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Published April 21st 2021
History & healthy eating on Hunter Street
Momo Wholefood is a vegetarian cafe that is located in Newcastle - just a short walk from the Crowne Street light rail station along Hunter Street. It has been open for the last 6 years and has a strong following for its healthy and creative dishes, as well as its peaceful, chilled vibe.
I personally have been looking forward to visiting this cafe, since a friend told me about it several months ago. Although I am not vegetarian, I enjoy eating healthy food and it had such rave reviews from my friend, that I added it to my (long!) list of places to visit in Newcastle. Another reason I wanted to visit was because the cafe is situated in a beautiful old heritage building, built in 1880. According to The History of Hunter Street website, the building was the Bank of Australasia between 1850 - 1950, an ANZ Bank between 1950 - 1980, then it was a Kentucky Fried Chicken before its beauty was restored as Momo Wholefood Cafe. Walk in through the grand bank doorway and take in the beauty of the high ceilings, tall windows, stunning pillars and ornate ceiling features...
I visited Momo Wholefood for a late breakfast with my young daughter during the April school holidays, so the mornings were cool and the warm sunshine streamed into the long windows of the historical corner building. When we entered, we were soon offered a table for two next to an ornate pillar and we were provided with cold water and menus, including a small Kids Menu with all items just $7.
After perusing the menu and the Specials Board (see their Facebook for the latest specials), I then went and ordered at the counter and we sat back and watched the parade of beautifully-plated meals getting delivered all around us...
Don't forget to look at the Specials Board, for these tasty meals! Image: Original images from Momo Wholefood Facebook
My daughter and I ordered a light, late breakfast to keep us sustained before a day out in Newcastle. I ordered the Mango Lassi (with crunchy, toasted coconut shavings on top), while my daughter had a fresh watermelon and pineapple juice - both were fresh, flavoursome and full of zing. As something light to eat, she ordered a Kids Menu crumpet with jam and coconut yoghurt, whilst I ordered a Fruit Toast with walnuts, which was unbelievably filling and jam-packed full of flavour. We then bought some vegan treats for later...but they only lasted as far as the light rail tram stop!
There is plenty to fall in love with at this cafe - the food, the relaxed atmosphere, the comfy couches, the friendly staff and the healthy, vegan ethos - but if you love history and architecture (and even if you don't), you can't help but be impressed by the building. In the late 1800s, it was the main bank in Newcastle and today, it still looks just as impressive as the light rail travels past its doors and large shipping containers sound their horns, on the river nearby. This classic building has seen a few changes from its front door, from 1880 to today.
If only the walls could talk...
A stunning heritage building being celebrated in 2021. Image: Momo Wholefood Cafe Facebook