From the creators of the delightful wholefood cafe in Elanora Heights, The Nook (a place I shared with you here a couple of years back); Adam and Carla have taken their passion for organic fare further afield, around ‘the bends’ in fact to set up their second offering, Forage Wholefoods Cafe and Organic Grocer in Clareville, NSW. As you pass through the bustling main street of the seaside suburb of Avalon, continue driving along Central Rd, into Hudson Parade and then take a left at Hilltop Rd, to find the Clareville Shops. This somewhat hidden strip of local shops boasts the convenience of ‘out the front’ parking, as well as a rustic Greek restaurant and cooking school, a fine wine merchant and now the new kid on the corner, Forage.
A couple of years after establishing their first organic cafe, Adam and Carla found themselves planning a second offering, including an organic grocer right next door. The opening of both the cafe and the grocer on Hilltop Rd, happened to coincide within weeks of the arrival of their first child, a darling daughter, Maya Indigo ~ it seems this little organic family is growing fast and yet continues to focus on nourishing others too!
When I asked Adam to tell me “what’s the ethos behind this new enterprise, Forage?”, his answer was simple; “we wanted to create a place where we would want to go - family friendly, where the food is a modern take on ‘old-fashioned cooking’ - both healthy and tasty. “
Almost everything on the Forage menu is made ‘in-house’, including superfood smoothies, cold extracted juices made daily, fermented and pickled vegetables, relishes, aioli, cured salmon and slow cooked meats. They even make their own healthy Vegemite known as ‘not quite Vegemite’! All the produce served is certified organic, using pasture raised eggs and nitrate free bacon. The bread and crackers come in from local baker Berkelo, coffee from Barrel One Roasters, Naturopathic Teas from Ovvio Organics and Ballsy Wild Kombucha is on tap. All the cooking is done using healthy fats, extra virgin olive oil and ghee (clarified butter), with no processed oils used. Plus these products and more can also be conveniently sourced from the organic grocer next door to take home and enjoy. You can even purchase ready made dinners from the cafe kitchen or have a box of organic fruit and vegetables made to order.
Open for breakfast and lunch six days from 7am, (closed Mondays) you can grab a coffee and bite ‘to go’, or instead chill-ax on the leafy deck, that houses a gorgeous natural light-filled, indoor/outdoor space. Friends, families with little ones in tow (a ramp for easy stroller or wheel chair access) - even the well-behaved dog are all welcome! The whole menu is available all-day, which I do love, none of this “you can’t have that after 11.30am’ business. Toast, fruit loaf, Acai bowls, Smoothie bowls, Granola, breakfast rolls, ‘toastie of the day’, plus the northern beaches staple ~ smashed avocado and a generous selection of sides, all make the cut. More substantial options include the Hash Bowl, Forage Bowl, Salmon Cracker, Mushrooms on Toast, Lamb Burger and a couple of seasonal salads. Relax there is sweet treats here too, with freshly baked goods, raw treats and for those with dietary restrictions, there is plenty of DF/GF/V dishes on the menu to choose from.
The Early Burg - two organic fried eggs, nitrate free bacon, avocado, haloumi, salad greens, house made tomato chilli relish and aioli, on a toasted sourdough roll ~ $16.50 GF option + $2
Forage Bowl - Spiced brown rice + quinoa, currants, roast pumpkin, poached egg, broccolini, beetroot hummus, nut & seed mix, sauerkraut and greens ~ $23 GF/DF
Optional extras: Swap poached egg for avocado - no charge ~ + Halloumi +$4.50 + Nitrate free bacon +$5.50
+ slow roasted lamb +$8.50
Cracker - Seeded Cracker, topped with beetroot hummus, pickled carrots, garlic scapes, dill, green chilli and a creamy cashew cheese ~ $11
+ Your choice of house cured salmon or daily cured meat +$6
This cracker was a culinary delight - a melody of flavours! When I chatted to the chef afterwards about the flavour and texture of the cured salmon, he generously explained to me the process they use to cure the salmon, a mix that contains essential oils, citrus, lemon myrtle and green mandarin! The pickled carrots were both tangy and crunchy, the dill added finesse, the beetroot a balanced sweetness, the green chilli a welcome kick and the cashew cream providing refuge to cool the palette! A squeeze of fresh lime and cracked pepper only added to the experience. I thanked the chef, adding that the last time I had salmon that good, it was in Scandinavia!
Happily it's a big thumbs up from me for this casual little eatery, thats fast becoming a very welcome addition to the Northern beaches wholefood scene. Yes, Adam and Carla have done it again and created what they set out to do, in making a place 'where they would want to go'! So if you find yourself north of the ‘Bilgola bends’, why don't you head out Clareville way and get stuck into some nourishing grub at Forage. x j
Forage Wholefood Cafe & Organic Grocer
Shop 1 / 1/5 Hilltop Road
Clareville NSW 2107
Mon - Fri from 7am - 3pm
Sat - Sun from 7am - 2.30pm