Jem Jacinto was visiting Australia from Los Angeles when he struggled to find a great salad at a good price – so he decided to make his own.
The result is Daily Greens, a sustainable, zero-waste, traceable restaurant in a sun-drenched courtyard at the Oxford Street end of Glenmore Road in Paddington, otherwise known as the Intersection fashion hub.
Daily Greens serves nutritious salads and warm nourish bowls, much like Spain’s seasonal, healthy food chain Honest Greens and America’s Sweetgreen – both of which Jacinto used as inspiration. Heading up the kitchen is Charles Olalia, who trained at Thomas Keller's legendary French Laundry in California and was head chef at some of LA's hottest restaurants, including Mar’sel and Patina.
Olalia helped Jacinto open Finn Poké in Byron Bay (there’s now two in Queensland and one in Westfield Pitt Street) before the men – who, coincidentally, share Filipino backgrounds – turned their hands to Daily Greens.
The menu, with prices ranging from $15.95 to $19.95, includes breakfast tartines (open sandwiches of house-made beet hummus, orange, broccoli and radish or sustainable smoked salmon with chive cream cheese and poached eggs) and warm bowls (the aptly named Fun Guy is a melange of roasted mushrooms, lemon kale slaw, roasted almonds, cherry tomatoes and quinoa topped with a lime and coriander vinaigrette and crunchy corn chips). There are also cold salads (the Good Morning Vietnam has roasted sesame tofu, corn, shredded cabbage, mint and spicy sunflower seeds). Build-your-own bowls and a selection of chowders and soups round out the menu.
The Paddington venue is light and airy – the perfect spot for a plant-based soup or salad. The outdoor courtyard has a leafy vista, and interior architect Han Lim has built the space around a large tree, reinforcing the green credentials of the sustainable, fast-and-casual cafe.