Dining / Wholesome, cruelty free, home cooking

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The Buddha Bowl salad… loaded with goodness. Photo by Ana Stuart

SWEET Bones, a vegan café and bakery, first opened its doors in 2011. It grew out of its first home and it now has a bigger possie at 18 Lonsdale Street in Braddon.

Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson.

Owners Emily and Russell Brindley have a passion for no-frills whole foods… and a bit of rock ‘n’ roll if the eclectic décor is anything to go by.

Sweet Bones’ menu is inspired by the couple’s travels over many years and love of wholesome, cruelty free, home cooking. Emily and Russell are both vegan and believe in the health benefits of eating a plant-based diet.

The menu features all-day breakfast, light meals, burgers and salads and items from “South of the Border”. This is where I headed, quickly deciding on the warm burrito bowl ($16.50). It was bursting with flavour and loaded with ingredients such as brown rice, queso Mexican beans, corn salsa, grilled veggies, hot-as-they-come jalapeno peppers and marinated kale. Everything worked well together and I loved the crunchy corn chips on the side.

The shape of the bowl was pretty but the bowl itself was too small to manage the salad gracefully, at least for me. Stuff kept falling all over the place as I tried to dig through to the bottom. Hardly a big deal in the scheme of things, I know, but sometimes I’m not in the mood to fuss with my food.

The Burrito Bowl… bursting with flavour and loaded with ingredients such as brown rice, queso Mexican beans, corn salsa, grilled veggies, jalapeno peppers and marinated kale. Photo by Ana Stuart

The Buddha Bowl salad was equally loaded with goodness ($15). Heaps of marinated tofu, beetroot, sprouts, quinoa, lentils, greens and more. You can choose a dressing, either tahini, balsamic vinaigrette, chipotle aioli or cashew tamari. My friend opted for balsamic. The salad is a healthy option for sure – the kind that makes you feel righteous when dining – but it was light on with flavour.

Other items on the menu that caught my eye were the organic granola ($16.50), the raw chia cup (coconut water-soaked chia porridge for $11) and the wildwood salad with tahini dressing ($15).

My coffee was disappointing. I get that coffee is a personal thing, but it was weak, super-duper milky and on the coolish side. Still, Sweet Bones takes care to order locally roasted coffee from Red Brick Espresso (the Cypher blend).

Sweet Bones in Braddon. Photo by Ana Stuart

Sweet Bones promises that it sources as much local and organic ingredients as possible. All menu items are vegan and most items can be made gluten free.

The café doesn’t accept reservations, stating they’re too busy most days. There’s a 10 per cent surcharge on Sundays and public holidays, which they say goes directly to their “kick-ass” staff. The outdoor area out front is quite large.

Sweet Bones, 18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, open seven days (7.30am opening time except Sundays, 8.30am).

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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