DAN STOCK REVIEWS LANEWAY GREENS
ALONG WITH ‘you’ll poke your eye out’, ‘if Matt jumped off a cliff I suppose you would, too’ and the counter-intuitive yet strangely resonant ‘I hope you’ve got clean underwear on in case you get hit by a bus’, in the All Mother’s Do Say ’Em handbook, the nightly exhortation to eat your vegetables is right up there.
And like most of our mums’ efforts, their wisdom (eventually) pays off. Certainly looking around the sleekly simple surrounds of the new Laneway Greens canteen in the city, it seems no one now needs to be told twice to make friends with salad. Though that’s likely less to do with nagging (sorry, Mum) and more to do with the brilliantly big-flavoured bowls filled to bursting with good things to eat.
Some suppliers and their produce – most local – are namechecked, but this isn’t a tub-thumping exercise in shame-driven #cleaneating, but rather a flavour-first philosophy that results in terrifically tasty fare.
Sharp and juicy house-made kimchi provides mouth-puckering cut-through to roasted salmon on wombok-carrot slaw. Toasted buckwheat brings crunch, and a soft egg and avo can be added for extra creamy goodness. What a lunch. Equally good is the charred chicken given extra savour with the Japanese seasoning shio koji, sharing the bowl with braised fennel and roasted Brussels sprouts – hummus and egg optional. There’s falafel for vegos, Cape Grim beef for carnivores and steel-cut oats with stewed fruit for early risers.
The naughty-good smoothies are almost meals in themselves – step up raw cacao and coffee with banana and dates – while drinks include a couple of beaut brews (the pilsner from cult New Zealand brewer Garage Project for one) and natural wines from the Adelaide Hills by the glass or carafe.
With food that’s fresh, fast and fab, Laneway Greens is great. You won’t need to be told to eat your greens twice.