New cafe Elemental offering healthy paleo-inspired food, opened its doors last week on Lonsdale Street in Braddon. Located next door to Moxom & Whitney, I noticed diners sitting on bright orange and blue chairs outside.
The space inside is small with a banquette running down one wall where all the tables are squeezed in very closely. Larger tables along the other wall are good for bigger groups, families or those that don’t mind sharing with other diners.
V was able to grab us a table for two and was enquiring about the bone broth with a waitress as I rushed in to meet her (need to remember to allow myself more time to find parking in Braddon). She ordered the bone broth ($4) which comes served steaming in a cup. I was expecting something weak and watered down but was proven wrong. There was SO much flavour in this broth! Beefy, hearty and delicious. A great way to warm up and I gather it will be popular during winter. I found it funny that V needed to put cracked pepper into it. I’m told by staff that everything on the menu can be made take away. I already have ideas to take away some of this broth and put it into my ‘home made’ beef pho. Just chuck in fresh rice noodles, cuts of beef, beef balls and beansprouts. The broth is seriously that good.
Co-owned by the Aussie Paleo Chef Daniel Barrett, the all day menu has a couple of options for breakfast including a breakfast quesadilla but that had already sold out by lunch time. The brisket sub and the pork belly burger sounded tempting, but I decided on the special for the day that was written up on the glass door outside. These were the beef cheeks with sweet potato mash, truffle-laced aioli and mushroom dust ($19). I was impressed with the size of the meal especially given the price. I got two big chunks of tender beef cheeks stacked on top of each other. Knife not required as they pulled apart so easily. The glaze-like jus is deliciously rich and there’s plenty of it. I could have done without the aioli on top but I did like the fresh crunchy slivers of cabbage. Really yummy and great value for money. I didn’t finish it all. Staff mentioned some people poor the bone broth over the top of the beef to enhance the beefy flavour.
For dessert, there are several options in the display cabinet behind the counter including a passion fruit cheese cake, mousse cake, a mousse-like pyramid and house made mandarin and almond cake. I decided to go with the house made mandarin and almond cake ($7.50 for all cakes) which came with goji berries and inca berries sprinkled on top. Made using almond meal, I quite liked this cake. Although a tad dense, it’s extremely moist. V and I were discussing how goji berries are now becoming increasingly popular as a health food, when we were brought up with it through Chinese cooking and medicines. I got flashbacks of my mum forcing me to drink bitter medicines with dried goji berries in it. Fortunately, the goji berries on this cake are sweet and chewy while the inca berries are both sweet and sour.
I enjoyed my meal at Elemental. It provides another option for the health-conscious diner. It’s family friendly as I noticed many families with small children eating at the cafe. It didn’t take long for the food to arrive, although my mocha did arrive a little later than my meal. Service is very friendly and staff seem really passionate about the food served. This Good Food article states Elemental will hold special 5-course degustation dinners ($100) starting in April and has introduced its first paleo cooking class ($90) to be held in May. More information is available on the website.
Elemental is open seven days a week from 6.30am to 4.30pm.
Value for money 9/10
FPJ score 26/30
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