When a cafe describes itself as plant based, paleo, grain free, raw, vegan, sugar and gluten free… well I have to admit I’m the first to say that my interest isn’t exactly piqued. However while my blog might be littered with fried chicken, crispy crackling and torched tuna, at home I live a balanced lifestyle with the scales actually tipping more to a meatless existence. But ask me to give up my cheese and eggs? Well that’s a whole other story.
But there was something compelling about The Little Shop of Plenty that caught my eye. I’ve stumbled across them when they were a food stall at Light Up Leederville, and found myself chowing down on a cauliflower base vegan pizza that really hit the spot. And then as a happy coincidence, it turns out that the owners Mark and Kim are friends of my boyfriend Jeremy.
It was all of these things and the fact that I’ve been binging a little too hard lately on baked goods and fried foods that I insisted to him that we pay their new Maylands cafe a visit one Saturday morning. The perfect excuse to heal our guts and also give our congratulations.
The skies were bright and the air blisteringly cold when we arrived at The Little Shop of Plenty. As we walk inside I’m immediately taken by how gorgeous the space is – it’s bright and spacious with poured concrete and light coloured wood. I love the abundance of natural light that teems in through the windows, and the fresh pops of plants and flowers throughout. It’s my kind of place and already I feel the healing begin.
Choosing what to order is easy for us both, so we pay at the till then find a spot to relax. For once I manage to ignore that little greedy voice inside me that wants to order as much as possible – I actually managed to be restrained!
The smoothies we order come out quickly. For Jeremy, it’s a coconut and mango made up of young coconut, mango, banana and a drop of doTerra lime oil. For myself, a vanilla and blackberry which also had banana, lucuma and fresh almond milk. Despite the fact that they’re vegan, they’re both so creamy and fresh with loads of flavour. The coconut and mango smoothie is definitely the winner, but I really enjoy the unique flavour of mine – not many places use blackberries in dishes and I’m quite partial to this darker plump berry.
At $9.50 each, these smoothies aren’t the cheapest but it seems to be somewhat the market rate these days – and you can tell that the quality of the ingredients used are nutritious, fresh and best of all, gentle on my tummy!
Jeremy’s dish of sautéed mixed mushrooms and kale ($16.50) was accompanied by two slices of gluten free sourdough. The dish was sadly missing the cashew nut creme fraiche that was meant to be drizzled on top, but given the restaurant has only been open a couple of weeks and they were quite busy we were forgiving of this oversight. Because luckily enough the mushrooms were jam-packed with flavour and full of earthy goodness. I love just how meaty mushies can be, and how satisfying too.
As far as gluten free bread goes this was a good offering and wasn’t as dense or dry as others I’ve had elsewhere. Personally I would have probably liked to see some kind of nut butter to go with the toast but since this was a meal prioritising our health and well-being that might have been a bit counterproductive! I guess old habits never die…
I’m a sucker for a great avocado dish, even though we have a massive tree at home. I couldn’t let myself go past the avocado and lime smash ($15.00), accompanied by organic sprouted khorosan bread.
Yum. I felt my tastebuds and the rest of my insides sing the moment I had my first bite. The avocado was zingy and oh so limey, with some lovely fresh greens to accompany. It’s quite a generous serving – none of this half an avocado business, I’m pretty sure I was dealing with a whole one here (and quite happily so). Out of all the avocado smashes I’ve had around Perth, I’m calling this as my favourite. Sure, my normal state would love some goats cheese or even chorizo… but you actually don’t need it. There’s just so much vibrancy and flavour that it was a wonderful dish in itself.
I also really like the sprouted bread. It’s dense but almost nutty in flavour, with heartiness. A great accompaniment to my creamy soft avocado. Jeremy also loved it so I was kind enough to give him a slice to chomp away at, it was something we were both quite impressed by.
Since it is breakfast we both also order a slow cooked local paddock egg in shell to accompany our meals ($3.00 each). I like the cute little plastic holders with a side of salt and pepper to sprinkle over the top!
When I saw the quivering eggs I was immediately excited. Oh so how a slow cooked can seduce me in ways I can’t even explain. My whites were soft and supple, slipping out of the shell with a little coaxing from my spoon. Unfortunately the yolk was just a little bit more set than I would have liked – after all I’m all about that yolk porn shot. But Jeremy was happy with the way his egg was cooked and quickly gobbled it up. Even with the absence of meat, he looked really at home with his abundance of healthy food.
Later that day we decided to get stuck into some raw treats from Raw by Chris. Chris is another of those great blogger success stories (check her out – Tales of a Kitchen) who has started a successful business focussed on raw treats. It’s going so well that she has now opened up her store in Carlisle allowing people to get their hands on her beautiful products.
Chris had recently offered to provide me a range of her sweet treats to try – and I was so happy to accept given my desire to actually respect my body as a temple.
First up for us to try were the raw cheesecakes. Jeremy immediately gravitated towards the carob chocolate with dark chocolate, whereas I was all about the raspberry caramel. The flavour of both was sweet but not sugary, thanks to the use of raw honey. I love the base with it’s nuttiness and the seeds folded in. The texture of both was really smooth too.
Was I surprised that I enjoyed this? No, I knew I would – but I think I was surprised by just how much I did. Yes, it turns out you can be healthy while feeling like you’re treating yourself with food.
Over the next couple of days we made our way through the rest of the treats (you can keep them in the fridge and they have a decent shelf life). I really enjoyed the variety and the way everything was quite unique even though there are a lot of similar/same ingredients throughout. But definitely my favourites were those lovely cheesecakes.
I still have the gorgeous looking granola to try and I’m feeling pretty excited. I just adore granola so this is right up my alley – now I just need to think about what I’ll pair it with! Thanks Chris for the delicious raw goods, and congrats to both Chris, Mark and Kim on your new businesses. You’re all contributing to the health of the foodies of Perth!