Tue, Feb-18-14, 07:42
Paleo Cafe rocks the menu
11 February, 2014
Paleo Cafe rocks the menu
Paleo Cafe is at 52 Cleary Street, Hamilton, and is open 7am to 3pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Call 49610136 or visit facebook.com/PaleoCafeNewcastleHamilton.
UNLESS you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the paleo diet. It’s a lifestyle and eating regime which mimics the way our caveman ancestors used to eat, selected simply from what they could hunt or gather.
Touted as ‘‘eating and living as mother nature intended’’, the paleo philosophy encourages a diet packed with lean proteins, seafood, eggs, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries.
Newcastle’s first fully paleo cafe – aptly named Paleo Cafe – has opened at 52Cleary Street, Hamilton, at the former Bistro Tartine site. The light, bright and welcoming space, complete with a forest scene wall and uplifting orange accents, is open for breakfast, lunch, snacks, coffee, smoothies and pre-made and takeaway paleo meals.
There is also a range of retail products including coconut water, Coyo yoghurt (coconut yoghurt), CocoLuscious Organic Coconut Ice Cream, delicious coconut icecream, acai sachets (for at-home acai bowls), Banaban Coconut Oil, house-made granola, cacao nibs, books, Kora Organics by Miranda Kerr products and more.
The offering is free from dairy, sugar, gluten, grains, legumes, preservatives and additives, but the menu is packed with delicious and even familiar favourites including pancakes, big breakfasts, burgers, salads, fish and chips, pasta and more. The exception to the no-dairy rule is the cafe’s coffee offering, which includes full cream and skim milk, coconut milk, almond milk and lactose-free milk.
At the helm of Paleo Cafe is Valentine couple Clarissa and Shayne Aitken, who developed an interest in the paleo lifestyle after the birth of their daughter.
‘‘I have always been into clean eating, but becoming a mum I wanted to give my daughter fresh food, nothing from sachets or jars,’’ Clarissa told GT.
‘‘It is food as it should be, if it is something that was grown in the garden or you hunt it. Obviously these days we can expand it and take it a step further, thanks to the range of products available.’’
Keen to spread the word on the paleo lifestyle, the couple bought a Paleo Cafe franchise, joining other outlets in Queensland, Victoria and NSW. They have transformed a former French bistro and opened a little over a week ago.
‘‘It’s something new and fresh for the area and already people have responded really positively,’’ Clarissa said.
The cafe is attracting a diverse crowd ranging from workers wanting an early-morning coffee to mums, kids in tow (often choosing banana pancakes topped with berry compote or lemon curd and whipped coconut cream), women fresh from a workout and those simply on the hunt for a delicious meal, coffee or smoothie on the go.
It’s certain that not all the punters are paleo followers, though it’s likely the cafe will soon convert a few.
‘‘Already our clients include people with intolerances, people without intolerances,’’ Clarissa said.
‘‘Mostly the people we have coming in already know about paleo, are into it and excited by it. It’s about offering good, clean, fresh food.’’
The menu includes eggs and avocado on (paleo) toast; salsa verde eggs with poached eggs, bacon, roasted tomato and paleo toast served with salsa verde and rocket; lamb burger on linseed focaccia with mint aioli, rocket, tomato, onion, avocado and gherkin topped with beetroot relish and served with sweet potato chips and aioli; and dukka-crusted ocean-caught fish with fresh garden salad, sweet potato chips and a chunky tartare sauce.
If you’re after a snack, there’s the all-day super food acai bowl with acai puree, apple and banana blended and topped with banana, granola and raspberries.
Kids have their own tailored breakfast and lunch options.
There is even something for coffee connoisseurs: the Bulletproof Coffee with two shots of coffee, grass-fed butter and MCT Oil (medium-chain triglycerides, touted as six times stronger than coconut oil).
‘‘It’s a coffee hit – I like to tell people you either love it or you hate it. With a normal coffee hit you go up and then come back down after a hour or so, but this gives you energy throughout the day.’’