Hi! I’m Rupy, the doctor behind @doctors_kitchen. As a ‘health foodie’ I’ve been lucky enough to experience the burgeoning ‘wellness café’ scene in this beautiful fitness obsessed city. Here are my top recommendations you must visit!
We’re starting in my neighbourhood. This place opened its doors in the last few months and has already become a firm favourite amongst locals. It prides itself on a ‘mindful’ approach to food and they clearly have close relationships with the ingredient producers, the name’s of which are graffitied all over the walls. All meat is grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free, the vegetables are organic, the milk raw and they want you to know about it! Whilst you wait on your turmeric latte, you can read about the benefits of wholesome food artistically tattooed over the walls. The dishes are made with the care, attention and love you can only get from a tiny open kitchen. The ‘herby mushrooms’ cooked with cultured butter scattered a top gorgeous toasted sourdough is delightful. If they’re serving the corn and spinach crepes with bacon and feta … just get it, it doesn’t disappoint.
Broth and Larder, Bronte
A small place nestled in the close knit community of Bronte. It’s not near the high street (or any other stores for that matter), but that’s part of its charm. More of a specialist deli than a café it hosts seating for about 6 at a squeeze. Probably the best tasting Kombucha I’ve had the pleasure of trying (and I’m not a fan of the stuff!). Known for it’s delicious selection of broths, pâtés and activated nuts, make sure you’ve got your straw knit bags at the ready, you’ll want to stock up! I had the chicken pâté with toasted sourdough and cheese plate, the perfect snack after a dip at Bronte’s famous rock pool.
Bang Tang Rice Rolls, Kings X
The smallest of eateries tucked away in quaint Llankelly place, Bang Tang is THE place to go for authentic rice rolls and Vietnamese street food. I was lucky enough to stumble upon the laneway when I first got to Sydney and it hosts a number of delicious eateries. I’m hooked, whenever I’m in the Kings X area I pay a visit. The made to order rolls are knocked out out of a kitchen no more than 3metres squared, the water is charcoal filtered and the service impeccable. My favourite is the ‘Tofu-Passion’ salad bowl with kaffir lime, but ‘Hun-Bastard’ chicken and ‘Coco-Wow’ king prawn options are equally as scrumptious. For something less health conscious ask for the Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk. The preparation using equipment resembling a school science kit is worthy of the calories!
4 ATE 5, Surry Hills
Towards the bottom of Surry Hill’s famous Crown Street is a snug little hangout complete with local artwork and a courtyard in the back. This was my introduction to the brunch scene by my ‘Sydney-sider’ buddies. The coffee single origin, ownership independent, eggs poached. ‘The 485” complete with marinated feta, hummus and delicious pickles is a ‘health foodies’ dream combination. Nestled in between a few other spots, grab a table on the street and watch the fashion conscious city dwellers roll past.
Banana Blossom, Mona Vale
This was my ‘go to’ for lunch whilst I was working at Mona Vale Emergency Department. I was once in line when I heard a punter telling the waitress about how she was visiting Sydney for less than 24 hours. She had made the trip to the café especially to grab the Tokyo Classic Chicken. Such is the cult following of this place and with good reason! The ‘Tokyo Classic’ is by far the most popular choice. The bowl is huge, packed with rocket, cucumber, avocado and green tea noodles smothered in an incredibly addictive tahini based sauce. Don’t worry they have branches in Manly and Bondi … complete with a lunchtime queue reflective of its immense popularity! Nashi Pear and crispy noodles are also great alternatives … but trust me you want the ‘Tokyo Classic’
Nalini’s, Bondi Junction
This place lies close to my heart. A newly opened kitchen in the bustling commercial shopping area of the Junction, Nalini’s takes ayruvedic principles, and smashes them with south Indian street food culture creating a truly delicious lunch experience. The air imbued with cumin, fennel and tamarind welcomes you as warmly as its staff. Try the ayurvedic herb water on tap whilst you wait on your takeaway order and enjoy your paper wrapped delights in Clementson park across the street. Paneer curry wrapped in a fresh crispy dosa (rice pancake) garnished with mint chutney is my recommendation. If you’re a smoothie head … the Chai Roobios smoothie flavoured with ginger, cinnamon, banana (and some other ingredients I’ve forgotten) is probably the most delightful I’ve had in Sydney.
Raw Vegan food doesn’t sound particularly appetising does it? Just wait till you eat at Manly’s new wellness café a stones throw from the wharf at the top of Wentworth Street. I apprehensively ordered a couple of dishes including the raw vegan pizza which sounded way too healthy to be enjoyable. Fresh avocado, crunchy sprouts and cashew cheese are loaded onto a protein packed flax seed base and the combination of spices and textures is delicious. So much so, I had two. As well as spirilised vegetables, acai bowls and granolas they serve up a great selection of raw vegan desserts and smoothies. Give this place a try, you’ll feel healthier for it!
Oneness Café, Coogee
You could be at a hippy hostel in South East Asia. This place, complete with books and gadgets to keep the most culinary obsessed foodie entertained was a delightful brunch place to end up at after the famous Bondi to Coogee walk (FYI, don’t miss ‘Sculptures at the Sea’ 20 Oct – 6 Nov 2016 if you’re visiting). The front tables spill out onto the busy high street of Coogee Bay Road. It’s the perfect place to watch the beautiful, vibrant community whilst chowing down on their specialty homemade baked beans in spicy house sauce. My favourite is the chargrilled pumpkin risotto with ‘activated walnuts’. The staff are always on hand to advise and quick to remind you of the health benefits of their water!