Cafe Lola

Review: Cafe Lola (Hobart, TAS)

One morning, breakfast at the conference was muffins and fruit. I silently turned around and reached for my phone to search for the nearby cafes I had bookmarked. The nearest one was Cafe Lola and I was extremely glad I found it.

Cafe Lola is located right on the wharf and it’s hard to miss – just follow the coffee-centric signs.

Cafe Lola

Cafe Lola

Their menu reads “At Lola we believe good food begins with sourcing locally and ethically, wherever possible, then preparing all our food fresh combining paleo and clean-food philosophies. Most importantly treating our food and customers with care, so you can enjoy being healthy and happy.” From my experience, it seems they do practice what they preach.

As I found out, coffee in Hobart is not cheap but fortunately this was an exception. My long black was not only decently priced ($3.50) but also decently sized and did not disappoint.

Long black

Long black ($3.50)

Even though I knew I would have a lot of food throughout the day, the brekkie paleo pod with soft scrambled eggs, bacon (or smoked salmon), spinach and kumara hash-brown sounded too good to miss. It was as wonderful as it sounds and very, very filling.

Brekkie paleo pod

Brekkie paleo pod ($15.50)

Even though the breakfast menu reads somewhat “normal”, most of the items have been revamped. For example, the toast is either gluten-free or rye and the spreads are home preserves. The granola, served with honey yoghurt and berries, is gluten-free, as are the ricotta & buckwheat pancakes with crispy maple spec (sic), orange & cardamom butter. The poached eggs come with sweet potato fritters, seared spinach & smashed avocado. You get the drill.

For lunch, they have pods in which you choose a base, a protein and an optional extra side. They also have gluten-free, paleo and regular cakes, slices and biscuits to grab and go.

Cafe Lola will remain bookmarked for my future visits to Hobart.

The Bottom Line
Coffee: 4.5/5, good and cheaper than the average in Hobart.
Food: 4.5/5, locally and ethically sourced produce, many gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and paleo options.
Service: 4/5, friendly and polite

Cafe Lola
1/1 Franklin Wharf
Hobart TAS 7000
(03) 6236 9934
Website

Lola Espresso Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pigeon Hole Cafe

Review: Pigeon Hole Cafe (Hobart, TAS)

It’s been a few weeks since I came back from my first (but definitely not last!) trip to Tasmania. I was there for just a few days to attend a conference but managed to squeeze in as many meals out as possible. My first culinary experience in Hobart happened on the very first day as soon as I dropped my bags at the hotel. I walked 10-15 mins looking for one of the cafes that had been recommended by my friend Cat.

Front counter

Being owned by farmers, Pigeon Hole Cafe is all about sustainable local and seasonal produce, quite literally “farm to table”. The cafe is small and charming and has shelves packed with homemade preserves.

Preserves

The menu looked so good I had to ask for help. Even though I was inclined to order the sardines with pickled vegetables, lemon and toast or the more orthodox roasted kale, beetroot & quinoa salad with goats curd, hazelnut and broad bean shoots, the waitress steered me toward her favourite item in the menu: the green eggs with free range ham and salsa verde on gluten-free toast. I’m glad I followed her advice, as the meal was delicious and the bread… oh man! One of the best gluten-free slices of bread I’ve had in a while. I forgot to ask for the brand, but I suspect it was locally made.

Green eggs

Green eggs ($15) + gluten-free bread ($1)

It was quite late in the afternoon so I decided not to have coffee. I know… I should’ve in the name of blogging. Next time!

Preserves

The Bottom Line
Food: 4.5/5, local, seasonal and sustainable produce, lots of gluten-free and vegetarian options. Great gluten-free bread.
Service: 4.5/5, friendly and helpful

Pigeon Hole Cafe
93 Goulburn St
West Hobart TAS 7000
(03) 6236 9306
Website
On Facebook
On Instagram

Pigeon Hole Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Copper Cafe

Review: Copper Cafe (St Peters)

We have moved. Again. Even though we’re not far away from our last place, this is a great excuse to getting to know our new locals. Our housemate got us decent coffee from here the day after moving, so I decided it was worth trying the food as well.

We each had a second almond milk latte to fill up the caffeine tank in preparation for the day ahead.

Almond milk lattes

Almond milk lattes ($4 each)

Alvaro had his eyes set on the Big Brekkie, which comes with 2 poached eggs, bacon, chorizo, roasted mushrooms, tomato, hash brown and sourdough. They don’t have gluten-free bread, so we ordered ours without toast. Keep in mind that the chorizo and hash brown are not gluten-free, so ask for a substitution if you are highly reactive to gluten. I was fine with the chorizo and didn’t eat the hash brown.

Big breakfast

Big Brekkie ($16.50)

We also tried the Eggs Benedict, which are served with smoked salmon instead of the traditional ham. Again, we ordered this without bread. I was happy to see that they didn’t skimp on the spinach. The radish slices definitely added to the looks and texture of the dish.

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict ($16.50)

Other gluten-free options include the breakfast omelette and some lunch dishes, such as the grilled chicken salad. Just ask the friendly staff.

Being a small cafe, Copper offers baked treats to grab and go with your morning coffee, and also a variety of juices.

Baked treats

The Bottom Line
Coffee: 3/5, almond milk available
Food: 3.5/5, regular cafe fare, gluten-free options not labelled on the menu but meals can be adapted
Service: 4/5, happy to accommodate customer requests, responsive on Facebook

Copper Cafe
29 May St
St Peters NSW 2044
(02) 9519 4286
On Facebook

Copper Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The End of King Cafe

Review: The End of King Cafe (Newtown)

This venue, located close to St Peters station, has been the home of a few different businesses in the time we’ve lived in Sydney. I’m not sure how long The End of King has been here but it sure gets good reviews.

I gotta be honest and say that, besides the reviews, we came for the free wifi. Fortunately, food, drinks and service were great.

I had a macchiato for a change, which didn’t disappoint. I also tried Alvaro’s pineapple and mint frappé which was refreshing and not too sweet.

Macchiato

Macchiato ($3.50)

Pineapple and mint frappé

Pineapple and mint frappé ($6)

We ordered a couple of dishes from the specials menu, the chorizo stack (grilled chorizo, Black Forest bacon, scrambled egg with chilli and feta, avocado salsa on toast) and Sal’s Brekkie (sautéed mushrooms with kale, free range poached eggs, goat cheese, almond and hazelnut dukkah, polenta chips & toast). Both normally come with white sourdough and there’s a (small, from memory) fee to swap for gluten-free toast.

Chorizo stack

Chorizo stack ($17.90)

Both meals were great and very filling. If I had to pick a favourite, I’d go with the chorizo stack just because it was lighter on the carbs.

Sal's Brekkie

Sal’s Brekkie ($18.90)

Looking forward to trying more dishes, especially the salads and the coffee frappé.

The End of King

The End of King Cafe
609-611 King St
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 8021 3486
On Facebook

The End of King Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Stoneground Espresso

Review: Stoneground Espresso (Enmore)

Facade

The premises previously occupied by Bravo Coffee are now home of Stoneground Espresso, a clean modern space offering great (slightly expensive?) brews.

Menu

The minimalist menu reads: “Filter $5-10, Black $4, White $4”. There are a few croissants and cookies the size of my face, but it’s clear the main focus here is coffee.

Their cold drip is excellent, as is their service. It’s also a cool place to hang out, and I really appreciate the fact that there’s virtually no food, because it takes the pressure off.

Cold drip

Cold drip ($5)

There’s a variety of beans to take home, as well as Aeropress and other gadgets.

Coffee bags

An old roasting machine, which I think was there since the Bravo days, is the main decoration in the uncluttered cafe.

Machine

Stoneground Espresso
177 Enmore Rd
Enmore NSW 2042

Bondi Wholefoods

Review: Bondi Wholefoods (Surry Hills)

This is one of the many healthy Bondi cafes that triggered food envy every time I saw its dishes pictured on Instagram. A while ago I learned they had opened a shop in Surry Hills but the other thousand things occupying my mind wiped that fact out of my memory until last week. Turns out the Surry Hills shop is a short stroll away from where we practice Krav Maga.

Bondi Wholefoods

The shop is huge and includes a grocery store, the cafe, and a section with ready-made takeaway meals.

Takeaway

As you can imagine, I suffer from severe FOMO every time I visit a wholefoods cafe like this one. I finally decided to order the green longevity bowl even though I’m always suspicious of catchy phrases like that. However, once I read the entire description: “nutritious superfood kale & avocado, dressed in garlic, chilli, lemon and olive oil, twice baked cumin sweet potato, tricoloured quinoa, sea vegetables, sautéed miso mushrooms, fresh baby spinach, turmeric cashew cream, two gooey poached eggs, fermented veggies and fresh watercress”, I realised this meal could very well extend my life if I ate it every day. There are a few options for extra protein: free range crispy ham (my choice), smoked salmon, beef sausage or ocean trout.

Green longevity bowl

Green longevity bowl ($21.90) + free range crispy ham ($6)

Because it was too late for me to have second coffee, I ordered a turmeric latte made with organic turmeric and coconut milk, a perfect caffeine-free, anti-inflammatory beverage.

Turmeric latte

Turmeric latte ($4.50)

Alvaro had lunch elsewhere but couldn’t resist ordering an açaí smoothie, of which I had a few sips mouthfuls as the perfect end to my meal.

Açaí smoothie

Acai smoothie ($10.90)

Looking forward to trying more dishes, including their signature paleo bread.

Bondi Wholefoods

Bondi Wholefoods
517 Elizabeth St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9300 6776
Website

Bondi Wholefoods Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Higher Ground

Review: Higher Ground (Melbourne CBD)

I caught up with my sister for a last breakfast in Melbourne before flying back to Sydney. Up until then I was under the impression that the only options near Southern Cross station on a weekend were fast food-type eateries but I was wrong. Higher Ground sits right across the road from the station, opens on weekends, and has fabulous food.

Yes, yes, the place is a little too hipster for my taste but service is friendly, which is what matters the most to me.

Open kitchen

We were not super hungry thanks to the substantial dinner we had at Supernormal the night before, so we decided to order just one dish to share. Once again our telepathic powers collided and there was no need to negotiate. The chosen dish was minced lamb fry up with eggplant, fried eggs, pickled rhubarb, smoked yoghurt, pine nut dukkah and possibly the best gluten-free bread I’ve ever had (which is made on premises, by the way). The bread was so good that my clever sister ordered some butter to enjoy the full experience. I don’t mean to sound like the bread was the highlight of the dish; it was all good.

Minced lamb fry up eggplant, fried eggs, pickled rhubarb, smoked yoghurt, pine nut dukkah, sourdough

Minced lamb fry up ($20)

I could tell they have the knowledge and the craft when it comes to coffee but the floral tones just didn’t click with me. Perhaps it was the method (I ordered a batch brew), or maybe it just wasn’t my cup of tea (bad pun intended).

Batch brew

Batch brew ($4)

For people who can tolerate gluten there are several great-looking pastries on offer. It might be a good idea to grab a few before catching the Skybus.

Pastries

Higher Ground
650 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 8899 6219
Website
Email
Instagram

Higher Ground Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Grain Store

Review: The Grain Store (Melbourne CBD)

I recently went to Melbourne to attend a nutrition conference. It was a great opportunity to catch up with the local sangha, a couple of old friends and, of course, my sister. We managed to squeeze in a few meals, starting with breakfast on her day off work. The chosen spot was Grain Store purely based on Google ratings and convenient location.

Despite its name, this cafe is gluten-free friendly. Some dishes are inherently gluten-free, some can be easily modified by swapping the toast. It was good to know that my sister and I still have the same taste, and thus is easy to order dishes to share. But first, coffee. They do a great cold drip served on top of coffee ice cubes. Genius.

Cold drip

Cold drip ($4)

I loved both of the dishes we ordered, especially the portobello mushroom and Gruyère potato rösti with poached eggs, spinach leaves and hazelnut hollandaise, which combined several of my favourite ingredients. The serving was huge, so consider sharing or bringing a container to take leftovers home.

Portobello mushroom and Gruyere potato rösti

Portobello mushroom and Gruyere potato rosti ($18)

The chorizo & Manchego omelette with orange cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, harissa aioli and gluten-free toast was also very tasty huge meal. Also great for sharing or for big appetites (perfect for a post-workout breakfast, for example).

Chorizo & Manchego omelette

Chorizo & Manchego omelette ($21)

If you’re in the CBD come for food and/or coffee, it’s all good.

The Grain Store
517 Flinders Ln
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9972 6993
On Facebook

The Grain Store Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sub-station Cafe

Review: Sub-station Cafe (Alexandria)

Even though this cafe is conveniently located close to the gym we had only visited once for a pre-workout meal: coffee (for me) and a GF brownie (for Alvaro). Okay, I admit I had a few bites of the brownie. I made a mental note to come back for a proper meal, which happened last weekend.

I’m boring when it comes to beverages. Or should I say I always order the same to be able to compare establishments? Either way, my long black was good: not too strong and not too cold.

Long black

Long black ($3.50)

Alvaro had an açaí smoothie with banana and coconut water. I had a few sips and it was great and pleasantly thick.

Acai smoothie

Açaí smoothie ($8.50)

Meals are served on chopping boards, which is one of those trends that people feel strongly about (both ways). I don’t really care as long as the food is good. The Sub-Station breakfast comes with 2 free-range eggs (we had them poached), sumac bacon, chunky Mediterranean salad, avocado smash (ours was definitely not smashed), natural yoghurt infused with halva and roasted almonds (ours had strawberries), tomato relish served with toast (ours was gluten-free) and butter. Huge meal for breakfast, more appropriate for brunch or lunch IMO. Even though some of the elements were not exactly as described, we loved it.

Sub-station breakfast

Sub-station breakfast ($18.50)

Our other shared dish was one of the day’s specials: Kaskaval eggs with pan-roast tomato, kaskaval being a Bulgarian cow and/or sheep milk cheese. The dish comes piping hot in a small paella-style pan with a side cabbage salad, toast (we requested gluten-free) and butter. Good tasting dish and a nice alternative to shashuka for those who find it too spicy or who prefer a meatless version.

Kaskaval eggs with roast tomato

Kaskaval eggs with pan-roast tomato ($16.50)

Sub-station Cafe
124 McEvoy St
Alexandria NSW 2015
(02) 9557 9868
On Facebook

Sub-Station Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Review: Left Bower (Sutherland)

Last weekend I caught up with my friend Natalie (check out her holistic nutrition website) to talk about life, placement, diet experiments and her latest exciting project: The Holistic Nutritionists podcast.

I was meant to go to her neck of the woods (Cronulla), which I was excited about given the vast array of healthy cafes down there, but there were trackworks going on. Instead, I got off the train in Sutherland and we had brunch in a nearby cafe which is apparently popular among local cyclists.

I apologise in advance for being so slack in this review… I did not get photos of the menu hence the vague meal descriptions and absence of prices. All I know is we had a good chat and a good meal. I would definitely go back if I was in the area.

I had a long black for a change, which was on the short side. Not a bad thing when it’s a bit chilly outside and you want to finish your coffee while it’s still reasonably hot.

Long black

Long black

I ordered the pork, fennel & apple sausages with smashed sweet potato, poached egg, sauerkraut and GF toast. The generous serving of sauerkraut and wholegrain mustard made the meal taste very familiar to me. The serving was pretty big, but I did manage to polish it off.

Pork, fennel & apple sausages

Pork, fennel & apple sausages with smashed sweet potato, poached egg, sauerkraut and GF toast

Nat ordered a vegetarian brekkie with roasted pumpkin, chickpeas & poached egg on GF toast, which normally comes with tahini dressing. It looked like a great hearty vego option.

Roasted pumpkin, chickpeas & poached egg

Roasted pumpkin, chickpeas & poached egg on GF toast

My only suggestion would be to serve the GF toast on the side, as it gets way more soggy than regular toast when it’s served at the bottom of the plate.

Left Bower
1 Adelong St
Sutherland NSW 2232
On Facebook

Left Bower Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato