“As a Chinese eating house and bar, Momoda embraces unconventional approaches to absolutely everything it does,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON
I FOUND a new favourite café today and thank the friend who invited me to lunch for the discovery.
Well, not really a “discovery”, because Local Press Café, with its strong following, has been down on the water, at Kingston Foreshore, for a fair while now. However, it was my first time dining there.
We all know we should eat well. We all know we should treat our body like a temple. And we all know this can be challenging when in a café or restaurant, because sometimes it’s the extra sugar and salt that make café food so darn tasty. I won’t harp on; you get the point.
Local Press Café is a wholefoods-based operation – a family affair, which adds a lovely touch.
The fit out is uber cool. Wood, exposed bricks, containers of fresh fruit, loads of colour and little posies of flowers on the table celebrating that spring is just around the corner. A long, tall communal table is a feature inside and the outdoor area gets sun for a good part of the day.
But what about the food? We arrived for lunch. Vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free dishes are available, but that doesn’t mean Local Press compromises on taste.
Thoughts of my spiced chickpea curry still dance in my head and it’s well past dinner. The dish was packed with flavour and served on a bed of cauliflower couscous, basmati rice and quinoa topped with veggies, roasted almonds and a yum yoghurt dressing ($20). I ordered it on the recommendation of my friend who had heard from others that it was a winner. Gold trophy, I say.
My friend opted for the vegan pumpkin and coconut soup with lentils, pickled veg, marinated tofu and Sriracha cashews, for a bit of bite ($22). It was colourful, well presented, looked divine and received a big tick on flavour.
On the menu is a green-pea pancake, which I’ll try even though “green-pea pancake” might not be the most inviting description. It’s served with poached eggs, macerated avo, corn salsa, feta and chili jam ($21). The wild mushrooms sound amazing and so, too, does the banana, date and walnut loaf with labneh, honeycomb and rosemary ($11).
Local Press offers whole, minimally-processed food, sourced locally as much as possible. Brunch is available all day (trust me, I’ll be back) and don’t hesitate to give the cold-press juices a go ($6). My “Essential Greens”, with kale, spinach, parsley, lemon and apple was delish and made me feel very healthy indeed. Smoothies and organic teas are also available.
9/81 Eastlake Parade. Open Tuesday-Friday, 7.30am-4pm; Sat and Sun, 8am-5pm. Call 6162 1422.