Thornbury's cafe scene is on the rise. Just like its neighbour, Northcote, and other northside suburbs, good coffee and runny egg yolks can be found all down High Street. But for Little Henri, Northcote is more than just a neighbour. Until 1994 Thornbury was a part of the lovely City of Northcote and, in a nod to that shared history, Little Henri is named after Sir Stafford Henry Northcote himself — or Little Henri, as they liked to call him.
Right at the top end of High Street, you'll find a corner where little silhouettes of a boy run along the walls. Here, you have found Little Henri. Once inside, the space opens up like you wouldn't expect from the street. High ceilings, a beautiful round counter and a backyard that is just asking to be brunched in make this cafe unsuspectingly sizeable.
The brunch menu offers all of Melbourne's favourties. Eggs Benedict is served with grandmas ham, hollandaise and young herbs ($16) and the baked beans are topped with haloumi and gremolata ($14). Henri's toasted muesli comes with coconut, cranberries and cinnamon labne ($11), while the smashed avo arrives with thyme buttered mushrooms, Persian feta and basil ($17).
Lunch comes in the form of baguettes, piadinas, salads and other main dishes. Just imagine a chickpea, cauliflower and feta salad served with organic quinoa, toasted nuts and spices ($15.50) sitting at the same table as the chicken schnitzel with carrot, pumpkin seed and coriander salad ($20).
While little inconsistencies creep in from time to time, Little Henri is still a northside brunch date we'll keep.