Away from the bustle of Whatley Crescent, just across from the Maylands train station on Railway Parade, is a gem of a café that is all about eating well to feel well.
The Little Shop of Plenty has been open for a year now, serving up delicious vegetarian and vegan goodies to remind the people of Perth that a plant-based diet doesn’t have to be boring.
With a nice big outside area that’s perfect for sitting in the winter sunshine, a light, bright and welcoming interior, and friendly staff, I thought it would be a good spot to take myself on a lunch date and get a bit of writing done. On two occasions I sat with a notebook and scribbled down ideas while eating nourishing food that left me feeling good.
Just on a quick side note, this is definitely the kind of place you can go to eat lunch (or brekky) on your own with absolutely no judgement. There are loads of tables to choose from and it’s a nice relaxed environment, which is just what I was after.
On both occasions my meal and drink came out incredibly quickly, and were delivered with a smile.
The Little Shop of Plenty has an all-day menu covering both brekky and lunch, and has options that are gluten free, dairy free and vegan, with all kinds of superfood additions – which made it hard to choose because honestly, (almost) everything sounds good!
On my first visit I tried a hot chocolate made from organic raw cacao with coconut sugar, Himalayan salt and house-made unpasteurised almond milk. It took me a couple of sips to get used to, as it is very different from most commercial hot chocolates, but it was tasty, warm and didn’t leave me feeling bloated or with a sugar headache.
To go with it I chose an abundance bowl of braised green lentils and fennel, slow booked beetroot, baby carrots, kale, activated walnuts, cashew cheese and quinoa and it was damn tasty. But in addition to tasting good it was also warming, comforting and nourishing, even for someone who doesn’t normally like beetroot or kale!
On my second visit I ordered a creamy banana smoothie – with medjool dates, cinnamon, fresh almond milk and bee pollen – and it was delicious! I think this will be my drink of choice the next time I visit, as it was sweet but not too sweet and lovely and creamy.
I also decided to try the raw pizza, which is made with a base of buckwheat and golden flax blended with olive oil and fresh veggies, topped with an organic tomato paste, zucchini marinated in fresh green herbs and lemon and a ‘cheesy’ Brazil nut chipotle sauce.
I have to say the texture of this was a winner for me – the base was soft but not squishy, and lightly dehydrated for a bit of crunch. As much as I really wanted to love it though I wasn’t completely sold, as it was a little too oily for my liking and it did have a slightly rich-but-bitter taste that I couldn’t place.
I couldn’t pass up the cabinet full of healthier sweet treats, so I grabbed a raw slice that had cacao, peppermint and spirulina to take home with me. And it was delicious – however by the time I ate it, it had soaked through the brown paper bag with oil which was a little off putting, but I put it down to being made with coconut oil, which (I find) is a notoriously “greasy” kinda oil.
All that aside, I left both times feeling full but light, nourished and like I’d made some good food choices for the day. Although the menu is fairly small, there are quite a few things I’m looking forward to trying – from chia pots and Cocowhip to pumpkin and fennel smash on (gluten free) sourdough and zucchini noodle salad. As an added bonus, they have a small fridge full of takeaway items, cold-pressed juices and kombucha on tap, for those who like it.
The final verdict: While some of the items on the menu can be a little on the expensive side, you really can’t put a price on healthy food that tastes good. If you are looking for a friendly spot where you can feast on fresh, natural, plant-based, local and organic foods that will make you feel good, The Little Shop of Plenty is the place to be.
The Little Shop of Plenty – 217 Railway Parade, Maylands
Open Mondays, Wednesday to Saturday 7am to 5pm, and Sundays 8am to 5pm.