I’ve been watching this space for a while now. I walk past Lonsdale St in Braddon everyday so its pretty exciting to see one of the empty blocks or shops with construction going on because it only means one thing, something new and exciting! With the current changes in Braddon it’s always a pretty good chance it’s a food place too! I was quite impressed with eightytwenty, it probably went from an empty shop to ready and serving it about three weeks.
Eightytwenty seems to focus on clean eating with a little bit of indulging here and there. According to everything out there, its something like 80% healthy food and 20% indulgent food. Looking at 80/20’s menu and around their shop, it definitely lives up to its claim. Everything was extremely healthy, light and fresh. I’m not sure where the indulgent part comes in, especially in the lunch menu since I didn’t see any cakes or pastries or anything super sweet. I think eighty/twenty might be referring to their wines but I’m not 100% sure. It is a lot more obvious in 80/20’s breakfast menu. They have a ‘20’ bun which includes Pialligo Farm smoked bacon, double egg, tomato and caramelised onion relish and a healthy version, the ‘80’ bowl with kale, watercress, rainbow chard, radish, cauliflower crumb, soft poached egg and grilled king trout. Pretty huge differences there.
Oh, on a side note, you may have noticed that I’ve been referring to them as 80/20, eightytwenty, eighty twenty and eighty/twenty. I’m not 100% sure what they’re called official so I’m just going to use a mix of the three.
Anyways, today I decided to head out and check out eightytwenty for lunch. I got there at about 1.15PM which is pretty late for lunch by then normally the Canberra Centre food court is pretty empty but at 80/20, it was absolutely bustling! Most of the tables inside and outside were filled, with people chatting, eating, waiting for take away or having coffee. There were seats here and there but I was quite surprised by how busy eightytwenty was, they only opened up yesterday, so it looks like they’re off to a brilliant start.
We were at eighty/twenty for lunch and ended up grabbing to lunch plates. I noticed that the breakfast menu didn’t include an end time or anything, so I wonder if 80/20 does all day breakfast because that would be awesome. Honestly, their brekkie menu definitely screamed at me more. How cool does a Dukkah spiced eggs sound?! I’m definitely coming back to check out breakfast and I don’t think it will be too hard either. 80/20 is open from 7AM to 4PM from Monday and Saturday and 8AM to 4PM on Sunday. Pretty awesome opening hours.
Onwards to food talk.
First up, the Hearty Ethiopian spiced beef stew ($15) with brown rice. This was definitely hearty. I’ve seen a lot of menu items at different places labelled as hearty but nothing beats how homely this beef stew at eighty/twenty felt and tasted. It was absolutely perfect for the cold and windy weather we are getting again in Canberra. There was a little bit of spice to it but not a chilli sort of spice more peppery and again heart warming. As for the stewed beef, it was fantastic. Full of heavy, rich tomato flavours. The meat came in decent sized chunks that broke away into little strips, not super tender but the sauce had a good chance to flavour it heavily. There was some fresh herbs sprinkled on top for some lovely vibrant greens and it just added to the whole healthy and cleanliness of the plate. As for our carbs for the meal, 80/20 had a good serving of perfectly cooked fluffy brown rice that just absorbed all the flavours once I started to mix it all in and ruined how nice it looked.
I’m normally not much of a clean eater, I’m a big fan of my greasy pies, hotdogs, pots of curry, carb filled pastas. Outside of Local Press Cafe in Kingston, I don’t think I’ve ever really eaten anything this clean before! Even with my normal palate being quite different and greasy, this was super tasty and I would definitely eat here again. For $15 it was a pretty decent amount of food, consider that it’s all wholesome and whatnot.
Our second dish, the Zoodles ($14), raw zucchini noodles with rustic eggplant, olives, and napoli sauce and percorino cheese. Okay, so I’ve called the stew really clean, well this Zoodles dish at 80/20 takes clean to a whole new level. Instead of using pasta at 80/20 and loading you with carbs, they’ve replaced it in this dish with shredded bits of zucchini. This whole dish was fabulous. I’ve never felt so healthy in my whole entire life before except maybe once when I had an apple. The zucchini noodles tasted pretty nice, they had quite a bit of bite to them and they absorbed the flavourful napoli sauce perfectly, so every bite you had, either it had sauce or not was super tasty. The sauce was rich in flavour but didn’t feel heavy on the tongue, there were a nice amount of juicy olives and a few capsicums. I normally hate capsicum but here they were baked perfectly and the deliciousness of the sauce kind of removed the strong capsicum flavour quite a bit. There were bits of eggplant here and there but it wasn’t obvious though you could definitely taste it. It added some great balance to the dish and milden the sourness of the napoli sauce.
Its not the prettiest dish around but if you’re looking for something quite clean and healthy but you still want flavours that pack a punch, this is definitely something to consider.
For drinks, we grabbed a Glow pro smoothie ($8), acai, blueberries, raspberries, coconut flesh, ice and honey. Originally I wanted a Matcha immuntea which includes matcha, mango almond milk, coconut flesh and coconut nectar but unfortunately eightytwenty ran out of mango. Must go back tomorrow for this, it has some of my favourite flavours out there: matcha (green tea powder) and coconut! I’m pretty excited too, 80/20 has matcha, this means they’re only one step away from having a green tea latte on their menu! Must somehow float the idea with them in the future. If I can get a green tea latte in Braddon, I’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice, there is already one at ANU (Dessert Castle) and one at Cafe Garema!
Anyways, as for this drink. It was really good, there was quite a strong berry flavour to it but not much sourness at all, which is a big plus for me. I normally find berry drinks too sour and overwhelming but here 80/20 has seem to have balanced it out with the milder and creamy coconut flesh and acai. Originally when I was drinking it, I thought it was goji berries but the description seems to say acai. The acai brought a lot of natural, fruity sweetness to the smoothy, so it didn’t end up with that sickly sweet sugar flavour instead it just enhance and brought out the flavours of the berries.
For something warm, a Chai latte ($4) with 9 spices and soy milk. The chai at eighty twenty is served with soy milk, not sure if you can ask for normal but when I ordered it I got a warning from the staff at 80/20. I was more than happy, I really like the extra creaminess and nuttiness that soy adds to chai, it’s absolutely delightful. This chai wwa definitely one of the better ones around the Civic and Braddon area. It was super frothy, really creamy and just smooth all round. The chai flavour was mild but not bland, it was just subtle and not really sweet at all. The sweetness was just enough for you can taste it but I guess they kept it low to ensure that it wouldn’t kill the subtle chai flavours. I’ve had experiences in the past with excessively sweet chai’s so this was a welcome change, Its not the biggest chai out there, thats for sure but on pure taste and smooth texture, its totally worth it. Probably not a great everyday drink on the pocket but a great treat every now and then.
Eighty/twenty was a really amazing experience. I never knew how good clean eating could get and for a decent price too. It costs around ~$15 to get a pretty decent sized serving of food here which is always a super positive change for Canberra especially here in Braddon. Good food 80/20, you’re definitely moving Canberra’s food scene in the right direction.
Well I’ve had lunch and that was really wonderful, I absolutely cannot wait to come back to try out eightytwenty’s breakfast menu and their matcha (green tea) smoothie.
Here is a link to a copy of images that I grabbed of eightytwenty’s menu. I know I read somewhere that 80/20 would be looking to change up their menu pretty often but I figured if I upload these, at least it still gives you a good idea of the types of foods they are serving, prices and I can’t imagine their drinks will change much.
Food at Eighty/Twenty
Drinks at Eighty/Twenty