When a venue opens in Docklands, despite its allure and promise, there's always a hint of hesitation. A pocket of the city still under a cloud of doubt, a venture west of the CBD border seems questionable: will it all be worth it? But making your way to Long Shot, the newest addition to the Collins Square corporate complex that already houses Bar Nacional, is one effort that is amply rewarded.
In actual fact, Long Shot just sits on the cusp of Docklands on Collins Street, barely over the bridge and a short walk from Southern Cross. It joins Halyard Coffee and Duke's Story Coffee & Foodstore in the new movement to provide specialty coffee to a previously sparse area; those that work in Docklands now have access to the same quality brew that the rest of the city affords in such a capacity.
The coffee in question is from St. Ali and is expertly executed by head barista Joshua Willis (ex Proud Mary). While the line at the takeaway window can build up prior to 9am, there is enough room to linger over a latte and freshly baked pastry or two. Either settle into a window seat or the round communal table and — with the rush passing the cafe — savour the idle time and the menu.
Undoubtedly, the main drawcard for Long Shot is its worship-worthy cake display. Baked fresh on site by Shaun Quade and Jo Barrett, you can expect crisp and chewy almond croissants and juicy fruit Danishes ($4.50), but other sweet treats — such as sticky cinnamon scrolls, doughnuts, savoury muffins and a gluten free lemon meringue pie — change daily. We wouldn't stress too much though, it's choosing just one that's the hard part.
A few sit down breakfast options cover all the bases from soft cooked eggs with maple glazed bacon and house made sourdough ($14.50) to a fully handmade gluten free cereal ($12.50). The yoghurt is pot set in house too and, with apple pie jam and puffed grains, it is creamy and tartly cut with the jam to surpass all expectations ($8).
For lunch, gourmet salads and sandwiches go on display and it becomes acceptable to order a glass of organic wine ($9) or the German wheat beer on tap. Adding to the sheer self-sufficiency of Long Shot, Quade also ferments his own soda and has created his own range of imaginative bottled flavoured milks. Try the sweet Vietnamese coffee, the caramel corn and burnt butter or the rice pudding and cinnamon, which absolutely bursts in your mouth ($4.50).
Satisfying the three C's — coffee, cereal, cake and cinnamon milk — Long Shot is adding to Docklands' burgeoning coffee scene. In the food game, there are some things worth the risk. This is one long shot you can bet on.