About Life

Review: About Life (Bondi Junction)

I had shopped at About Life before, I had eaten their food (at an event they catered for) but I had never sat down at one of their in-store cafes for a meal. These work as a canteen/cafe, with salads, breakfast items (e.g. yoghurt, fruit, muesli) and hot dishes served up in cold/hot food displays for you to fill up a container, pay for your meal and go. There is also a menu with breakfast and lunch items you order like you would normally in a cafe.

We grabbed two small boxes with ready-made miso chicken slaw (white cabbage, carrots, shallots, chicken, red onion, miso and coriander dressing) and steamed vegetables. They were pretty filling and were much more interesting than your typical pre-made salad. Even the steamed vegetables, as boring as that sounds, came with the novelty of steamed cabbage and radishes.

Steamed vegetables, miso chicken slaw

Small boxes of steamed vegetables and miso chicken slaw ($7.90 each)

We also ordered a grass-fed linseed beef burger with cheddar, cheese, tomato, grilled onions, raw tomato relish & greens and a pulled pork paleo sandwich free-range pulled pork slow cooked in bone broth with raw tahini slaw & greens. You can swap the bread in any of the burgers for paleo bread (the pulled pork paleo sandwich comes with it by default). I liked the beef burger much better. The patty was huge and pink in the middle (the way I like it) and I liked how its meatiness was complemented by the cheese, relish and onions. Yes, eating with your hands would be a challenge. Use cutlery.

Pulled pork paleo sandwich

Beef burger (10.90) in paleo bread ($2.00)

The pork sandwich was good and had heaps of pork (everyone else: please note this is the right amount of meat to put in a sandwich), however I liked the flavour of the burger better. As I said before, the paleo bread is included by default so you won’t have to pay extra for it.

Grass-fed linseed beef burger

Pulled pork paleo sandwich (10.90)

Alvaro ordered a coconut water iced coffee that was so good, I ended up drinking half of it.

Coconut water iced coffee

Coconut water iced coffee ($6.90)

About Life Bondi Junction
31 Oxford Street
Bondi Junction
Website

About Life Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Birthday perks

My birthday was last week. Most of the gifts I received were (surprise, surprise) food-related. I also enjoyed a free $20 lunch courtesy of Paleo Cafe and my annual free Boost juice.

Lunch at Paleo Cafe started with a triple C crunch treat that allowed us to wait for food (we were hungry). My usual go-to drink is long black but this time Alvaro wanted to share a salted caramel thick shake (dates, cashew butter, banana, maple syrup, sea salt and coconut milk) which was insanely delicious.

Triple C crunch

1/2 triple C crunch ($4.50)

Salted caramel thickshake

Salted caramel thick shake ($8)

I finally got to try the chicken and roast vegetable stack (oven roasted chicken thigh, capsicum, eggplant and zucchini wrapped in bacon served with a sweet potato bake, steamed broccolini and a creamy mustard sauce). It sounds better than it looks and it tastes just as good as it sounds.

Chicken & vegetable stack

Chicken and roast vegetable stack ($18)

From the specials menu we chose the seafood marinara (prawns, barramundi and squid in a Napoli sauce with sweet potato noodles). The sauce was delicious, the seafood was perfectly cooked and the dish was pretty filling.

Seafood marinara

Seafood marinara ($20)

My Boost juice of choice this year was grape escape (spinach, pineapple, green grapes, banana, coconut water & ice). Unfortunately (or fortunately!) they had ran out of grapes so I got a less sweet and more refreshing drink with cucumber instead.

Boost juice

Boost juice, original size

Next post: this year’s birthday lunch.

Review: Henley’s Wholefoods (Bondi Junction)

I’ve been wanting to try Henley’s Wholefoods since the first time I went to Paleo Cafe but every trip to Bondi Junction has been to try new dishes at Paleo Cafe. Eventually my sister and I decided it was about time to give Henley’s a shot.

The cafe is located in the same commercial building, but it’s easy to miss. You have to go down the stairs (towards the gym and sports supplement store) and you’ll find it.

Henley's Wholefoods: From stairs

Henley's Wholefoods: Outside

Henley’s philosophy is well-aligned with mine, and that’s why I didn’t mind travelling all the way there to support their business.

Henley's Wholefoods: Statement

Everything at Henley’s is gluten-free (except the toast) and they have a tempting array of healthy sweet treats and breakfast-type stuff. They also have some ready-made salads if you’re in need of healthy takeaway.

Henley's Wholefoods: Sweets

On the beverage front, they sell Botanica cold-pressed juices and offer almond milk for the coffee. We ordered our long blacks before I remembered the almond milk (we’re so used to standard cafes!). Coffee was on the strong/sour side.

Henley's Wholefoods: Coffee

But we were there for brunch and that’s what we got. The green eggs: baby spinach-egg ribbon scramble, baked polenta, chorizo, avocado, red onion, cilantro and tomato salsa were nice but a lot different to what I was expecting. More like an airy egg muffin, if you wish. Flavours were pleasant but lacked salt and kick.

Henley's Wholefoods: Green eggs

Green eggs ($22)

The weekend special, an open omelette with lamb sausage, red onion, tomato chutney & Sonoma toast (ordered without the toast), was tastier IMO. The presentation was beautiful. The ingredients in both meals were high quality (for example, I could see they use organic eggs and not just plain free-range) and super fresh.

Henley's Wholefoods: Open omelette with lamb sausage

Open omelette, lamb sausage, red onion, and tomato chutney ($22)

Henley’s Wholefoods
9/310-330 Oxford Street
Bondi NSW 2022
(02) 9387 7733
On Facebook

Henley's Wholefoods on Urbanspoon

Review: Paleo Cafe (Bondi Junction) (3)

Okay, I know it may seem excessive to put up 3 posts about the same place in such a short time frame but I can’t help it. It’s just wonderful to go to a restaurant and be able to order ANYTHING off the menu without worrying about gluten, legumes, dairy, cooking fats, etc. Plus, I had been in Russia for 25 days and was ready for a 100% clean meal.

Alvaro wanted a smoothie, which turned into 2. The choc banana (cocoa, banana, honey, almond milk and coconut milk) was better than the revitalize (blueberries, banana, pineapple and coconut milk), but both were great: thick and not too sweet. Easily a meal on their own.

Revitalize & choc banana smoothies ($7 each)

We also had ordered 2 mains without knowing that the smoothies would be that filling. The crisp skin pork belly with roast vegetables and pear kasundi (Indian spiced tomato and pear chutney) came out of the specials menu and was good but not better than the pork belly that used to be in the regular menu. I think the chutney, which tasted almost like plain paleo tomato sauce, didn’t mix that well with the pork and the veggies (capsicum, eggplant, broccolini).

Crisp skin pork belly ($20)

The lamb burger was better. It came on a slice of linseed foccacia with mint aioli, rocket, tomato, onion, avocado and gherkin topped with beetroot relish and served with sweet potato chips and aioli. The (pickled) onion and the beetroot relish went perfectly with the tasty pattie, and while the linseed focaccia was, to me, unnecessary, it wasn’t bad at all.

Lamb burger ($18)

I shall be back.

Previous visits to Paleo Cafe: here and here.

Paleo Cafe
Shop 5, 310-330 Oxford St
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
www.paleo-cafe.com.au
On Facebook

Paleo Cafe on Urbanspoon

Review: Paleo Cafe (Bondi Junction) (2)

My second visit to Paleo Cafe was a Sunday family breakfast. We started with some drinks: a green detox juice (celery, cucumber, kale, kiwi and lime) for me, a long black for Gladys and an iced coffee (made with CocoLuscious ice cream) for Alvaro. Didn’t get to try the hot coffee but both the juice and the iced coffee were great.

Green detox ($7)

Long black ($3.50)

Iced coffee ($7.50)

Alvaro also got one of the treats from the counter to share while we waited for our meals to be served.

Treat ($3?)

Needless to say, the breakfast menu here is the complete opposite to the norm. Usually there are just one or two paleo-friendly options but here we were spoilt for choice. If only we had bigger stomachs (or a larger family). We ordered three dishes to share. First, the zucchini & kale fritters, served with crispy bacon strips and sweet chilli onion jam. These were taller and fluffier than regular fritters (not complaining!), delicious especially when paired with the bacon and the jam.

Zucchini & Kale Fritters ($12)

Next we ate the caveman’s big breakfast: free range eggs cooked to your liking (we had them poached), served with sirloin steak, crispy bacon, pork sausage, wild mushrooms, roast cherry tomato, red onion and spinach on Paleo toast with Paleo tomato sauce. It sounds huge and it is indeed big and filling, but not humongous. The mushrooms were a bit watery but overall it was a great brekkie dish.

Caveman’s Big Breakfast ($20)

Finally we had the breakfast special: banana bread French toast & bacon, served with banana & maple syrup. Great stuff, but it would be too sweet to have a whole serving for breakfast IMO.

Breakfast special ($16)

On a second breakfast visit I had half of a breakfast fritatta that was great. “Containing” the egg mixture in bacon is a great idea that I may copy just to use my abandoned muffin trays.

Breakfast fritatta ($4.50)

My “real” breakfast was double smoked bacon and free range eggs served with spinach and a sweet potato rosti, plus Hollandaise sauce on the side. Great bacon, perfectly poached eggs, great sauce and nicely flavoured sweet potato rosti.

Double smoked bacon and free range eggs ($16 + $0.50 for the Hollandaise sauce)

Bonnie ordered something totally different to her usual breakfast fare: banana pancakes served with berry compote and whipped coconut cream, with a side of bacon. Yeah, really. The serving was massive and the whole thing was delicious, except that was way too much sugar for someone who doesn’t eat a conventional diet. Probably best for sharing between a few people or after a very demanding workout.

Banana pancakes ($13 + $4 for the double smoked bacon)

Paleo Cafe
Shop 5, 310-330 Oxford St
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
www.paleo-cafe.com.au
On Facebook

Paleo Cafe on Urbanspoon

Review: Paleo Cafe (Bondi Junction)

Paleo Cafe finally has opened a shop in Sydney! The franchise originated in Cairns and is growing rather quickly, for a non-mainstream chain.

This and other similar cafes make it easy for people who find it challenging to choose paleo options when eating out.

Paleo Cafe

Apart from food to eat in, they also sell pantry products (nut flours, coconut products, bars, etc.), books, sweet treats, takeaway meals, coconut ice cream, etc.

Pantry products

Flours, biltong, etc.

Books

Sweets

Chilled products

The first time I went for lunch with my friends Bonnie and Vicky. We kicked things off with almond milk lattes.

Almond milk latte

Latte ($3.50 + $0.75 for the almond milk)

Almond milk latte

Latte ($3.50 + $0.75 for the almond milk)

There’s a board with drink specials that sound great (yes, they make Bulletproof coffee) but I was saving stomach room for the food.

Drinks specials

Vicky had the pistachio & coconut crusted ocean fish, served with seasonal greens and chilli capsicum jam.

Pistachio & coconut crusted ocean fish

Pistachio & coconut crusted ocean fish ($20)

Bonnie and I shared the fish and the slow roasted pork belly, served with roast root vegetables, green beans, baked apple and a sage and balsamic glaze. The fish was nice, although a bit bland. Nothing that couldn’t be fixed with the tasty jam. The pork belly was definitely our favourite. The meat was perfectly seasoned and cooked, and the dish as a whole worked perfectly.

Slow roasted pork belly

Slow roasted pork belly ($18)

We also shared a serve of sweet potato chips with lemon aioli. Now, from what I understand, these chips are baked and not deep-fried (also obviously not coated in flour) so they’re not crunchy. I think they make the aioli with olive oil, which makes it thinner than commercial mayonnaise-based sauces (which usually contain thickeners) so it’s on the thin side as well. Having said that, the fries were great.

Sweet potato chips with lemon aioli

Sweet potato chips with lemon aioli ($5)

Finally, we shared a slice of orange-almond cake and a couple of dark chocolate truffles. The cake was moist and dense, not too sweet and very citrusy. The truffles were very nice, too. The sweets disappeared before I could take a photo, so I don’t need to say how good they were.

Paleo Cafe
Shop 5, 310-330 Oxford St
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
www.paleo-cafe.com.au
On Facebook

Paleo Cafe on Urbanspoon

Better coffee

I drink my coffee black most of the time, but once in a while I have it for breakfast with some coconut milk, double cream or salted butter in it. This way it doesn’t upset my stomach as milk would, and the fat gives me extra energy, fills me up for several hours and helps me stay in fat burning mode.

Then I heard about the Bulletproof® Coffee, essentially a long black blended with MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil and grass-fed butter. This is the most famous invention of Dave Asprey, the biohacking guru behind The Bulletproof Executive. This coffee will keep you full and supercharged for hours. You can learn more here. If you decide to go ahead and make it at home you can buy the supplies here.

If you decide you want to try it first you can do so at Thr1ve or Paleo Cafe. The Thr1ve version is called mountain coffee because they don’t use the actual copyrighted coffee beans, but the idea is the same. It’s frothy, has a great taste and keeps you alert and satisfied.

Mountain coffee

Mountain coffee from Thr1ve ($4.90)

Thr1ve’s signature coffees also include the island coffee, with coconut cream and cinnamon, and the iceman coffee, a post-workout iced coffee made with MCT oil and vanilla whey protein isolate. Both great in flavour and very filling.

Island coffee

Island coffee from Thr1ve ($4.90)

Iceman coffee

Iceman coffee from Thr1ve ($5.90)

If you don’t want to drink your coffee black and don’t like the idea of having (too much) fat in it, there’s hope. Both Paleo Cafe and RealFood Connection offer lactose-free, coconut and almond milks. Sadhana Kitchen offers coconut and almond milk, too (no cow’s milk ’cause they’re vegan). I’m sure other vegan cafes/coffee carts offer the same alternatives, so keep your eyes peeled.

Almond milk latte

Almond milk latte from Paleo Cafe ($)

As much as I enjoy coffee and these amazing variations I’ve scaled down my consumption. Now that I’m gluten-free, reflux is no longer an issue but I find drinking coffee too frequently drains my energy away. That’s why Jason Seib and others recommend having coffee only when your health, stress and rest are in check. I totally agree.

Thr1ve
Shop 28, MLC Centre
19-29 Martin Place
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9221 3885
www.thr1ve.me
On Facebook

Thrive on Urbanspoon

Paleo Cafe
Shop 5, 310-330 Oxford St
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
www.paleo-cafe.com.au
On Facebook

Paleo Cafe on Urbanspoon

Real Food Connection
2 Sterling Circuit
Camperdown NSW 2050
(02) 9516 0267
www.realfoodconnection.com.au
On Facebook

Realfood Connection on Urbanspoon

Sadhana Kitchen
147 Enmore Rd
Enmore NSW 2042
(02) 9516 1334
www.sadhanakitchen.com
On Facebook

Sadhana Kitchen on Urbanspoon