While salad bars are by no means a new concept, they’ve fallen out of fashion. The Brunch Lady plans to change that. Natasha Pillion opened the Bondi Junction store two-and-a-half months ago after observing a gap in the market for quality, well-portioned takeaway food.
“There are amazing cafes around here, but there isn’t always time for that,” she says. “[Salad] can be for everyone; it doesn’t just have to be for healthy people or gym junkies.”
Her menu reflects that. The salad bar – where everything is assembled to order – features 39 bowls of toppings, from kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes to blue cheese and zucchini noodles, plus five protein options, atop any two (of six) greens or grain bases. Alongside that, there’s a breakfast menu (sandwiches, acai bowls, pancakes) and a rich selection of smoothies and hot beverages, including a raw cacao and cinnamon hot chocolate, and a matcha latte.
“It’s a one-stop takeaway shop for the happy and healthy,” Pillion says. But she’s not about the buzzwords.
“I hate ‘gluten-free’; I hate ‘kale’; I would just rather eat good food done simply,” she says. “People come in and want to know the kilojoule and calorie count, but I have to say, ‘We don’t do it here.’ This is what I believe people should eat; it’s just tasty food and it’s natural.”
The fit-out, all shades of white and grey, features three separate marble-topped preparation stations and wide subway tiles along the walls. A thin mirror runs the length of the narrow, long space, and six chairs complete the clean, takeaway-focused aesthetic.
“It’s just about making it affordable and quick. I am very conscious of people’s wait time,” says Pillion. “We don’t have the luxury of it anymore. People are so time-poor.”
The Brunch Lady Salad Bar
74 Spring Street, Bondi Junction
(02) 9387 3503
Mon to Sat 8am–4pm