Saturday, September 03, 2011

August 28, 2011: Northern Soul

After a deliciously junky but ultimately unfulfilling breakfast, Cindy and I were in need of some more sustenance before we hit Women of Letters at the Thornbuy Theatre. I'd grabbed a takeaway coffee from Northern Soul last time we were in the WoL queue, and I thought they'd be worth trying out for a quick bite this time around.

They've got a nice vibe going on - the cute owl logo on the window was always going to win over a bird-nerd like me - and the interior has a minimalist kind of style going on. They do a pretty good trade in the hours before Women of Letters, but we managed to nab our own table. The breakfast menu runs all day and they've got a blackboard full of lunchy options (the dhal in particular was pretty tempting). Gluten-free and vegan options are well-labelled (although there was nothing on there that covered both bases). Despite it being after 2pm, Cindy and I both stuck to the breakfast menu. She ordered the muesli, which came with poached pears, rhubarb compote and yoghurt (gluten-free, $10).

That's a pretty good fruit-to-muesli ratio isn't it? The muesli was untoasted and was a good mix of fruit, nuts and grains, but the real key to this was the tangy rhubarb. A good, vaguely healthy follow-up to the morning's unhealthiness.

I was feeling like being a little health conscious as well and went with the house-made baked beans on pumpkin toast (vegan, $10).

This was a very hearty plate of food for $10. The beans themselves were a smidgen on the dry side, so it was lucky that the pumpkin bread was tender and moist and not requiring a good sauce-soaking. The flavour combination of the slightly sweet bread and the peppery beans worked well. Perhaps a side of avocado would lift this to something a bit more memorable but at $10, it was a pretty satisfactory lunch.

The service at Northern Soul was friendly and efficient even as the place filled up around us. Coffee (Toby's Estate I think) was good and you really can't go past the prices - there aren't many breakfast places around where more than half of the menu is $10 or cheaper.


The reviews of Northern Soul around the blogosphere are all pretty positive, check out: Breakfast Aficionado, Ravenous, Hookturns, Do You Want to Stay for Breakfast?, Perfectly Poached (although they don't like the vibe) and Vetti Live in Northcote.


Northern Soul
843 High Street, Thornbury
9480 2333
veg breakfasts $5-$15

Accessibility: Pretty great - a wide entrance with a small ramp, reasonable space between the tables, a unisex disabled toilet, good light and a relatively low counter for payment.


  1. That is a fab ratio of rhubarb to muesli! Totally gotten hooked on rhubarb compote on muesli because SMXL has a really yummers version and is just downstairs from where I work!

  2. Vee - like you I am very into rhubarb compote! The best part is, it's easy to make at home too. :-)