UPDATE 2019: How far this cafe has come since it opened! The menu of raw cakes is now only one part of a complete plant-based a la carte menu. My generous serve of Corn fritters is served on a bed of spinach, layered with tomato relish and a tasty avocado salsa finished with balsamic glaze – enough to last me through until dinner! Likewise my friend’s Happy Hashies – truffled potato hash browns served with complementary garden greens, ‘kale-naise’, coconut ‘bakon’, avocado and black sesame. It’s nutrition-dense plant-based food brimming with goodness ‘of generous proportions’, to misappropriate the words of Alexander McCall Smith. My long black Blackboard coffee is smooth and delicious without any bit of bitterness.
Moving with the times, developing the menu as they go, it’s little wonder that Blendlove is always busy.
Easing their way into business through farmers’ markets and the savvy creation of a huge social media following proved to be a smart move for Sharlene Fletcher and Riki-Lee Gilbert. With an already well-established fan base which followed their every move, it was a low risk move to place their business in the prime street front position of the newly renovated Centre O on Ferry: Blendlove.
Blending the finest raw ingredients with love!
It’s 8.30am on a Saturday, but already there’s a line up for service. The shop is neat and clean, fresh and bright, stretching out with seating around the verandas. Diners are having breakfast, along with an early morning coffee (Supreme Roasters organic blend coffee, Rainforest Alliance certified using Fair Trade beans), loose leaf tea or cold pressed juice.
Beside me, someone is powering into a smoothie with maqui powder and blueberries; others choose an Açai bowl topped with chocolate buckinis, freshly sliced banana and strawberries and shaved coconut as a cool option on such a hot day. Shar tells me that the range of savoury treats is very popular, especially smashed avocado on rye sourdough either with a side of roasted tomato or layered with banana and walnut.
It’s too early for the salads when we visit, but there are four on offer for a revisit. Choose two for $12: the Zoodle (zucchini noodle), Thai mango and cashew, Thai peanut, as well as a Pumpkin, beet and quinoa salad. For those wanting a larger meal, the Veggie burger includes hummus, avocado, greens, sweet potato, eggplant and red cabbage ($15).
This is vegan heaven.
But for once it’s not savoury items we’re after! Blendlove built its following and reputation on cake! Raw cake, to be exact, and on previous visits it’s all been gone, with shelves glaringly empty! Wiser today, we’re out of bed for an early start.
Being early, the display cabinet is fully stocked with neatly arranged squares of raw cakes in fifteen tempting varieties. White chocolate and raspberry, Cookie dough, Toffee-layered banoffee, Turkish delight and Chocolate and raspberry… the choice is almost overwhelming. At $7 each (or three for $20) they seem like expensive goodness, but if you’ve taken the time to make a raw cake, you’ll appreciate the labour and ingredients used.
Knowing they’re a nutritionally dense little package, I choose just one to share: a Snickers Bar. Nothing like the commercial variety, this square of goodness is gluten and dairy free, including only natural sugars and non-dairy fats. With an almond crust, caramel and peanut filling, topped with Vegan chocolate, and roast peanuts topping, it’s a no-guilt treat. Surprisingly, it’s not as sweet as I expected, nor quite as dense as some other raw desserts – a very pleasant surprise!
We’ll be back on another weekend with friends to share more treats. After all, this is clean living – inside and out!
Shop 1/253 Ferry Road, Southport Open: Mon – Sat 7am – 3pm
You’ll find a full article about vegetarian and vegan restaurants here.