Bambam Deli + Discoteca - CLOSED
Stop by this solar-powered cafe for vegan treats, peanut butter bagels, bottles of house-made hot sauce and (soon) after-work cocktails on Fridays.
Tucked away deep in Cheltenham's bustling industrial area, Bambam Deli is a light-filled, family-run cafe boasting a mostly vegan menu that changes almost daily.
The oft-rotating menu is thanks to the super-fresh produce on the menu, which is sourced by Bambam owner Evan Georgopoulos and his father Angelo from Moorabbin Wholesale Farmers Fresh Market in the morning before the cafe opens.
"We have a core menu of sandwiches and bagels," says Evan. "But the rest is whatever is in season at the time. We have a really honest relationship with our fruit and vegetable vendor and we are not price-driven. If avocado isn't right on the day, we won't put it on the menu."
Created by Evan and his mum Maria, the menu is described as "accidentally mostly vegan". And while the noticeable lack of meat wasn't on purpose, the duo hopes it'll help to break misconceptions about vegan food.
"Veganism has come a really long way," says Evan. "People once thought vegan food was lacking in flavour, but, now, people eat our menu and are surprised to realise what they're eating has no meat in it. It has been really exciting to watch."
When Evan and the team aren't sourcing produce from the market, they're teaming up with local makers like Bromley's Bread and Huff Bagelry to ensure every element on the plate is locally sourced. Which also includes Bambam's vibrant house-made hot sauce.
Those visiting for a quick lunch fix can grab a Really Good Sh**t ($12) poppyseed bagel loaded with smoked trout, cream cheese and pickles, or a PB and maple bagel ($10) oozing with banana and crunchy peanut butter. More vegan-friendly options include the Green Dreamz ($15) — a delightful treasure trove of charred, seasonal vegetables.
If you do eat meat, though, there's plenty on the menu for you, too, including the Bad + Boujee bowl ($16) — packed with the aforementioned smoky hot sauce, 'njuda, creamy hummus, roast butternut pumpkin, soft eggs and sourdough — and the Number TwentyFive ($12), the cafe's take on a B&E roll made with pork belly, a fried egg and XO mayo.
Aside from food, sustainability is another passion of the Georgopoulos family. The cafe is powered by solar panels, is a plastic-free business and the team makes cold-pressed juices in house.
"We work in a closed loop as much as possible," explains Evan. "We serve up our coffee in Huskee Cups (made from the husks of coffee beans) and our used coffee grounds are turned into compost. We're also working on some other products that minimise waste and that our customers can take home with them — watch this space."
From October 4, Bambam will keep its doors open past 4pm every Friday for after-work knockoffs. Inspired by Italian aperitivo hours, After Dark will star cocktails and share plates to "butter you up" before the weekend begins.
Images: Julia Sansone.