So as you may have noticed, I’m not overly healthy. My diet consist of mainly greasy burgers, flavoursome phos and fatty ramens. So when it comes to health related diets like paleo, atkins and what not, I’m not overly keen or interested. So when I first heard about the Paleo Cafe opening up in Braddon, I didn’t really care that much. However, after hearing that they serve a tumeric latte, suddenly it was a different story! The Paleo Cafe went from your typical healthy eatery to potentially a hipster cafe! So, I decided to give it a go and headed over last weekend.
I must say, I actually had some difficulty finding the Paleo Cafe, its not hidden or anything. I guess I was just expecting it to be in the heart of Braddon and located somewhere on Lonsdale Street. Instead, the Paleo Cafe is situated on Mort Street, towards the north and next to Black Fire or around the corner from Bentspoke.
When I turned up at the Paleo Cafe, I realised– not only is it located away from all the other hipster joints in Braddon. It actually screams anything but hipster. From the food, to the decor and the overall atmosphere. The Paleo Cafe is anything but hipster. Instead, it feels more genuine. It’s a couple who really believe in the paleo lifestyle and have seen benefits to their health and lifestyle who have opened up this place. Hence, the food here won’t leave you wanting more afterwards. It’s hearty, tasty and absolutely filling. If I knew this was what real paleo food is meant to be like, I wouldn’t hesitate so much every time someone told me they were going paleo.
The Paleo Cafe is open seven days a week and offers a range of breakfast and lunch options, including sweet and savoury dishes. The breakfast menu actually caught my eye heaps more than the lunch one. However, as breakfast ends at 11.30AM, and we are notoriously bad sleeperinnerers we grabbed two lunch dishes. Outside of food, there is also an extensive drinks menu including plenty of different super fruit smoothies and milk based shakes. The Paleo Cafe also offers coffee, plenty of interestly flavoured hot chocolates and organic bottled drinks.
Our first lunch dish from the Paleo Cafe was the Beef cheek ($16.50) with a creamy sweet potato and pumpkin puree and braised red cabbage. Before I jump into how this thing tasted. Look at how much food you get! When I’m in Braddon, I don’t really expect my money to go very far. For $16, I would be happy to get a small burger and some fries, if I’m lucky. Here at the Paleo Cafe, you get a feed that’s going to keep you full until lunch, or dinner in our case. Colour me impressed!
Of course, the taste is just as important as the portion size and luckily here at the Paleo Cafe, they have both in spades. The beef cheek was extremely soft, to the point where you could just fork it apart without any need for your knife. The cheek was full of what could be best described as an Asian flavour, which tasted a lot like a sweet soy to me, almost like a black bean sauce or oyster sauce. To top it off, there was a lot more of the sauce on the side to mix into the sweet potato and pumpkin puree if you want to. I honestly thought the dish was plenty rich without the extra sauce.
The puree was sweet and really helped to play down the rich and savoury flavours of the saucy meat. Towards the end of the dish I did find that it got a little much, I started picking at the kale slaw from our next dish to help balance it out a bit.
Secondly, the Smokey pulled pork ($18.50) with a raw kale slaw and sweet potato chips and a side of lemon aioli. Like with the beef cheek, this was equally as tasty and filling. While the beef cheek was quite rich, this was a lot cleaner and more balanced all round. The pork was well cooked, making it nice and soft while retaining that slight stringiness that you would like to find in any good pulled pork. The pork was heavily flavoured with plenty of sweetness and a hint of savoury meatiness. The full flavour and richness of the pull pork worked perfectly here, complimenting the more basic flavours of the sweet potato chips and the kale slaw.
Although better with the pulled pork, the two sides were pretty tasty on their own and I would definitely consider getting them as an additional side if my dish didn’t come with any. The sweet potato was thick cut and cooked to a slight char. This made it really nice and soft on the inside, whilst the char gave it a slight smokey flavour with that lovely sweetness from the sweet potato itself. To offset this starchy heaviness, there was the the light and fresh kale salad. The kale here wasn’t quite raw but at the same time it wasn’t soft or wilted. Instead, it felt slightly steamed, leaving some nice crunch in the leaves. There was also a mix of shredded carrots and red cabbage for some extra texture and to top it all off, there was a creamy mayonnaise mixed throughout the slaw. I honestly prefer my slaws a little creamier, so I added a lot of the lemon aioli to my kale slaw.
Together the combination of the rich pork, the light and textural kale salad with the sweet and dense sweet potato chips went down perfectly.
Of course, some drinks. First up the Salted caramel ($8) with dates, cashews, banana, maple syrup, coconut milk and a touch of sea salt. There was a really good variety of super shakes at the Paleo Cafe, including fruity ones as well as milk based one like this salted caramel shake. I naturally opted for this one, not because its salted caramel, like your typical hipster but because there are dates in it! (So, still like a typical hipster) I’ve yet to find one as good as the one from THR1VE nor have I been able to recreate it at home after many failed attempts. Hence, every time I see a place offer a milkshake with dates in it, I’m all there. This one at the Paleo Cafe wasn’t bad. However, it wasn’t 100% what I was looking for. But for everyone else, who’s just looking for a lovely sweet caramel like drink, I’m sure this will hit the sweet spot.
The salted caramel shake at the Paleo Cafe was really flavoursome, with a strong banana taste to it. There was plenty of sweetness to it but not too much or anything sickly. There was a hint of saltiness to the drink but just not quite enough to let you mind bridge the flavours of this healthy super shake to a real, fatty and rich salted caramel shake.
For any of the shakes, there are a variety of different super foods, seeds and other healthy things that you can add in for a small fee, from green proteins to chia seeds, tumeric and even some fancy stuff like MCT oil and other stuff that I have no idea about. I didn’t add any to mine, but its always good for those who are actually healthy and know what the benefit of these things are!
Finally, the main reason why we headed out to the Paleo Cafe, the Tumeric latte ($4.90, mug). So I may have got this because it sounds totally weird and interesting as opposed to all the health benefits that tumeric brings. Not that I actually know about them, all I know is my parents have been eating this stuff and applying it to scars for as long as I can remember.
Anyway, let me just say, as fantastic as tumeric is for you, it’s definitely an acquired tasted. Well for me it was, maybe its because it reminded me of something that I don’t like. That is, mung bean or green bean. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re a bean thats commonly used in Asian coking, especially for desserts like sweet soups. You can find desserts like these from Meet Fresh. This latte was sweet with this really creamy and bean like aftertaste. You know that aftertaste you get after eating a spoonful of baked beans (minus the tomato sauce). It tasted exactly like that. Or if you know what mung bean tastes like, then you’re probably with me here.
I think you can also get coffee added to this if you’re interested, I saw someone else getting a double shot! Me, I went straight latte, just milk and healthy tumeric. Though I must say, tumeric is quite a mild flavour, so with a shot of coffee, I’m not sure you would be able to taste the tumeric much. Maybe it will be more of a pleasant addition to the taste of coffee!
So that was my trip to the Paleo Cafe, I was actually a bit disappointed that, that is all I got. The Paleo Cafe actually offers bone broth! I was absolutely so excited when I saw it on the menu and skipped over to order it. Sadly, to my disappointment, they hadn’t yet started serving bone broth because they had just recently opened! I will have to return very soon to try it out. I absolutely love bone broth – not for its health benefits, which I’m sure there are many. Sort of explains why all Western people eat chicken soup when they are sick and Asians have chicken congee. Its all in the bones. But for me, its the pure taste of meaty joy.
But outside of me missing out on some bone broth, the Paleo Cafe was fantastic all around and thats coming from someone who loves Maccas, ice cream, cakes and processed ‘crap’. The prices were good, the food was tasty and the cafe just felt all around homely. The Paleo Cafe here in Braddon is a welcome addition, at least in my opinion. Its a nice change from all the hipsterness that has been running rampant of late.
44/38 Mort Street, Braddon
Monday to Saturday
7:00am to 5:00pm
7:00am to 3:00pm