What do you do at Sweet Bones when you want both granola and a smoothie? You combine them into a smoothie bowl and have both, yay! I adore Sweet Bones’ dairy-free menu, so I picked my smoothie, the Fit Sistas Smoothie with strawberries, banana, apple juice and flax oil, and added Eileen’s granola and seasonal fruit to my order to make the smoothie bowl ($16). The granola here is unbelievably good – jam-packed full of dried fruit – apricots, cranberries and sultanas – plus more nuts than you can poke a stick at (almonds, hazelnuts, macadamias) AND sunflower seeds… Oh, and did I mention that it’s all toasted in maple syrup? Swoon. The granola was still crunchy was despite floating in smoothie, and I actually enjoyed the combination with the smoothie far more than I do granola with milk. The smoothie had great texture – not too icy, and with a nicely balances sweetness – and there was sooooo much of it! The fruit on top (oh, hello banana, Granny Smith apple, strawberry and passionfruit!) added a great splash of flavour and a mix of textures, creating a filling, wholesome breakfast that I can’t wait to order again.
Sweet Bones, 8/18 Lonsdale Street Braddon, ACT, http://sweetbonescompany.com/
I know I’ve blogged about Pressed Juices before, but they have such a fun range that I couldn’t help myself. This time I wandered past one of their Sydney stores, and was determined to try something different. I hadn’t had any of their ‘green’ juices, and the lady kindly offered me a couple of samples to try, but while I was sipping on those, my eye was caught by one of their smoothies. I double checked – yes, dairy-free – and went for it on an impulse. It was, luckily, a great choice. The texture was like a slightly runny smoothie, although surprisingly thick for a cold press containing nothing but fruit. The four ingredients – pineapple, coconut, lychee and lemon (yes, they were the only ingredients in the whole thing) – were really well balanced. The pineapple and lemon were the most distinct flavours, but neither was overly sharp and the coconut made the overall flavour a bit creamy. I also really liked the ‘bits’ of pineapple and coconut left in the smoothie, which enhanced the texture, although I imagine could be offputting for anyone not a fan of pulp. So, two for two on the Pressed menu.
Pressed Juices, Shop 1, Region Food Arcade, 2 Bridge Street, Sydney NSW http://www.pressedjuices.com.au/
I adore those beautiful spring weekend mornings when you can feel the sun shining on your face! My friend and I enjoyed one such morning sitting outside at Eighty Twenty. Another friend had recommended trying one of the acai bowls – acai isn’t my favourite flavour, but with the delicious-sounding toppings I gave the “O” bowl, one of three options, a go. Our food came out quickly, although not at the same time, and I admired the neat presentation of the strawberries, bananas, granola and toasted coconut on top. The concept reminded me of Local Press’ smoothie bowl, with a dairy-free acai blend beneath the fruit and granola. Winning combination! The granola was the rock star of this meal – crisp, sweet and full of oats, almonds and other delicious things, every mouthful was a delight. The acai blend was lovely and refreshing, with bits of ice and banana to thicken it up. I also really loved the fresh banana and strawberry – this, combined with the icy acai and the crispy granola meant the dish ticked all the flavour an texture boxes. The portion size was just right for brunch and for $14 it was reasonable value. I can’t wait to try the other two!
Eighty Twenty, 18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT, http://www.eightytwentyfood.com.au/
Oh my. I fell completely in love with this little cafe and can’t wait to go back. The menu is exciting and I couldn’t go past one of their amazing-sounding smoothies to start off. The ‘Ohhh Darla’ (love that movie!) was perfection – watermelon, pear and berries with gelato (maybe blackcurrant flavoured?) – it had great depth and balance, and lasted me nicely over the course of my lunch. The staff kindly reduced the dairy content for me too on request – great service! I went for one of the more lunch-like options and ordered the ‘Road Runner Beep Beep’. Oh my. It was amazing. The Portuguese grilled chicken was wedged between a lightly toasted bun (no crumbles, not too thick to cut! Yay!) and topped with just the right amount of jalapenos to give it a good amount of kick. The chicken itself was perfectly cooked and tender, and the guacamole was really generous, along with plenty of rocket for some crunch. There was also a serve of pickled something (cabbage? onion?) that tasted a bit like coleslaw – yum! Oh, did I mention that the sandwich came with a box of perfectly crisp, thick-cut chips? The seasoning was perfect, with a touch of rosemary. And the atmosphere was fantastic. Love, love, love.
Fox and Box, 4 Farrer Place, Farrer ACT http://www.foxandbow.com.au/
I don’t generally tend to think of vegetables when I think of smoothies, but when I saw this cute little wooden stall on one of Kagurazaka’s quaint backstreets, I couldn’t help but give it a try. The menu is organised by colour, and is also available in English. I picked the ‘orange colour smoothie’, which included red paprika, carrot, tomato, apple, mango, orange, goji and water. This whole stack of fresh ingredients was packed into a blender and carefully coaxed into a smoothie, that was, to my surprise, poured into a plastic pouch rather than a cup. The colour was certainly orange and on first sip I was delighted by the warmth of the paprika (the flavour was just like capsicum) and then the tones of carrot and tomato. The texture reminded me a bit of the fresh, slightly bitey Pressed Juices, but with a lot less sweetness. The portion was generous and the lady was really friendly and chatted to me as she made my smoothie. A lovely introduction to vegetable smoothies!
Smoothie Stand Aoya, 3-1-4 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, no website
I’ve recently returned from a holiday in Japan, so, in exciting news, for the next month or so #icecreamthurs will be all from Japan! I had a lovely catch up with a friend of mine who’s studying in Tokyo and we went to a smoothie bar he wanted to try. It turned out to be a gorgeous cafe with fun red, green and natural timber decor – I was hooked even before I saw the icecream display cabinet. To dine in, you had to order a drink not just an icecream (served on a stick), so we both picked one smoothie and one icecream. I started with the Japanese citrus smoothie, which was absolutely delicious! Yes there was lots of ice, but the freshness of the flavours was really surprising, and there was definitely a streak of some kind of berry in there. I’m guessing the citrus in the drink included orange, grapefruit and maybe yuzu, a Japanese citrus. Our icecreams arrived served on frozen plates to keep them from melting in the spring warmth. I chose the earl grey and orange flavour, which was beautifully creamy and had a subdued bergamot flavour that meant it wasn’t overly sweet. The texture had flecks of orange and tea inside – I would love to come back to try more of their nearly 20 icecream flavours!
Paletas Cafe, Tokyo Midtown, 9-7-3 Asakasa, Minato-ku, Tokyo http://www.paletas.jp
I was so excited to discover Beesket just down the road from our hotel in Seoul – I love a good smoothie generally, but Beesket has such a fun concept it takes the whole experience to the next level. When you arrive, you choose whether you want a smoothie, ‘ade’ or yoghurt, and pick up a little container with spaces to fit three hexagonal pieces (like a beehive/honeycomb), representing fruit or vegetables that you would like in your drink. You can then roam the wall, looking at all the colourful pieces trying to make your flavour combination. My favourite ended up being peach, orange and raspberry, but you could pick anything from tomato to grapefruit (although probably not recommended together). The cafe had lots of seats while you waited for your beesket, which you received along with a little card showing your flavour choices and their nutritional value. You could put your combos up on a pin board in the store to recommend them to others. Note: when researching this post it appears the branch I went to is now closed, but other locations are up on their website.
Beesket, 73, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (this branch now closed) http://www.beesket.com