The industrial suburban belt of Kilsyth in Melbourne’s outer east is not exactly the most assuming destination for a vegan wholefoods meal. It’s only when customers begin to understand its proximity to local gyms and mid-way to the hiking trails nestled in The Dandenongs that Suburban Wholefoods’ location begins to make sense. What better way to fuel the body after a brisk workout than with a wholesome plant-based bowl and a soothing drink. What’s more, the micro-traveller in me was curious to explore a part of Melbourne that doesn’t have a reputation for being a travel destination.
Suburban Wholefoods’ mission is to deliver healthy food and amazing coffee to the outer east, yet one key differentiator is realised early when I arrive through the glass doors. The crisp and bright, sunlit dining area dotted by plants complements how the menu works here. Superfood bowls for breakfasts, filled with seasonal fruits, grains and dates are appealing to those seeking a boosting breakfast or post-workout brunch, which can be easily paired with a hot or cold drink (from coffees to ‘wellness drinks’ like matcha or turmeric lattes and plant-based smoothies, kumbucha or herbal teas). Something more substantial is then found in the lunch options which is revealing to Suburban Wholefoods’ approach to wholesome food.
Not all menu items are vegan here, but many start off this way, and this is when customers need to make a conscious choice to ‘build’ their plant-based bowl with the non-vegan extras like tuna, chicken or halloumi. I place my order for a Valley Bowl with the friendly and vibrant staff, and it’s clear that’s all I need to order – a bowl with no extras, no revisions, and no stress.
The Valley Bowl arrives with a green spinach base and is loaded with baked pumpkin, sweet potato, broccolini, cauliflower roasted with turmeric, shredded kale, steamed green beans, all sprinkled with almonds, a wedge of lime aside a small vessel of tahini dressing. No sooner am I diving into this lunchtime bowl am I feeling revived with the nourishing goodness ever-present throughout. There are so many of my veggie favourites, all in one bowl, that I wonder why other customers would feel as if they need to add animal products to an already complete meal, even when they have to fork over extra dollars?
What starts the meal off with good vibes is a soy milk matcha tea latte, another reason why the extras aren’t needed. To finish, a chocolate lavender cream sandwich cookie that’s vegan and gluten-free (and a couple of other flavours for good measure) brings the meal to a fulfilling and satisfying end; stocked here from local plant-based cookie company ACE Cookies. A meal that’s all powered by plants and nothing else is how it should be.
Rock the outer east of Melbourne with an all-vegan superfood bowl from Suburban Wholefoods. Open Monday to Friday 6.00am to 3.00pm and Saturdays 7.00am to 3.00pm. Factory 11/ 114 Canterbury Road, Kilsyth South Victoria 3137 Australia.
Phone: 0435 407 918.