Hale & Hearty is a small health cafe in Sydney's Waterloo and was formerly a supplements store. Now it is a health conscious cafe that served up smoothies with ingredients such as maca, hemp powder, flaxseed. There are superfood breakfast bowls, burgers and salads. And pancakes...a whole pancake menu in fact (and they're dairy and gluten free too).
My eyes narrow and my brow furrows as I look at the menu for Hale & Hearty that I am holding. I ask Mr NQN, “What’s a Yacon Root? Or a Camu Camu? Or Mekabu? or 7.2 protein?”
It’s like a different language to me, and I guess in many ways it is. It’s the language of the fitness or healthy people and it’s something I occasionally dip my toe into but my preference is for buttery pastries and thick slices of light as air cakes. I’m not their target market really but I am curious.
Service from our American waitress is really lovely and she is patient with my questions. There is an all day breakfast but lunch doesn’t start until 11:30am and it’s 10:30am. I don’t really crave sweet things at breakfast so I go for the only savoury breakfast option (apart from avocado on toast and eggs on toast): a bacon and egg roll while I order an acai Bowl for Mr NQN.
Peanut butter and cacao smoothie and mango and passionfruit smoothie $10 each
I also order a couple of smoothies - it’s a two step process where you first choose your flavours from a list of eight choices including a chocolate or vanilla post workout smoothie. After choosing your flavours you choose the liquid from almond milk, soy milk, A2 milk or coconut water. They say that all smoothies are made with the 7.2 organic and vegan vanilla protein (whatever that may be) as well as a tablespoon of Coyo coconut yogurt and a whole banana. The smoothies all start at $10. Then you have the choice of adding a superfood boost for $2 extra and this is where you need to figure out what yacon root and camu camu do (there’s a guide above the register). For the peanut butter and organic cacao I go with almond milk which is quite grainy but the mango and passionfruit with coconut water is refreshing and not too sweet. Out of the two I prefer the mango and passionfruit smoothie.
Acai Bowl $12.50
There are a few kinds of superfood breakfast bowls and I go for the acai because it sounds good. It’s effectively a frozen smoothie made with acai, banana and almond milk served in a bowl topped with goji berries, cacao nibs and paleo granola. It’s actually not bad, with a good berry flavour from the Brazilian acai berry but the whole time I am eating it I am sort of wondering why I am eating a smoothie with a spoon and not a straw. Of course practically speaking the granola and goji berries would get caught in a straw.
Bacon and egg roll $10.50
The cafe is very much in tune with paleo diets and the bacon is made from grass fed pigs and is served with a fried egg, tomato relish and aioli on a wholemeal soft damper bun. Now I’ve had cracking bacon and egg rolls (the best from Orange’s farmer's market at the Trunkey Creek bacon stand) where they really pack in the bacon. This is not that sort of roll - the bacon is good yes and crispy fried and the sauces are good but it’s a lot of bread. The ratio is really much better when you remove the top half of the bun and then eat it.
Carrot Cake pancakes $18.50
I'm so intrigued by the pancake menu that I return a couple of weeks later with Elly @maxbrennerswife. We take a seat outside and I settle on pancakes. It's a hard decision as the tiramisu pancakes are tempting but we are recommended the blueberry pancakes. But then I get a hankering for carrot cake pancakes. The couple next to us have split a plate of pancakes they're that large and I'm not disappointed when they arrive (although I have found that there was a bit of a wait both times). All of the pancakes are dairy and gluten free and made with rice flour, coconut sugar, coconut milk and are cooked with coconut oil. They come as three fat, fluffy pancakes with shredded carrot, raisins, walnuts, syrup and a rather freaky mascarpone cream cheese on top that tastes like cream cheese but they assure us is dairy free. It's filling and delicious and next time I'm going to hit up the rest of the pancake menu.
Burger meal $18.50
Elly decides on the grilled chicken burger meal that comes with sweet potato fries with succulent grilled chicken, grass fed bacon (the cafe smells like bacon which is one of those bewitching smells), mayo, iceberg lettuce and smokey cheddar cheese. It also comes with a drink of your choice. The burger is served on a wholemeal damper bun (the same kind as the bacon and egg roll) and is a good, healthy burger. The chicken is succulent and there is just enough mayo to make it juicy. I don't think I could finish a whole one and the fries but hey perhaps I just need to work out more ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, are you eating more health consciously nowadays? Do you know what Yacon Root and Camu Camu are and what they do?
Psst! I looked it up. Yacon Root is said to regulate blood sugar levels and lower bad cholesterol and Camu Camu is said to be high in Vitamin C.
This meal was independently paid for.
Hale & Hearty
24 Danks Street, Waterloo, NSW, 2017
02 8399 0255
Open: Monday to Friday - 7am - 9pm
Saturday - 8am - 9pm
Sunday - 8am - 3pm