Location: Bowral, NSW
Good for: The hungry health nut (and everyone else!)
“Excellent health starts with excellent food”, reads the first line of the “about me” section on Raw & Wild’s Facebook page. And excellent food is right. One may be forgiven for thinking that by simply stepping into this airy café that excellent health has also suddenly been achieved. (It seems that being surrounded by organic vegetables, fresh flowers and the odd raw chocolate bar will do that to a person.)
My mum and I discovered this multi-tasking café and marketplace in the unassuming country town of Bowral, south of Sydney. The cafe boasts a wholesome and impressively original menu for a health food store. Meals are prepared with fresh, organic produce and delivered with a friendly and genuine smile. Breakfast is served all day and yummy smoothies and fresh juices are available in abundance. As a “hot beverage” kinda gal, the selection of unusual teas, aromatic coffees and other steaming drinks that were a part of the menu had me squeaking with excitement before I had even turned the page. (Tell me I’m not the only one who does this!)
Let’s be honest though, even if a café has food that blows your socks off, if the service is bad then you’re probably not going to leave a happy camper. Lucky for us, the service at Raw and Wild was just lovely, almost as lovely as the exceptionally lovely food! The arrival of our meal was perfectly timed, giving mum and I ample time to admire the café’s airy courtyard and modern jungle décor whiling engaging in some mandatory café chit chat. Of course, when the waiter arrived all fell quiet to the sound of clinking plates and cutlery; all that could be heard for a few minutes was “Mmm” and the odd repetition of “Oh, this is just so good!”
The staff were friendly and accommodating, a trait that I have come to value in the café world. I mean, who should be made to choose between a side of sautéed mushrooms and spinach or smoked salmon rose? Such a decision is criminal, so why not order a mixture of both as our friendly waiter suggested?
I indulged in a perfectly balanced dish of zucchini-corn fritters and poached eggs topped with sautéed mushrooms, spinach AND smoked salmon rose, generously garnished with a delicate salad of seasonal herbs. To drink – a roasted dandelion chai tea went down a treat, and I can say without hesitation that it was absolutely delicious! I’m glad I listened to my mum when she said “Try something different!”… you can only drink so much green tea! If you fancy a “real” drink, a glass of crisp organic Wild White would go down a treat. And why not order the Spring Grilled Polenta with Mittagong Train Tunnel Mushrooms on the side?
Oh, and one last thing! Just in case you’re not a health food nut with a penchant for organic produce, don’t think that you’ll be left to go hungry. (Check out the photo below for even more proof!) The menu offers lighter options as well as more hearty feeds to fill any grumbling belly. And besides, what’s a café without a cake cabinet?
Gluten free options: Yes
Vegetarian options: Yes
Last words: Have a browse through the market place on your way out or order a smoothie to slurp on while you explore the charming streets and arcades of Bowral.