Melbourne plant-based cafe Matcha Mylkbar is opening an outlet in Surry Hills to appeal to health-obsessed Sydneysiders.
Basically a wellness blogger’s Instagram feed come to life, the cafe is known for its blue-algae lattes and vegan “eggs” (with yolks made from linseed protein and sweet potato and whites made from a jelly-like substance derived from algae called agar-agar).
The cafe was opened earlier this year in the beachside suburb of St Kilda by Sarah Holloway and Nic Davidson, with brothers Mark and Attil Filippelli.
The menu, which is entirely vegan, features bright-green burger buns made with matcha, mushroom and beetroot lattes, and coconut bacon.
There’ve been a number of raised eyebrows mixed with the enthusiasm. Despite supplier E3’s claims that the blue-algae powder (the ingredient in Matcha’s blue lattes) “supports mind and body balance, and the immune, nervous, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems”, there have been doubts about its health benefits.
Mark responds to the cynicism, saying, “Although particular types of sealife can be high in iodine, the ones we use are Australian and American certified organic. You do have to be careful and diligent when dealing with things like algae, but growing algae is really sustainable for sea ecosystems, so when used in the right way it can have amazing health and environmental benefits.”
Owners are close to signing the deal at 513 Crown Street, Surry Hills, and are hoping finalise later in the week. While a launch date is still a way off, the venue will be larger than the Melbourne cafe and will also be open at night.
“The venue will also be licensed,” Mark says, “So we’re planning on doing blue-algae piña coladas.”
Okay, that might be a step too far.