The south end of Smith St is changing rapidly. On the Collingwood side the newly arrived Manfax (formerly of Gertrude St) is next to the recently closed Cafe VP. On the Fitzroy side, the former premises of the ugly southside furnishings shop is being remodeled into what looks like a bar/restaurant called Fred Gets, or something like it. They’re advertising for staff in the window.
Major Major is a new cafe in the ground floor of a revitalised building with apartments above. They’re doing the ‘smart cafe with touches of fine dining at a modest price’ thing, so can be compared to Addict on Johnston St or Cantina della Casa on Gertrude St. The point of difference here is the free fancy starkling water.
There are some ready-made baguettes in the cabinet but most of the menu is short order. There’s a short all-day breakfast section but lunch is the focus here. The coffee is very good ($4, which seems to be the new standard price – it’s the same at Pop Up Scroll). I ordered the chicken katsu and coleslaw wrap ($11), made with an incredibly soft flatbread (like those used at Jimmy Grant’s), and their opening offer truffle and parmesan fries ($5), which are served in a paper cup. The crumb on the katsu was spectacular. This was a great lunch, and the service was very good and welcoming.
It’s good to see the gentrification of Smith St not just gradually spreading north (hello Trang and the nearby forthcoming Vietnamese place, both on the Collingwood side) but also south to fill in this under utilised block. As the residential population around this area grows, businesses like Major Major will do well here.