With the suburb of Crows Nest being so well-known for the large variety and number of eateries populating its main shopping precinct, there is no doubt that deciding on where to eat can be a difficult choice to make.
Fresh Crows Nest is located in Ernst Place, a little off the main strip of Willoughby road opposite an open, grassy patch. The café’s philosophy is ‘Eat Well, Be Well’, with a strong focus on serving fresh, healthy, organic food that is as good for the body as it is to the eye. It’s open for breakfast and lunch on weekdays and weekends, and despite only opening early last year, is quickly gaining popularity among locals and nearby office workers.
The drawcard of this café is it’s ability to serve food that appeals to both the health-conscious and regular eaters alike. The menu features simple, refreshing takes on favourites that are nourishing and satisfying without leaving you feeling guilty.
Part of this is catering for as many dietary requirements as possible, with the café offering vegetarian and gluten-free options like gluten-free toast and a vegetarian big breakfast. Also on the menu are items such as detox juices, vitamin C shots, organic and grass-fed burgers and naturally sweetened homemade treats.
Coffee is made using a house blend of 6 beans from Bacino in nearby North Sydney. This produces a strong, well-rounded cup of coffee that is a satisfying alternative to other mainstream coffee blends.
Organic chocolate milkshake ($7.50)
A chocolate milkshake, made using organic chocolate, has a refined, fulfilling chocolate flavour that tastes like pure indulgence. It’s a far cry from the common milk bar version that can often taste very artificial and sweet. It’s this thoughtful use of top-quality ingredients that makes Fresh stand out.
Greenilicious Smoothie ($9)
From the expansive drinks menu, which includes freshly squeezed juices, probiotic smoothies and hot drinks, a Greenilicious smoothie is a nourishing concoction of baby spinach, banana, apple, and cinnamon. These ingredients are whizzed with almond milk and coconut water to create a drink that has all the green goodness needed to up your vitamin and nutrient intake for the day. The earthy, warming cinnamon flavour lingers after each sip.
Fresh take on Italian Eggs ($14.90)
This is a Winter special on their menu, a healthy take on the classic Italian baked eggs. Rather than cooking the eggs in the sauce, they are poached separately and then served in the café’s homemade tomato sauce with fresh shavings of parmesan and organic bacon. Following the philosophy of the café, as much as possible is house-made, which is the case for the sweet, luscious tomato sauce that is reminiscent of Napoletana. The eggs are perfectly poached, and upon pressing they ooze a silky, rich yolk that bleeds into the red sauce; ideal for dipping toasted sourdough into.
All the meats used in their dishes are sourced from a local butcher and are organic and biodynamic wherever possible. Owner Phil explains to us that while organic and biodynamic are often interchanged incorrectly, biodynamic has a stronger focus on the holistic farming picture and getting the most out of redeeming the soil. We can really taste this in their bacon, which is not too salty or greasy and has that wonderful porky flavour that everyone loves.
Big Breakfast ($19.90)
A stalwart of the breakfast menu is the big breakfast; here it comes as eggs, roast tomato, an organic beef sausage and mushrooms on your choice of toast. You can really tell the difference in the organic, grass-fed meat as the beef sausage is delicious, and the serving of bacon generous. The eggs are well-seasoned and creamy, and the mushrooms sautéed in thyme along with sweet, plump tomato.
Avocado and Feta on Rye ($13.90)
This embodies everything that the café stands for – it’s fresh, healthy and tasty. Drizzled over the top of delicate slices of avocado is their homemade apple balsamic glaze, which adds a nice sweet harmony of the salty feta and creamy avocado. Although it’s not very soft, the tomato adds a juicy burst to each mouthful.
The lunch menu lists eye-catching options that include lamb kafta, a grilled Portobello mushroom burger and ‘superfood’ salad bases, and owner Phil tells us that their Winter Meatloaf special is their best yet. Cakes and sweets are homemade as well, and the café is set to expand by adding a second, smaller mezzanine area to the inside dining space in the near future.
The health-aware in all (well, most) of us will appreciate Fresh as a reminder that wholesome, home-cooked food need not be boring nor guilt-bearing. Their philosophy shines through in the food they serve, which not only appeals to the eye and tastebuds, but to the rest of the body too.
Fresh Crows Nest
Shop 2, 13 Ernest Place,
Crows Nest, Sydney, NSW
Contributed by Maddie, who dined as a guest on behalf of 2 Hungry Guys