Dinning / Press here for wholefoods in a jar

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LOCAL Press Café is always buzzing at Kingston Foreshore. And now a sister location has opened – Local Press Wholefoods on Giles Street.

Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson.

Both venues are devoted to reusing, reducing and recycling, with Local Press Café now a certified ACTSmart business. Local Press Wholefoods is a café and a place you can bulk food shop. Take your own jars, bags and containers or buy them there (ones you can reuse, of course).

But this is a food review so let’s start there.

I’ve been a couple of times, first for just coffee and then for breakfast. The atmosphere is chillaxed and the stacks of brightly coloured coffee cups and saucers are fun, as is the floor artwork, which features painted vegetables and fruits. It’s all designed to celebrate the colour of food, and to uplift the spirits.

The menu isn’t extensive. If you’re looking for a big plate of hangover-cure greasy eggs and bacon you’re going to be disappointed. This place is about the body and soul.

The fruit toast ($9) is delightful. Each slice is packed with raisins and orange and the toast is served with a pretty, pink, raspberry butter (the toast was served on a pink plate, too). The butter was gorgeous – not overpowered with raspberry but strong enough to make your tastebuds dance.

The veggie burgers are all $13. The Mexican was loaded with flavour and ingredients. The black rice, corn and black bean patty was delish with truss tomatoes, spicy jalapenos, sweet red roasted capsicum, fried onion, creamy avocado, salty feta and crunchy iceberg lettuce. My only problem was how to manage eating the darn thing. It was massive, so much so it had to be held together with a large wooden pic. I had to think strategically about the challenge and eventually just deconstructed it to make life easy. However, I did make a mess.

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The Indian burger was just as tall. It was tasty, but my Mexican packed a stronger punch. The chickpea and quinoa patty came with mushrooms, eggplant, pickled cucumber, hummus and house tomato sauce. You can’t fault Local Press Wholefoods for serving healthy ingredients.

The front counter has salads, quick bites and sweets. The bread and butter pudding (only $7) looked amazing, but I was stuffed from my burger. I want to road test the vegan sweet potato brownie ($6.50). I’m not vegan but the treats look amazing, including the Snickers slice and a mint slice.

On the wholefoods side, there’s a fair bit on offer with more to come (I’m hoping the Brazil nuts I had my heart set on buying). Spices, teas, dried fruits, beans, nuts, flours, vinegars, nectars, syrups and other goods line the shelves. This is a smart way to shop. Buy smaller quantities and throw less (produce and money) away.

Local Press Wholefoods, Giles Street, Kingston. Open 7 days. Hours vary.

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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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