Matthew Flinders and George Bass did an awful lot with a boat that was only six foot long. At their tiny new espresso venue on Flinders Lane, Kris Wood and Andrew Gale have an extra two feet to work with – plus an immersion circulator, pastries by Matt Forbes and a La Marzocco – so we can expect even more.

With Tom Thumb, Wood matches his talent for coffee roasting with Gale’s love of (good) British fare. “The idea was to do the same quality coffee that we do in at Clement in South Melbourne, mixed with a short-order Duchess of Spotswood,” explains Wood.

Offered a short-term lease by coffee colleague Salvatore Malatesta, Gale and Wood decided to embark on a year-long venture in Melbourne’s CBD. Their rationale is to make quality coffee and accessible food for the city set. “Even though we’re used to a really fast pace in South Melbourne, in the city the people are just completely different,” says Wood. “It’s just a whole new challenge of being able to serve people in the same quality manner, but in seeing how they react and how you alter your way.”

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Under a hand-painted sign by traditional signwriter TJ Guzzardi, you'll find Clement’s popular Pony blend, plus a new single origin cup daily. On the food front, you can pick-up fried eggs on sourdough for the meagre price of $5.50 – improved by the company of a Lyonnaise sausage for another $4. Also on offer is a selection of Matt Forbes cakes and pastries, like cardamom-infused Oreos and the fascinating but slightly unsettling ‘ginger balls’.

Besides brunch, coffee and problematically-named pastry, Tom Thumb will soon offer some sweet booze, accompanied, of course, by a select bar menu. Along with a limited cocktail range (think Negronis, Manhattans, Sours and gins), we’re assured there’ll be good scotch, unfiltered wines and local craft beer. “It’s going to be fun choosing them all,” says Wood.

Tom Thumb

53 Flinders Lane, Melbourne


Mon to Fri 7am–5pm