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Orchard Street Cafe

WHAT: Chemical free, alkaline, raw and vegan food and beverage  (they also do a liquid cleanse)

WHERE: 2 Brighton Boulevard, North Bondi
Orchard Street cafe is a gorgeous looking vegan cafe/ dispensary with an authoritative and polished air to it. I must admit to having felt a little intimidated before walking in- it looked like a place where you could do with some intensive training at a weekend retreat before mastering the menu. Not being vegan or on a cleanse, I didn’t know if there would be anything to tickle my taste buds. However,  I spied a delicious array of sweet-looking treats beckoning me from the counter and was pleasantly surprised to find out they were all sugarless!



I had no idea where to start when it came to choosing a drink – they had an amazing list of elixirs and a fridge full of exotic smoothies. Their most popular drink is the Mayan Lover (‘Mexican inspired spiced cacao blended with libido boosting herbs to arouse the lovers in us all’ – no wonder it’s top of the list!). As it was only 9am which is pre-treat time for me, I settled for an energising green tea which came in a 500ml beaker.



I would probably have enjoyed the 500ml beaker experience more had my daughter not been throwing my car keys out of the pram and disturbing the serenity with her screeching. So after a few warming, but hurried sips, I transferred to a take-away cup. Realising that I could have had a spicy chai and feeling very much that I had missed out, I decided to go back the next day to really treat myself. I ordered the caramel slice and the Masala Milk Chai with cashew and coconut milk for sweetness (total of $12 which was very reasonable considering the smile it put on my face).



Kombucha on tap is something I’ve never seen before – it’s been so popular that they had run out during my last visit.  Orchard Street serves local (Bondi) made ‘Ballsy’ wild kombucha . Kombucha has come a long way from the days when my father used to have a swampy looking pot sitting in our refrigerator back in the 80s. It’s a naturally energising mix of fermented bacteria and yeast, green tea and raw cane sugar. It’s often referred to as the ‘tea of life’ or ‘tea of immortality’ and has been used for centuries in Eastern Europe, Russia, Japan and China. In essence, it’s a living drink – a probiotic.



There are so many special things that sets this cafe apart, but reading about the owner’s story makes it even more special. Set up by Naturopath Kristin Shanks, she describes the Orchard Street concept as ‘an expertly designed, plant based opportunity to feel radiant, balanced and inspired’.  She was inspired to start Orchard Street after witnessing the positive effects of organic, cold-pressed juice on her mother’s cancer (her mother is now in remission). Kristin studied traditional medicine and healing practices in Mexico, Guatemala, India, Spain and North America. She obviously brings a world of experience to North Bondi and I feel we are lucky to have her unique offering at our doorstep.

Orchard Street cafe is in good company, being only a stone’s throw away from Bondi Wholefoods and is just a hop and a long skip away from the beach front.  If, like me, you’re new to the world of raw and vegan, this is definitely the place to pop your cherry.

Find out more at www.orchardstreet.com.au

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