PIMP MY PLATE is my weekly series of reviews of cafés and restaurants in city and regional areas – I pop up all over over the place. My foodie challenge to find a good meal – lunch or brunch – with a limited budget of $18 or less for the main plate.
Sourced Grocer – café and organic grocer
This week I’ve had to pimp my budget! Only by $1, and only in the interests of reviewing and sharing an innovative dish from Sourced Grocer café.
I first heard about this café while chatting about art, life, and food with a young Brisbane hipster – thank you! Further online investigation uncovered an enthusiastic review for Cabbage Pancakes. Trying to imagine what these might look like, let alone taste like, became the incentive for my excursion to this foodie oasis.
The Sourced Grocer café is planted in the middle of an area of rapid residential development, in Teneriffe, on the outskirts of Brisbane CBD.
A wall of potted green welcomes you on arrival. Once inside, this airy converted warehouse space is divided into a grocery section – chock full of mindfully sourced gourmet produce – a cold room, and a small restaurant area next to the open plan kitchen.
I take a seat near the kitchen, and scan the menu. I notice one of the cooks is busily chopping through a bundle of kale. Love it or hate it, kale is still the queen of green, and its presence signals organic sensibilities, and no-fear vegetable bravado. Or maybe that’s just my interpretation.
The menu presented a dilemma of choice. My tastebuds had travelled to taste the Cabbage Pancakes ($17), but another menu item grabbed my attention: Saltbush Spaghetti ($19) with sorrel leaves, cured egg yolk, and burnt garlic. If in doubt, ask. I did. The chef recommended I try the spaghetti so I did.
I also ordered a dessert – Coconut Tapioca Pudding with passionfruit, basil, bee pollen, and coconut ($16).
The food here is ‘eating clean’ with top marks for mouth feel.
My plate of Saltbush Spaghetti arrived – a green tumbleweed of sorrel leaves, with green spaghetti nestled below.
I foraged through my bowl, twirling the crispy sorrel leaves and al dente pasta together into a happy green mouthful. Crunch! It’s rare to find crunch anywhere in a pasta story.
The sorrel leaves were light as air, and as crisp and addictive as air dried potato or kale chips. It’s never a crime to pick up food in your fingers in the name of research, and I started nibbling on them like a rabbit.
No soggy clingy sauces here. Instead, imagine a nest of crunchy dried green sorrel leaves sitting on top of perfectly al dente spaghetti, creating a crunchy-chewy contrast in your mouth. Difficult to describe, but I recommend it.
The pasta was served just-warm, and I was grateful because it would have added moisture into the leaves, and it was a really hot day.
Dessert arrived. A confident, pretty bird’s nest of colour, and textures: fresh mango pieces, strips of young coconut, passionfruit, and a sprinkling of bee pollen, nestled on top of a creamy tapioca pudding base. I loved the simplicity and texture of the ingredients.
The food at Sourced Grocer is all about quality of ingredients, combined with innovation. Their dedicated-to-good-food-and-innovation earnestness radiates from the kitchen.
Enjoy theof this food – it’s feel-good, eat-clean food with a creative edge.
There is plenty of on-street parking midweek, or you can simply take the City Glider bus, like I did, and get off at the last stop by the water, and take a 10 minute walk which also takes you by a Swiss chocolatier, should you want to savour a few pieces of quality chocolate to eat on the spot, or take with you – for much later.
RATED: Maxxed! FOOD: 6/5 yes, you read right
VALUE: 5/5 ATMOS: 4.5/5 VIBE: relaxed, airy, with kitchen staff 100% focused on showcasing quality produce
Sourced Grocer Café – 11 Florence St, Teneriffe, QUEENSLAND
Visit me on facebook at Awia’s Kitchen for what’s happening now
All images © Awia Markey