I haven't tasted them all yet, but Heart and Soul Organic Chai Café, located in the heart of Cronulla, has to be on the top of the list.
There is more to this café than you see, it has a heart and soul (pardon the pun).
Its Heart: This café did not just spring up, it originated from the non profit organisation Govinda Valley Retreat, in Otford, 1 ˝ hours south from Sydney CBD, where they provide various retreats for people to learn and expand.
One being a 2 day organic,vegetarian cooking retreat, based on a 5,000 year old traditional Indian health system Ayurveda, (Ayu means life and Veda means knowledge, and so Ayurveda means the "Science of Life) according to your dosha (determining your state of health) .
So popular were these classes, they decided to open a café to share with the community and thank goodness they picked Cronulla.
Organic food prepared with love and care, just as nature intended!
Using only fresh organic ingredients, the vegetables are organically grown and the food is prepared in Govinda Valley Retreat and bought to Cronulla daily. Even the drinking water is collected from their rain water and then filtered. You can feel the softness of the water as you pour a glass from the large copper urn at the front of the café.
Pure rain water is collected from Govinda Valley Retreat, bought up daily and set in a copper urn for your health. Taste and feel the softness.
Great care and thought is considered in all aspects, offering mindful alternatives to your typical café. All ingredients are sourced from the best our country has on offer.
Even the timber tables and chairs are crafted from locally sourced timbers and give an earthy feel as you sit for breakfast or lunch.
As you approach the café, it creates a visual calmness with their simplistic, clean and fresh lines. When you enter, wafts of cinnamon float through the air from freshly brewed chai lattes.
Cinnamon Chai Latte - Carrot and coconut cake - coconut cream and honey....mmmmm
Now for the food! After all that is what we are here for.
Just reading the menu made my taste buds pay attention. I loved the way it is set out, deciding can be quite stressful, yet dividing it into three 'flavours' avoids confusion and little stress.
I guess that is another one of their ways to creating calmness.
Menu Board - choose your hot food and add a salad or two,,,
Green Curry - Corn Patties and Satay Sauce - Fried Rice Indian
Chick Pea Curry -Brown Rice – Kofta Balls Far East
Cashew Curry – Sesame Rice
Mix the flavours, add one of their six scrumptious salads to your plate and a condiment or two.
Organically grown vegetables - taste the sweetness...mmm
Depending on your appetite, choose from small, medium and large, eat in or take away. Be careful, the portions may not look particularly large yet I can assure you, I chose a small plate and eight hours later I was still full. The reason being, this is 'real' food, full of nutrients and your stomach yells, thank you, I'm happy.
OK, I know you have been waiting for the taste verdict, so here it is.
I had forgotten how a vegetable should taste. Biting into a crisp bean from their herb salad, its sweetness burst in my mouth - ahh now I remember. All the salads had that crisp sweet taste. The kofta balls are very popular and I can see why - moist and heavenly spiced. The eggplant and tahini condiment is silky smooth with a flavour I could not describe - you just have to taste it. As for the sweet potato salad, well it is one of the most popular dishes that customers keep coming back for - say no more.
The verdict is in, six star organic vegetarian. Divinely delicious.
Porridge, quinoa porridge, buckwheat muesli, sourdough toast - warms my heart to days of when life was simple and wholesome.
Fill your tummy with wholesome food and it will take you through the day. Happy tummy, happy life!
Cakes & Sweets
Most cakes are vegan and gluten free, including the ever popular chocolate brownie. How they get the taste, I don't know. All I do know is they are to die for.
Gluten free, vegan Chocolate Brownie, authentic Brownie taste has notbeen compromised, I don't know how they do it.
Carrot cake with toasted coconut, looks and tastes delightful...
If you want a sweet fix to take home, try these 'Addiction Balls' – gluten, dairy, egg, and nut free. Certified organic.
You would never go back to eating lollies once you tried one of these little balls!
They are well known for their chai lattes, ginger and cardamom, cinnamon spice (this was the divine aroma I inhaled as I walked through the entrance) and dandelion. A new one is frozen banana latte.
Chai Latte's are their specialty, every milk you can imagine, they have...
Heavenly cinnamon spice latte, drizzled with organic honey, the aroma is sensational.
Herbal teas come from a little place in Tasmania. Organically grown coffee from Byron Bay and air roasted locally for peak freshness.
Can be made with rice, oat, soy, almond and cow's milk.
Freshly pressed fruit juices and bottled organic juices and lemonades and colas type drinks.
Coconut milk from a real coconut, drink the milk and scoop out the flesh to eat.
Oh, and fresh coconut milk from a real coconut. Very tropical.
This place is suitable for vegetarians, vegans and gluten free, just ask the very helpful staff.
The café is a non profit business, all profits go to back into Govinda Valley Retreat to improve their amenities.
Open for breakfast and lunch only.
8am - 4pm week days
8am - 5pm week ends
Just when you thought it could not get any better, they operate Heart and Soul Yoga classes in Cronulla.
At present running a special $20 for 10 consecutive days.
So if you are into looking after your 'heart and soul', drop by and become a regular fan. If you are not, then still drop by and enjoy the divinely delicious organic food and you will soon become a convert on the taste alone.