Jethro Canteen, Richmond

Cafes, Eat, Melbourne / 11 October 2016

Jethro Canteen brings a nostalgic but experimental menu to the buzzing Richmond cafe scene

Having opened in an unlikely home, an old medical centre near Swan Street, Jethro Canteen is a fresh addition to Richmond’s buzzing cafe scene. Whilst thriving on their current menu, we’re told they have some surprising ideas planned for the future.
Located at the perfect junction of city life where sporting precincts, music venues, residential and commercial businesses come together, this modern café gets back to the roots of good food and coffee.
Founder Billy Zarbos calls his business an ‘extension of everyday life and family,’ which is appropriate when we find the story behind Jethro Canteen’s name. When Zarbos and his wife Sarah, fell pregnant with their first child, they settled on the names ‘Jethro’ for a boy and ‘Gwenyth’ for a girl. When Gwenyth was born the new cafe became Jethro.
jethro canteen interior
Former head chef and previous co-owner of the café Merchants Guild, Paul Davies, has come on board as head chef, and brings with him a unique methodology when it comes to the menu. He puts a nostalgic twist on old favourites and plays with stimulating new ideas that will keep locals intrigued.
Jethro’s waffles with cereal milk panna cotta is a personal favourite of Paul’s, taking diners back to their youth with the flavour of that sweet condensed milk that lingered in the bottom of your cereal bowl.
The café will soon feature two menus: one for hearty take home food, and the current in-store menu that sports more experimental options.
jethro canteen cereal milk panacotta waffles
Jethro Canteen’s menu is fuelled by environmentally conscious ideas with the inclusion of more unusual ingredients:
‘Everything points to insects playing a big part of our diet in the future,’ says Zarbos. ‘They are super good for you, packing in nutrients at a far denser rate than other, more traditional foods, and they actually taste good and add great texture.’
Will we be seeing bugs served in the future? Watch this space…
In a market saturated with health conscious coloured lattes, their focus is on using beautiful beans to create excellent coffee. There’s a Shady Lane house blend and rotating single origin option from Wide Open Road Coffee, along with a batch brew and cold drip. Diners will also find a range of specialty teas, Prana chai and a healthy, sustainability-conscious latte option, featuring camel’s milk.
Exposed brick and beautiful hard wood tables are softened up with comfy chairs and a fresh green colour scheme. The old, raw, industrial building in which Jethro Canteen is located is a perfect marriage to Zarbos’ ‘nostalgic but progressive’ philosophy and this café enterprise is all about representing both the old and the new with flair, colour and enthusiasm.
Jethro Canteen
385-389 Burnley Street, Richmond