Before opening Hunters' Roots, husband and wife duo Kerry and Jeffrey Chew had never ran a cafe before. But that hasn't stopped them from producing healthy dishes that even the most burger-addicted Melburnian can appreciate.
Clean eating certainly isn't new to the Chews. Jeffrey previously worked as a personal trainer while Kerry, a former architect, has always had a keen interest in cooking and hospitality.
Nestled in the Archway dining precinct in Katherine Place along with 5 and Dime Bagels, Delhi Streets, T by LuxBite and Altius Coffee Brewers, Hunters' Roots serves genuinely tasty smoothies and deliciously simple salads, sandwiches and sweets. If you're on the run and want one of Hunters' Roots colour-popping selections, try the Purple Rain ($10.50). An intense purple (surprise, surprise) smoothie made of dragonfruit, local berries, banana, coconut yoghurt, coconut milk and camu camu, it's a strawful of pure healthy deliciousness. The dragonfruit smoothie bowl ($14) — a combination of dragonfruit, local berries, coconut yoghurt and coconut milk, topped with granola — is a picture-pretty pink, and tastes as brilliantly bright as it looks.
Other menu specials and daily salads rotate seasonally, with an emphasis on using produce from local farmers, producers and growers. Organic ingredients also feature across the cafe's Asian-inspired menu.
"We don't necessarily label all our food as paleo or gluten free or organic," Kerry says. "We just try to keep things fresh, seasonal and wholesome." Much of the Asian produce on the menu, like black fungus, jujubes (Chinese dates) and goji berries, were the pair's childhood favourites.
Almost everything at Hunters Roots is made in-house, from the nut butters to the almond milks to the raw treats. "Making as much as we can from our hearts, in-house, is really important to the whole ethos of the cafe," she says.
Designed by kitayama k architects, Hunters' Roots has a distinctively contemporary Japanese-style interior. Floating shelves house a variety of budding plants, coffee beans and the occasional stack of cookbooks. Featuring modular patterns and high quality pale timber, the space feels as cosy and warm as the people who run it.
Images: Itsuka Studio