I’m looking at the shoes and they’re completely random: chef’s clogs with eggs and bacon splattered all over them – the pattern that is, not actual eggs and bacon.
Still, it’s random. It’s black humour that’s rarely shown outside the kitchen; the ‘can do’ attitude of someone who’s stuffed it up and moved on or, in this case, been to the brink of the abyss and been given a second chance…
…a second chance to be somewhere, to do something.
After a serious bout with cancer, including three rounds of chemo in his late 20s, Chef Ben Engwirda turned his life around, ‘kickstarting’ his adventures with healthy food and exercise.
With partner Yuri Kagita, he took over the lease of the former Ruby + Green, a cute welcoming café in the James Street Arcade.
“I started a quest for knowledge about food and its interactions,” he tells us, adding how he and Yuri also teach group fitness at their gym.
“We’re all about healthy food; clean, local produce with as little pantry stock used as possible,” he says.
Looking at the menu, we love Be Somewhere already! Gotta love chef/owners!
(Also bucking the trends, we notice that nearly every breakfast comes in at $12 – $16.)
Ben tells us they’ve catered for difference by making each dish unique, offering plenty of additions, a dozen in total from quinoa tabouli to sautéed kale, turmeric chick peas and crispy bacon to chorizo. They’re also flexible to dietary needs.
Even the bread, sourced from Mr Pig’s Bakery in Robina, is different – semi-sour rye served with delicious locally hot-smoked salmon, and charcoal brioche enclosing the usual bacon and egg combo with house-made chutney in the brekkie bun ($12.50), a delicious pumpkin and five seed bread accompanying our favourite dish, Ben’s savoury mince with its blend of four sauces and secret spices.
“It’s still important to have something for everyone,” Ben says, aware that many find it hard to go past tried and true favourites.
“You’ll find Eggs Bene and Smashed Avo on our menu, as well as several burgers to target tourists and the post-big-night-out crew. Specials and sweets in the cabinet add even more variety.”
Most of the attention, though, goes to the very beautifully presented health-conscious bowls ($16 – $18.50), which can easily be both gluten-free and vegetarian, as well as the Green Breakfast. They’re the backbone of the menu.
The Nourishing Bowl is delicious with its mix of garden greens, quinoa tabouleh, avo, roasted sweet potato and feta, finished with dukkah and a lemon and olive oil dressing.
The rainbow-like Ultra-Clean Bowl is Be Somewhere’s signature dish, their version of a Buddha Bowl, showing Yuri’s influence with its shitake mushrooms and Asian-style miso dressing topping off the veggies, again with optional extras.
One Eighty by Brisbane’s Bear Bones Specialty Coffee is the chosen brew, its nutty chocolate notes on the palate finishing with well-balanced acidity. Tea by the pot, power smoothies and cold-pressed juices round out the drink options.
On the wall we notice the café’s logo – the sun rising above a pine tree clad hill. It’s the view Ben grew up with in 3rd Avenue, Burleigh.
‘Be Somewhere’, the logo says. ‘Eat + Drink + Chill’.
Somewhere? How about here?
Be Somewhere has heart, health, and doesn’t break the bank!
Random, yes, but we can’t think of anywhere else we’d rather be.
James Street Arcade, James St., Burleigh Heads Ph: 0422 322 660
Open: Mon – Sun 6.30am – 2.30pm
NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast dined as a guest of Be Somewhere.