt a little on the weak side but had a good milkiness to it, and the OJ was a little too sweet, but still refreshing to balance out the heavier flavours of the food.

The Poke Bowl consists of multi-grain rice and cured sesame seed salmon, with sweet corn, soya beans, avo and fresh herbs on a ponzu dressing. It was a very fresh and light dish, and there was a generous portion of salmon, though it did get a bit too fishy in flavour by the end.  There was a large amount of seaweed salad in the dish, and not the artificial bright green type that you can purchase at stores, which was really great. The sweet corn was full of flavour, and the lemon wedge added a nice acidity to the dish. It would've been good to have more avo in the dish however, and more toppings as well; compared to a lot of other Poke Bowls I had, this didn't have as many elements in the dish.

The NY Bagel was made up of poached chicken, avo, tomato, chipotle mayo, spinach and served with fries on the side. For an extra $3, you could also get bacon in the dish, which my friend ordered but they forgot to put in, so came in a small dish on the side. The bagel was very filling, to the point of being slightly heavy by the end (and this is where the OJ came in nicely to balance it out). Despite being heavy, it was lacking that 'bam' of flavour if you didn't add the tomato relish in, and felt like an average dish. Having said this, the bagel itself was toasted nicely and had a crunch to it, and didn't become soggy underneath all the chicken and avo. The chips had great seasoning on them, and were really crispy.

It was an enjoyable experience at Short Straw, and I'd come back to try some of the other dishes for sure. A nice little cafe in the heart of Hawthorn.

Ambience: 8/10
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 7.5/10

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