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Published March 31st 2015
Fill your Fork after a Walk
Bent Fork Cafe - image courtesy of Bent Fork
What I love about living on the Northern Beaches is not just the great outdoor lifestyle, with pristine beaches hugging the coastal suburbs, but all the wide variety of good cafes to chose from. Freshwater Village is a mecca for cafes with a prominent slant towards healthy, nutritious eating. Patrons that pound the pavement here enjoy outdoor activities like surfing, cycling, and walking, so it's only natural that they seek out healthy, energising food to fuel their busy days.
Bent Fork opened just a year ago, by partners Leanne Thomas (a leading expert in the health food industry, often lecturing and teaching), Michael Meates (manager of several great cafes worldwide and barista expert), and Thomas Sweets (restaurant entrepreneur). This clever trio have had this cafe pumping since open day. Having driven past several times on a weekend and always seeing a full house, I thought it best to try it out on a quieter weekday.
It has a simple, stylish fit-out, with polished concrete floors, tables for groups, and high timber bench seating that frames the edge of the open space, allowing a good view for people watching.
I had just been to the gym, so I was famished and feeling the need for some nutritious food. I noticed there was a glass water dispenser offering complimentary water with liquid chlorophyll. Those of you who are interested in health, would know that chlorophyll is a powerful antioxidant that supposedly lowers the risk of cancer, reduces inflammation, provides a good source of magnesium, and is an excellent drink to help alkalinise the body. I noticed a few young ladies entering the cafe making a beeline to the water dispenser, so I could see what a great business idea it is: attracting more patrons by offering something healthy for free, resulting in them staying and making an order.
I was pretty keen to continue my get-fit day with a healthy juice of some kind. There was a good, varied selection of Botanica cold-pressed juices, or super blends smoothies. Coffee addicts need look no further, as the piece de resistance is the La Marzocco, where Campos is the roast. No doubt a smiling face or character, made by skilled barista Michael Meates, will greet your first sip.
The menu looked equally desirable, once again with a varied selection to choose from. I was told the menu changes on a regular basis too. It was hard to decide between the all-day breakfast items and the lunch menu. I was struggling between choosing Green Pikelets, Whitebait Omelette, or the Soft Shell Crab.
I really felt a craving for seafood, so Soft Shell Crab won. I wasn't disappointed. Beautifully displayed, light and crispy batter; it came with a Vietnamese side salad of crunchy bean sprouts, fresh fennel and chilli, topped with a sweetish side dressing of green papaya and mixed herbs. Clever chef work, serving the dressing in a side bowl, to prevent soggy crab.
I had a sneak peek at the meals next to me and saw my other choice, the Green Pikelets, so I couldn't help ask if they would mind if I snapped a pic. They were young girls, so were used to iPhone pics and were happy to oblige.
I was completely full, but wished I could have tried some of the home-made raw foods displayed, as well as the coffee. I decided it was a good excuse to come back, when I needed a caffeine hit. I also noted that they are open in the evenings, and are licensed, offering a selection of craft beers and house wines, but no BYO.