A free-spirit studying psychology at the University of Sydney.
Published June 26th 2017
Soul-food from the Heart
In the heart of Cronulla is a soulful little cafe with a colourful menu. This menu is delicious, fresh and also super healthy as it's mindfully crafted to provide a range of vegan and vegetarian alternatives to your usual cafe fare. Right in the Heart & Soul of Cronulla, on Ocean Grove Avenue, sits this oasis that I've been finding myself at on the regular.
Heart & Soul Cafe is a not-for-profit establishment of Govinda Valley Project, aiming to support the elderly and other members of the Sutherland Shire community. It's held together by a team of vibrant volunteers with warm spirits and I must say all staff I've met radiate smiles and are always very helpful - even in tending to thirsty pups outside.
It's the perfect spot to start the day. Pick an alfresco seat out the front for some people and pupper watching - and a dose of vitamin-d with your caffeine hit. When it's cooler out, it's nice to get cosy inside by the barista station, or window framed by a green alcove with lush vibes. The space is always abuzz when I visit, and really, it's no surprise it's such a hit.
Yes, they are pet friendly!
They have a range of hot and cold drinks for you to choose from. I love the lattes: Matcha, Chai, Dandy, and bright yellow Tumeric, teaming with health benefits such as an immunity boost. My favourite go-to here is definitely the Matcha (green tea) Latte with soy milk - so smooth!
Being vegan by default, you have the choice of soy, almond and rice milk to go with your coffee. The staff offer honey and maple syrup as healthier sweetening alternatives to sugar. In contrast, these contain more antioxidants. If you're feeling something a little more refreshing, find also a list of fresh juices and smoothies. I'm keen to try their avocado blend drinks.
Brunch (BBQ Tofu Wraps) complete with my other addiction - Heart & Soul's Soy Matcha!
Choosing what to eat here is usually a struggle due to the large range of sweet and savoury dishes full of fruit and veg, all of which sound too enticing. To go with a favourite, or try another delicious selection? To order off the menu, or buffet of salads and curries?
Where do I start? There are sourdough toasties. I've now tried three out of the five on offer: the beetroot with balsamic glaze and halloumi, the pumpkin with hummus, coriander, and chilli for some tantalising spice, and the Smavo (pictured at top). This is Heart & Soul's take on the 'avo on sourdough' trend, throwing rocket, mushrooms, tomato, and your choice of halloumi or tofu into the mix.
I have to say, I am also in love with the tofu at this place. I've seen it come in curried, scrambled, and barbecued form. Can confirm the latter is divinely smooth with a flavoursome skin, after having tried their BBQ tofu wrap. This comes with avocado and tomato for a sweet juicy contrast. This is yet another delicious creation at Heart & Soul that I have frequent cravings for.
For the sweet tooth, there is also a nice selection including pancakes and porridges. Can also confirm the Sticky Black Rice & Chia Seed Porridge with coconut yoghurt and strawberries is a hit. Each mouthful whisks me away to a tropical island.
After your rejuvenating meal at Heart & Soul, continue the health train with a visit to one of the beautiful beaches that Cronulla boasts, minutes away by foot. Coastal walks, a swim in the sea, and simply spending time in the outdoors will all add to this wellbeing experience. Here is a list of beach benefits for a little trivia.
South Cronulla Beach - a few minutes walk from Heart & Soul