I’ve been away 18 months and a lot has changed in my little suburban town. Braddon has sprung up, the Kingston Foreshore finally has vibe and for the first time in years I have a full list of places i’ve never eaten at.
Of course one of the first things I wanted to do when I got home was have a girls day with my lovely friend/hairdresser Emma. She suggested we go to this new place in Braddon she thought I might like. “They do all that healthy food stuff you’re into” she said.
Indeed they do. Eighty Twenty – is a a cute cafe/restaurant which opened up in Braddon early September. Their focus is on wholesome, nutritious and tasty food. Perfect for foodies who want to take the guess work out of deciding what to order. You can choose anything from their menu and be sure you’re getting unprocessed, fresh, local and delicious food without a massive price tag.
After my visit I contacted the owners, sisters Klarisa Cengic and Tihana Ravanparsa, to talk about their inspiration behind Eighty Twenty. Klarisa told me they have always wanted to go into business together, both having hospitality backgrounds and growing up around food. They are both foodies with strong roots in their Croatian culture, having many memories that revolve around food. “Food was definitely a big part of our lives from an early age. Not just everyday food, but good wholesome home style cooking! Food that has no hidden additives, but is cooked from scratch and made with love.” says Klarissa.
The girls said they “loved every minute of the set up” and Klarisa puts this down to being “very open and completely honest with each other through the whole process”. Tihana’s husband’s company, Parsa Group, did the fit out and they were “very honest with them too” Klarisa laughs.
They both love eating out and travelling although I can’t see them getting much time for this in the foreseeable future given their cafe is packed pretty much from open till close. In their spare time Klarisa loves to do yoga and Tihana loves cooking and testing out new recipes at home and trialing on friends – how do we get an invite to that dinner party girls?
Their aim was to provide Canberrans with good food, coffee and service, living by the philosophy “Eat well 80%, indulge 20% and be happy 100%”. Sounds pretty good to me.
The cafe has a chic and simple fit out of white walls, glossy black tiles and trendy furniture.
I loved the copper pendant lights and the splash of colour atop the coffee machine.
Their wall herb garden is particularly cute – and it’s not just for decoration, the herbs are used in soups and side dishes.
To make the most of the beautiful canberra sun, they have a nice outdoor area, perfect for the warmer months.
Their menu is a range of healthy breakfast, lunch, snack and drink options, with produce sourced local where possible. And if you’re vegetarian, vegan or gluten intolerant – Eighty Twenty have you completely covered. You’ll have almost the whole menu to choose from and no, it’s not just salad.
Cauldrons of soup (menu changes daily) await hungry lunchers and they are often dairy and gluten free.
Scrawled on their blackboard is their list of delicious smoothies. Although they are not cheap ($8 a pop) I challenge you to make the same at home (organic/natural ingredients are expensive my friend!).
During my first visit I tried the Coffee + Cacao. Made with espresso, cacao, coconut flesh, almond milk, dates, chia & coconut water – the rich and creamy decadence coated my tongue like a hug. I love the difference of textures with the creamy smoothie topped with crunchy cacao nibs. For a delightful crunch in every sip – be sure to mix the nibs through before drinking.
The second time round I went for their Matcha Immunitea: Matcha green tea powder, mango, coconut flesh, almond milk & coconut nectar. It was fresh & light – it could have done with a touch more mango but otherwise it was delicious.
The mister opted for the Glow Pro: Raspberries, blueberries, acai, coconut flesh, ice & honey. It was deliciously tart & had a gorgeous colour.
My first visit was for lunch. I ordered a plate of goodies (the name escapes me) which was brussel sprouts, mushrooms, cucumber, lettuce topped with a poached egg & a side of pickled ginger.
I’d describe it as a rainbow of goodness – every bite being a nourishing and tasty one. I’d ask for extra dressing – it was simple but very tasty and I loved to drown the brown rice and mushrooms in it.
Emma went for the chicken salad, which she rather loved. Sorry about the over exposed photo – it was so very sunny & I didn’t want to upset Emma’s grumbling tummy too much by taking too long.
I liked Eighty Twenty so much I had to return to try their breakfast options before writing this post. Saturday just gone was a perfectly sunny & crisp Canberra morning, so I took my mister and new ASOS matching suit out for a swirl.
What do you think?
Of course I had to start the day with a coffee. They get their beans from Gabriel Beans in Sydney and serve the Monte Carlo blend for milk based coffees and then a single origin (which changes monthly) for their black coffees. This month it’s Guatemala.
I ordered an espresso and flat white – they were both very good but the espresso could have been a touch hotter – but that could be because I tend to take my time taking photos. I especially love that sparkling water was served with the espresso. In Italy I learnt that the sparkling water is used to cleanse the palate before having the coffee. If the coffee is good, chug down the water and then drink the rest of your espresso, if the coffee is terrible – save the water till after the espresso so you can cleanse your mouth out! But you needn’t worry about that, both the espresso and flat white were delicious.
For breaky I went with the sweet potato and kale rosti topped with a poached egg – it was so fresh & delicious. It was perfectly crispy on the outside and had a soft and sweet centre. The pesto was so flavoursome and married well with the juicy roasted tomatoes.
The mister went for the ’80’ bowl: which was a plate packed fool of goodies including kale, watercress, rainbow chard, radish, cauliflower crumb topped with a runny poached egg with a side of grilled king trout. It was a beauty to look at and very tasty. The king trout was melt-in-your-mouth perfect and the vegetables were fresh and crunchy. I will definitely be ordering this next time I visit.
Having finished this post I am now a tad hungry so am off to try & recreate that delicious rosti in my kitchen.
But in summary, if you’re looking for nutritious and wholesome food that doesn’t break the bank or are vegetarian/vegan/gluten intolerant and want a complete menu to choose from for a change – Eighty Twenty is the perfect place for you. Let me know what you think in the comments.
The perfect place for: Health conscious foodies or people who are vegetarian/vegan/gluten intolerant.
Address: 18 Lonsdale St Braddon, ACT
Open: Mon – Fri (6am – 4pm), Sat & Sun (7am – 4pm)
Phone: 02 6247 2866
Bookings: For groups of 6 or more
Don’t forget to hashtag #dinewiththemacadames and #canberrawiththemacadames if you go to this restaurant, we love to see you exploring Canberra.
Anisa – The Macadames. xx