Tofu Shop International
When Malcolm and Guna Green founded Tofu Shop International in 1982, the 2000-year-old product was still a novelty in Australia. Nowadays every supermarket stocks the pressed bean curd, but the cafe remains a leader at turning it into sweet and savoury dishes.
Step inside and you’ll find five or more choices laid out on the stone counter in colourfully patterned crockery. Shuffle past, point at what you’d like, and it’s scooped into your bowl. Son and head chef Louie Green works constantly to keep the servers’ dishes topped up. His brother Joel is the manager.
The tofu has been made on site since the very beginning, using GMO-free soybeans from NSW’s fertile Riverina region. Alongside plenty of this, expect to see lentils, chickpeas, sweet potato, pumpkin or eggplant. Spices such as cardamom, cumin and ginger abound. The generous serves will leave you feeling both satisfied and nourished.
For dessert, try one of the curious sweet-tofu slices. Past hits include date and apple; and mango and coconut. The pandan-and-coconut ice cream is also a nice way to finish.
Seating is limited to a few outdoor tables and high counters inside, where you’ll dine to low-volume reggae. Complete your meal with an exquisite Japanese tea, or grab a cold drink from the fridge. If the experience stays with you, buy a copy of the Tofu Shop Cookbook and replicate your favourite dishes at home.