Tucked into a tiny single-room shopfront on the out-of-the way Foster Street, Naked Indiana is a wholesome, vegetarian, raw-inspired cafe pop-up that has blossomed to fill what would otherwise be a gap between leases in the backstreets of Surry Hills. The work of chef Rebecca Chippington and Frank Meura, it’s the ethos that accompanies the food – as much as the sensational dishes themselves – that makes this cafe one to seek out.
“We were inspired by Rebecca’s niece Indiana,” says Meura. “You know when you’re two years old and you don’t care and there are no boundaries…I just think we should be a little bit more carefree like that in day-to-day life.”
And Chippington agrees. “We don’t want it to be hippy food, but we want it to be good food. Enjoyable. The menu works for sharing and we just use seasonal produce from the organic farmers’ market, Back to Eden near Flemington. We run the menu off whatever we find that is good that week. All our grains are Australian grains; we source them all and we sprout them as well. There’s no point using organic food if it’s not Australian.”
So pick your plate size and get ready to share dishes of pickled veggies, dips, salads or raw coconut and carrot balls that will amaze you with their bright, clean flavours. There aren’t any lattes on offer, but the tight drink selection includes a refreshing, mint-infused, cold cascara (coffee cherry tea) for your caffeine fix.
The fare is simple and healthy and while the inspiration may have stemmed from the raw food movement, the duo is clear that they don’t take a hard-line approach. “That isolates and scares people,” says Chippington. “We don’t believe the food problems of the Western world can be solved by another extreme outlook.”
It’s been a slight detour from the team’s dream of a food caravan, but van plans will resume after the pop-up pulls up stumps around the end of February, with the van hopefully ready for the ski season in Jindabyne.
It’s an eight-week pop-up in total and we’re into week two already, so get your skates on.
The Naked Indiana pop-up café runs until the end of February.
46–54 Foster Street, Surry Hills
Mon to Fri: 11am–3pm