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First Look: Short Eats

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It may be an itty bitty kitchen, but Short Eats ain’t short on flavour.

A food van selling Sri Lankan delights on the very top of Westfield Belconnen’s Lathlain Street parking garage, Short Eats may just be one of the city’s first COVID-inspired restaurants.

While owner Michael de Silva has helped establish and run successful bricks-and-mortar establishments in the past—including his family’s multi-award-winning Cinnamon’s in Melbourne—with COVID making the future unsure, Michael knew he wanted something flexible when it came to his new venture.

“Because of COVID I wanted to have a bit of flexibility with where it could go—and the reason I chose this particular van was because I wanted to stand out.”

Owner Michael de Silva with his son.

Indeed, there’s nothing standard about Short Eats’ sleek Tiffany blue van that looks like it should be parked next to a Californian beach. For Michael, it’s the perfect place for him to pursue his passion—introducing Canberrans to his take on traditional Sri Lankan cuisine.

“When my family started Cinnamon’s in Melbourne our goal was to change the way people saw Sri Lankan food,” explains Michael. “To show that there is so much more to our food than just a curry.”

Photography: Capital Food Adventure.

Of course, while Michael still has a rotating selection of curries with rice on the Short Eats menu, Canberrans can also order the moreish Kottu—a roti that has been cut up and stir-fried with a curry of your choice—or the van’s namesake, Short Eats, one of them being what Michael describes as a “Sri Lankan chico roll”—a crepe filled with a savoury filling that are crumbed and then fried.

Photography: Capital Food Adventure.

And, in good news for those with dietaries, all dishes are gluten and dairy-free, with vegetarian dishes also vegan.

While Short Eats will be in Westfield Belconnen until January, given the portable nature of Short Eats, we may see them pop up in another location soon, possibly southside. Watch this space.

Photography: Capital Food Adventure.


What: Short Eats food van
When: Tuesday-Saturday: 11– 9 pm, Sunday/Monday: 11 – 4 pm
Where: Top of the Lathlain Street carpark entrance to Westfield Belconnen
Instagram: @shorteatsvan

Feature image: Capital Food Adventure.

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