Clean, healthy eating in black and white

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Tihana Ravanparsa, left, and Klarisa Cengic… “We wanted to take everyday food and make it healthier, like our raw desserts – they’re still desserts but they’re better for you.” Photo by Gary Schafer
WITH a focus on clean eating, the idea for Eighty/Twenty, Braddon’s latest cafe, began with co-owner Tihana Ravanparsa’s wheat intolerance.

“I found it so hard to eat out, and we thought if it was hard for me it must be the same for other people,” says Tihana, 27.

“But when you talk about healthy food and clean eating, it’s subjective. My perspective of what’s healthy is completely different from someone who goes to the gym every day.

“Someone’s 80 could be another person’s 20, so we try to cater to everyone; paleo, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free.”

Tihana opened the Lonsdale Street restaurant with her younger sister Klarisa Cengic, 24, a few weeks ago, with the idea of eating healthily 80 per cent of the time, and allowing 20 per cent for treats.

“I personally can’t eat 100 per cent healthy all the time, it’s too much pressure!” says Klarisa.

“You have to allow yourself treats. Each to their own, everyone has different diets, but it’s not the end of the world if you have a bit of chocolate.”

When it came to the fitout, the girls didn’t want to “go hipster”.

“We wanted it to be a reflection of who we are – black and white!” says Klarisa.

“We’re straightforward people, we’re straight shooters.”

Eating healthily is all about balance, says Tihana, and thinking about the food you put in your body.

Their menu features glowy smoothies, breakfast includes bircher muesli and quinoa porridge, and the lunch menu changes every week.

“There are better choices you can make,” says Tihana. “We wanted to take everyday food and make it healthier, like our raw desserts – they’re still desserts but they’re better for you.

“The focus is very much on clean eating, but we still offer coffees and desserts, that’s our 20 per cent. And there’s an egg and bacon roll on our breakfast menu – you can’t not have an egg and bacon roll – but we use the best-quality ingredients, like the Pialligo Farm Smokehouse bacon.

“Our background is Croatian so we’ve always had nourishing, wholesome food – although our chefs Mark Howard and Matt Love have had to rein us in and tell us what will and won’t work in a commercial kitchen!

“Essentially, our food makes you feel good. We’ve had people tell us they don’t feel heavy and stodgy after eating here – it’s not food coma-ry.”


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Kathryn Vukovljak
Kathryn Vukovljak is a "CityNews" journalist with a particular interest in homes and gardens.

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