Spring brings with it a shift in the air – and in our eating habits, according to Cherry Yap, co-owner of popular cafe Up South Bondi. While the popular cafe serves more indulgent meals, many of her customers are leaning in to smoothies and healthy bowls with the warming of the weather.

Since opening the business in July, Yap says she has witnessed a steady turn towards natural, vegetarian fare with the arrival of spring. “We get a lot of people trying the vegan options,” she says, “even if they’re not vegan.”

Case in point: the Up South Bowl, a textured lunch bowl that’s bursting with so much flavour, it’s easy to forget it’s good for you. It has a fragrant array of veg (both cold and hot), pureed cauliflower florets in place of rice and a poached egg on top for protein, plus a light dressing that revels in the tried-and-true umami combination of miso, tahini and sesame oil.

“It’s pretty hearty, with the mushrooms and the broccolini,” says Yap. “And people can get it without the egg if they want it to be vegan.” Another vegan option is substituting the egg with scrambled tofu.

Perched at the corner of Bondi Road and Boonara Avenue, just five blocks west of South Bondi Beach, Up South has an eye-catching mural across the wall outside, emblazoned with “Welcome to Bondi Beach” and a colourful dragon. Between the friendly regulars and welcoming vibe, it’s a reliably comfortable spot to eat and drink. “I’ve fallen in love with Bondi and the community here,” Yap says.

As a cafe that hosted a hummus pop-up earlier in the year, Up South definitely caters to the beach community’s health-conscious members. That includes serving a range of activated kombucha from Mojo. Yap recommends pairing the passionfruit or raspberry kombucha with the Up South Bowl, noting that the latter pairs especially well with it.

For those who can’t get to Bondi in person, Yap has shared the recipe with Broadsheet. It’s an invigorating, portable lunch that can be prepared in 30 minutes flat. In other words: the perfect meal for spring, whether you’re near the beach or not.

Up South Bowl
Makes 1 serving
Preparation time: 30 mins

1 egg, poached
½ carrot, cut into thin ribbons (using knife or spiraliser)
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
Handful of edamame beans
¼ cauliflower, cut into florets
1 broccolini
1 whole flat mushroom
½ cup pickled red cabbage

Miso tahini dressing
100g white miso paste
150g tahini
Juice from half a lime
1 cup warm water
50ml sesame oil
Black and white sesame seeds

Method:
Roast whole mushroom for 15-20mins in oven with salt and olive oil, slicing afterwards. Meanwhile, soak edamame in warm water for 5 minutes and puree cauliflower florets in a food processor for 3-4 minutes, until texture is similar to rice. Blanch broccolini for 4 minutes with salt, then chargrill or pan fry for 1 minute. For dressing, combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth consistency and top with sesame seeds; serve on the side. Plate everything in a shallow bowl and serve.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Mojo Kombucha.