In the heart of the Abbotsford Convent you'll find some incredibly nourishing and homely eateries. Lentil As Anything, The Convent Bakery, Kappaya and Cam's Cafe. Seasonal produce is the cornerstone of this cafe-cum-art-gallery, and fresh rules the roost.
I tend to grab a coffee every week here (long black) and the brew is brilliantly caramel, strong and a great pick me up on what has been a super long winter. The other thing I do is tuck into their salads. They change daily, so you never quite know what you are going to get. What you do know is that it is going to be home-style.
The staff cook everything on the premises and you can find out in the morning what is on the menu. There's typically always a soup brewing and they also serve crusty sourdough baguettes filled with salami, ham or cheese and lots of salad greens.
First cab off the rank was a roasted cauliflower mix with cous cous and flat leaf parsley. Second was grilled asparagus with paprika and hummus dressing, topped with toasted almonds. Lastly was a shaved apple and fennel salad with radish, flat leaf parsley and zesty dressing.
All were incredibly flavoursome and the stand for me was the fennel salad. It's delightfully refreshing and the mix of ingredients is a superb spring bounty.
The other salad I rated highly was also a fennel based one (I truly have a penchant for fennel now! I went out and bought 2 to make some salads at home)
Roasted shaved fennel and pear, fetta, walnuts and chopped flat leaf parsley was tossed in a light vinaigrette accompanied with roasted cauliflower lightly coated in olive oil (and still warm). To say this was a match-made-in-heaven (of ingredients) would be an understatement.
The salty creaminess of the fetta is punctuated with hits of sweet pear and crunchy walnuts, The fennel provides a lovely crispiness and mellow aftertaste. For $8 a bowl of salad, this is a lunch you can't go wrong with. You can also add a bowl of soup and crusty sourdough baguette with butter if you are a bit more peckish.
Cam's is a place you will return to again. Big wooden tables provide ample space to spread out inside, or you can nab a small table for 2 near the grass outside. For salad or soup du jour, Cam's your man.