I make a point of never mentioning other cafés in a review however in this instance it’s okay… Henley’s Wholefoods in Alexandria has recently opened on the site of Love Grub which I reviewed in 2010 (it’s also interesting to see how far my food photography has come!). Looking back at the score, it’s fair to say that I was quite displeased with my experience but I am excited to see new life being breathed into this corner location. HW is creeping its way west from the eastern suburbs with more stores on the way so it was time to see whether its philosophy will fit in.
And as you can see, it’s a breath of fresh air. From the bright graffiti outside to the crisp, clean interior, I was very impressed by what I saw. The staff are knowledgeable and very approachable so first impressions of HW were positive!
The menu at first appears simple enough but each dish actually has a lot more going on than you might first think…
My coffee ($3.50) was a winner; presented well and with a strong, bold flavour. All variants are offered including affogato ($5), iced latte ($4) and iced long black ($4). Mayde Teas are organic, handmade and $5.
Botanica cold pressed juices are available for the hefty price of $9. They come as turtle power (kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, green apple and lemon), sweet beet (beetroot, carrot, celery, ginger, lemon and red apple), ‘nana (banana, honey, maca, cashews, cinnamon and almond milk) as well as many others. While they taste great and supposedly offer more nutrients (than the fast blade-method of juicing), you’ll need to weigh up these benefits versus the extra Dollars. The moo shake contains Mork chocolate, coco whip and full cream milk (almond or coconut milk available for an extra $2.50).
All of the dishes on offer boast ingredients that are sourced from local farmers who have elected to operate using sustainable and ecologically friendly methods. They are also designed to include “nutrient dense” ingredients. So you can enjoy your meal safe in the knowledge that you’re doing the environment and your body a favour!
Even though the menu has some delicious-sounding items, it was the special that caught my guest’s attention. The large field mushrooms ($21) are baked with two eggs and covered in bacon crumbs (which in my opinion should cover every dish ever). This flavour combination alone was tremendous and prepared very well. It was the salad though that made it apparent that the kitchen knows what it is doing when it came up with this dish! The pesto was made up of hazelnut, amaranth and basil with a tomato and olive oil salsa just in case there wasn’t enough flavour! The dish itself is a decent size but not worth the $21 price unless you take into account all of the good that you are supposedly doing to the farming community and sustainable movement.
The big daddy burger ($22) as you can see comes bun-less. That’s the first thing that I noticed and probably you did too. No big deal to me but I believe that it should be made obvious on the menu. Anyway, the patty itself is made up of grass fed beef and was too well cooked for my liking (I prefer medium rare). Otherwise the patty was slightly bland but luckily a rich tomato and red pepper caponata gave it a boost. There were a few leaves below and some baked sweet potato wedges on the side with a smooth and bitey smoked chilli aioli. A bit haphazard overall, I’m not sure this dish knows exactly what it wants to be.
The unique dishes don’t stop there. Other options include Henley’s does Mexican (local corn tortilla, chipotle black beans, scrambled eggs, avocado and red pepper salsa with coconut yoghurt sour cream and cilantro, $19), maca charged hotcakes (almond meal maca hotcakes, caramelised banana, 7 seed granola, coconut yoghurt, cinnamon and orange, $18) and Ella’s omega eggs (complete egg or egg white omelette, baby spinach, salmon, avocado, charred asparagus and sweet potato wedges, $14). Basic egg or avocado on toast dishes can be ordered for those after something a bit simpler.
So if you have a focus on your sustainable community as well as specific dietary requirements then Henley’s Wholefoods has you covered. You may just have to pay a bit more for the experience!
Overall Rating: 17/25
Website: http://henleyswholefoods.com.au and https://www.facebook.com/Henleys-Wholefoods-Alexandria-1542780065985869
Phone: 9318 2323
Address: 38 Mitchell Road, Alexandria
Payment Options: EFTPOS, credit cards, cash