food, Sydney

Henley’s Wholefoods, Bondi Junction

Is it just me, or does moving to Sydney instantly make you feel the need to be a healthier, more active, and generally more physically attractive person?

I call it “The Sydney Effect” – and I’m 107% sure it’s caused by the proximity of endless desirable beach destinations, an overwhelming surplus of “beautiful people”, and the constant, unrelenting threat of “BEACH WEATHER*”.

*something which you RARELY worry about when living in Melbourne, yet which poses an ongoing risk in Sydney… and typically forces the unveiling of one’s “bikini body” on almost any given weekend – whether it’s ready or not!

*shudders at the thought*

I’ve quickly learnt that the key to coping with “The Sydney Effect” is by making “healthy life choices” – a complex and often tiresome process that is made a HELL of a lot easier by helpful little places like this one… 

Henley’s Wholefoods (founded by the very clever Sophie Henley) is a growing chain of boutique paleo cafes that aim to offer a divinely delicious menu full of super healthy, nutrient-dense dishes made from the highest quality local produce.

The majority of their menu items are dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free and best of all, GUILT FREE.

Now,  I KNOW, I KNOW – to some of you this may sound like the ultimate dining death sentence.

But I’d heard from more than a few good sources that they are also REALLY BLOODY tasty. Add to that the fact that all ingredients are sourced in an environmentally friendly way from amazing Aussie farmers and well, you’ve got me screaming…

Sign me up, Sophie! Sign me right up!” 

Having been wanting to sample this nutritious deliciousness for some time, I finally took myself and my agreeable friend G to the chain’s very apt original cafe location –  Bondi – for my virtuous virgin experience last weekend.

1Tucked away within a small arcade-style shopping precinct amid the busy Bondi Junction section of Oxford St, the café could be a little hard to find for the uninitiated.

Fortunately, we’d been briefed, so we followed the signs inside and down the stairs, to where our Saturday morning health haven awaited…2.JPG34We established ourselves at the bench seating directly under the light-filled corner window, promptly ordered caffeine (which came about as strong, dark and delicious as they come), and sat back to take in the café’s ever-so-effortlessly-cool interiors that boast white tiles, pendant globes, and copper pipe detailing. 57.586.JPGThe menu didn’t disappoint. From Almond meal maca hotcakes served with caramelised banana & cinnamon to “Sashmo’s” breakfast salad bowl topped with poached eggs, charred aubergine & zucchini – I wanted to order one of everything… (but realised that probably defeated the healthiness).

Eventually, G decided on the Henley’s Does Mexican – a Mexican-inspired breakfast taco dish comprising of local corn tortilla, chipotle black beans, gooey scrambled egg, avocado, red pepper salsa, and a coupl’a healthy dollops of coconut yoghurt ‘sour cream’.9Hell yes.10I opted for the 7 Seed and Nut Granola – a masterful mix of buckwheat, chia, seed and nut granola, coconut yoghurt, berries, and a gorgeous glass of lip-smacking raspberry almond milk to pour over the whole-god-damn-delicious-thing.11Berry nice. 12With food that good-looking, it wasn’t long before we were heads down, forks up – digging in with all the fervent energy of a beefed up Bondi bodybuilder.1314And yes, it tasted just as good as it looks.  

When we finally decided it was time to go, we left feeling clean, energised and SAH very honourable.

And while a few sugar-free sweet treats tempted us at the cash register (oh hey there sweet potato & cacao brownies…), the knowledge that there are several other Henley’s venues to visit across Sydney (with more opening soon!) left us reassured that we would be back again soon, to try plenty more of this figure-flattering, environmentally friendly fare.

If you too are experiencing “The Sydney Effect”, I insist you do the same!

(You and your conscience can thank me later…) 

Henley’s Wholefoods Sydney locations:

Bondi Junction  – 9/310-330 Oxford Street, Bondi

Alexandria – 38 Mitchell Road, Alexandria

Double Bay- 33 Cross Street, Intercontinental, Double Bay

Paddington (Coming Soon!) – 387-389 Oxford St, Paddington

Surry Hills (Coming Soon!) – 19 Foster St, Surry Hills, NSW

Zetland (Coming Soon!) – 886 South Dowling Street, Zetland, NSW