Celebrate healthy eating at Wholefoods Dept
Written on the wall of Potts Point cafe Wholefoods Dept. is the motto, ‘Eat. Nourish. Replenish.’ Simple as it may be, this health-giving mantra imbues every dish on the menu. It could also perhaps be the suburb’s unofficial maxim. Where once upon a time it was ‘Drink. Party. Repeat’, that hedonistic lifestyle no longer exists. And looking for a silver lining regarding the loss of so many bars, nightclubs and businesses to the lock-out laws is the number of fitness and wellness centres popping up in the Potts Point-Kings Cross area.
Tucked around the corner from sister business P.E.Dept Gym, Wholefoods Dept. is a small unassuming, white-tiled cafe, currently seating 32. The number is set to expand in the warmer months to 70, when sun-seekers will be able to sit outside and enjoy the open air. There is a real community feel about it, with staff making genuine efforts to chat to guests and passers-by.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be aware that turmeric is the ingredient du jour in all good foodie circles. A spice that has been used in Indian food, drink and medicine for eons, has only recently been recognised in the West for it’s remedial qualities. As such it has been popping up on cafe menu of the health-conscious and trendy in the form of turmeric lattes or golden milks. Offered as a ‘healthy’ alternative to coffee, it is typically served with warm, frothed milk of your choice, whether that be cow’s, coconut or almond, and the with a base of chopped turmeric root, turmeric powder or turmeric root juice. From there, makers may add black pepper (which has activating properties when mixed with turmeric), cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, honey, the list goes on. Accordingly, there are innumerous variations.
Wholefoods Dept’s ‘golden mylk’ is blend of turmeric, reishi mushroom extract, black pepper, cardamom, elderflower powder and sprinkled with cinnamon. It may be served with patron’s choice of milk, however the cafe’s default is coconut. The result is a thick, hefty drink. The dense mix of spices crowds out what really should be the star of the show, the earthy turmeric. Perhaps cow’s or almond milk would lighten and balance the drink. However as a winter warmer, it does the trick.
As the name suggests, the Bee’s Knees is quite the cat’s pyjamas. A play on the classic avo smash, it sees sourdough or house-made gluten free chia toast toast topped with avocado, crumbled feta, cherry tomatoes, dukkah, greenery, honey-infused olive oil and a soft-boiled egg. Savoury with just a hit of sweetness, it is easily brightens the morning.
The Alkalising Porridge is activated buckwheat and quinoa porridge with almond milk, pear reduction, mixed berries and nuts, coconut crème fraiche and flakes, mint, rose petals and edible flowers. Despite the many ingredients, it won’t be weigh you down. Comforting and delicious, it is quickly becoming a cult favourite of the cafe.
Another of Wholefoods Dept.’s signatures is their Protein Pancakes. Made with chickpea flour, the pancakes surprisingly fluffy and come lashed with ricotta-coconut crème, berries, mint, chopped nuts, and lemon syrup and accompanied with a cinnamon-spiced poached pear. Pretty as a picture.
The stand out dish of the meal is perhaps the most unexpected. Packed with braised kale, broccoli, quinoa, caramelised onions and edamame beans, the Green Buddha Bowl is served with toasted sourdough and a soft boiled egg before being drizzled with salsa verde. Don’t be put off by all that green, it is a rich, ever-so acidic but flavourful dish with no unpleasant bitterness that kale is quite well-known for. One bite is an immediate, toothsome dose of health and wellness.
Wholefoods Dept. is a well-meaning and well-packaged cafe. Their philosophy of only using nutritious, wholesome ingredients will no doubt strike a chord with health-conscious eaters. Theirs truly is nurturing and beautiful fare, ripe for posting on Instagram. No doubt there will be a follow-on effect. And we’ll see more mindful-eateries popping up in the area. Potts Point prepare to eat healthier.
15 Orwell St, Potts Point
Winter hours: Tues – Fri 7am – 2pm, Sat – Sun 8am -3pm
Phone: (02) 9358 4484
In the area and still feeling peckish? Delhi By The Way will have what you need.