Simply walking into About Life will make you feel healthy. The natural marketplace and cafe group recently opened a new store in Double Bay and it's been positively humming with health nuts ever since. For those who aren't clean-eating enthusiasts, About Life triumphs in making organic wholefoods unbelievably appetising.
About Life is a one-stop-shop with fresh market-style produce, fragrant flowers from the in-house florist, an artisan cheese and deli counter, juice bar and free-range chicken rotisserie. The most enticing part is the new self-service 'Superfoods Quarter' — there's the 'make your own pizza' or 'build your own burrito' bar, vats of steaming soup and vessels overflowing with breakfasts, salads, hotpot meals and raw desserts. Vladia Cobrdova, the About Life wellness ambassador explains, "You pick up a box and choose your own dish, making it up as you go along — it's your creation".
About Life has an easygoing vibe, which is accentuated by the casual, open-plan design. Good-looking couples stop by for their weekly organic shop, carrying brown-bags loaded with leafy vegetables. Groups of lycra-clad friends linger in the cafe over post-yoga brunch. Everyone seems to have got the memo that the dress code is Nike running tights and trendy trainers.
If self-service isn't your thing, the cafe menu is brimming with options fully across the latest health food trends. Be it vegan, gluten-free, raw food or paleo, even the most niche diets are catered for. This is a store where kale is king, there's a chia mania in the air and everyone's going coco-loco for coconut water.
For breakfast, try the almond hotcakes accompanied by raw raspberry chia jam ($15.50). Being gluten, dairy, yeast and sugar free, you'd be forgiven for thinking they're taste free. On the contrary, they're delicious. Drizzle with lemon and generously coat with the gorgeous, fragrant jam. If you're in a savoury mood, the paleo breakfast ($15.50) consists of crispy kale and sweet potato superhash topped with perfectly poached eggs, fresh spinach and a hearty side of bacon.
On a wintry morning, indulge with the warming spicy ginger chai ($4.50) with its silky almond milk and notes of cinnamon and orange. Alternatively, for a refreshing caffeine kick, get experimental with the effervescent coffee kombucha ($4.90 jar). It's a chilled drink made from the health industries' 'next-big-thing' fermented brew.
The well-priced coffee (reg. $3.50) is organic and fair trade. "When you come in, you know when you order a decaf- half strength-almond milk–latte, that's just normal for us. We aren't going to go 'Oh my god!' and look at you funny, like in other cafes", laughs Vladia. "Coconut, soy, almond, rice, oat milk — we do everything!". She assures there will be no raised eyebrows and looks of contempt from bearded baristas here.
Couple your coffee with a freshly baked strawberry and rhubarb muffin and you've found yourself a guilt-free afternoon snack. For something more indulgent, try the decadent raw caramel slice. This melt-in-your-mouth dessert is the final proof that organic wholefoods can taste sublime.
If you can't get enough of the food, About Life run Wholefoods for Wellness cooking classes. The subject Raw Desserts is a tempting option, as you will be able to make batches of your own sumptuous caramel slice. If they weren't so damn healthy, that would be very dangerous indeed.