I have pangs of guilt writing this entry because this place is so delicious, so wholesome and so unlike anywhere I’ve been before that it’s like I’m bragging about being able to eat there when other people can’t.
Ah well, sorry about that. Onwards…
First visit to the Nourishing Quarter in Redfern last Friday night.
It was recommended by a lovely vegan lady I met in the ‘special dietry requirements’ area of at a conference lunch. She described it as ‘Vietnamese style with South American ingredients’, and noted that a lot of the food was gluten free and vegan.
So. I booked a table for Friday night (bookings essential, it’s not a big place), with my vegetarian/coeliac cousin, who also has a name and a personality I promise., Onwards…
The restaurant is on Cleveland Street in Redfern, a ‘gentrifying’ area of Sydney with a thick mix of urban chaos, charming architecture, creative sweat, underemployment and boxy uninspired social housing. It is, as always, these areas where original thought thrives and the Nourishing Quarter is a shining testament to this. Unimposingly sign-posted and never advertised (it’s been flourishing on it’s own steam since it was opened 18 months ago), the place was packed at the 6pm sitting on Friday night.
Get to the food already? OK; we ordered the mixed rolls as a starter – check them out at the top there! Inside each roll was a different combination with the likes of royal quinoa, chia seeds, sweet kumara noodles, pickled carrots, Vietnamese mustard mint, marinated tofu strips, sprouts and herbs. The density of the nutrients are so obvious to the eye and to the palate, the textures so gentle and alive, it’s quite overwhelming. Nourishing? Absolutely.
Before I get started with the next course – I have to
tell you about the decor at this place. It’s super cute. The 5 owners wanted it to have a ‘home away from home’ ambiance, the kitsch antiques (a big portrait of her Majesty and various other royal regalia), home-made items and mis-matched crockery complete this place. There’s even a record turntable out the back crackling away with sultry tunes. This was my plate for the night: precious.
The San Choy Bao style ‘Ancient Pearls’ dish was fabulous – red quinoa, wild mushroom, bean curd, vegetables, sprouts, sesame and chia seeds, with chilli and lime dressing.
Below is their Asian-style noodle salad made with a quinoa/amaranth and rice flour base, mixed with Vietnamese spearmint, coriander, mungbean noodles, sprouts and marinated bean curd, lime and chilli.
It’s such an intimate place, I asked the table next door if they would mind if I photographed their food – not sure which dish this is, but it looks good!
To top it all off, there were three choices of cake – which were all gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, very creamy and delicious.
Nourishing Quarter will soon be starting a new Yum Cha range which will be gluten free and dairy free – Hooray to that as each meal at this place extends your lifespan by at least a month**.
315 Cleveland Street
Redfern NSW 2016
02 8399 0888
** Not scientifically proven – could be two months, or even a year…