It’s true that organic produce, nut milk and clean eating are popular in Sydney. But as Kirsten Shanks, naturopath and herbalist, says, “Even if it initially starts as a trend, people will start to notice the difference in how they are feeling.” For Shanks, raising awareness of the benefits of this lifestyle is the most important thing.
From the beginning, Shanks wanted to add a Bondi cafe to what she does at Orchard Street Dispensary in Bronte. When the Brighton Boulevard location became available she knew the time was right.
“This space is really meant to be more of a comprehensive, holistic offering,” says Shanks about the contrast between the Orchard Street Cafe and Elixir Bar and the dispensary, which has a consultation and retail focus. Inside the corner cafe, customers will find herbal elixirs, booster shots (aloe vera and chlorophyll, for example), a milk bar and raw meals.
“The meals are prepared fresh every morning,” Shanks says. “We package them up so they are easy to grab on the way to work or the beach.”
For takeaway there are anti-inflammatory Indian dosas; cauliflower, pea and zucchini curry packed inside turmeric coconut dosas. Or a “pasta” of wild herb pesto, shitake mushrooms and a truffle-infused dressing through zucchini pappardelle, for an immune system boost.
If you’ve got time to linger, have a seat at the counter for an informative chat with one of the naturopaths working behind the bar. Enjoy a kombucha on tap or a hot drink from the milk bar. Nut milks are steamed with rich bases such as cacao, chai and dandelion and infused with medicinal herbs and spices. “I wanted to find a way to offer hot herbal drinks,” says Shanks, “without being limited to teas.”
The Orchard Street philosophy has always been to make the wellness lifestyle available. Shanks and the team at Orchard Street are happy to get plenty of questions. “We’re here to make it accessible, and delicious.”
Orchard Street Cafe and Elixir Bar
2 Brighton Boulevard, Bondi
Mon to Fri 7am–6pm
Sat & Sun 8am–5pm