Hospitality. It can be a cut-throat industry, and to survive, every eatery must have a sharp competitive edge.
Meadow, the new café opened in the city’s Odgers Lane, knows exactly how it’s different. It dishes up plant-based food created with local and regional produce. It lives and breathes sustainability, and even offers unique workshops and events.
Meadow is the brainchild of Manager Nathan Sami and Carlo Krikowa (Carlo hails from boyandgirlco, a pallet furniture operation).
“We serve honest food and drink,” says Nathan, who initially came to Canberra as an associate pastor for a church after sharpening his skills in hospitality in Sydney while studying. “We respect the environment and work hard to reduce our paddock-to-plate miles. We support small producers passionate about what they do and how they do it. We keep waste to a minimum. We use recycled materials.”
But what about the food? Meadow says it offers ‘great vegetarian cuisine for the non-vegetarian’. “I’m not a vegetarian but don’t think about it with our dishes because they’re innovative and high in taste,” says Nathan. “They appeal to everyone.”
One of Nathan’s favourite dishes is the Thai toast—spiced French toast with fried parsnips, papaya, sweet labne and house-made smoke eggplant. He also finds it hard to go past the tasty Tex-Mex taco created with fresh salsa, avo, charred bell pepper, turtle beans and parmesan crisps.
And when Nathan is keen on a sweet start to the day, he dives into the truly decadent cheesecake pancake dish — buttermilk pancakes with maple comb, cream cheese mousse, ginger nut crumble and sambucca berries.
Quinoa porridge, a roll with fried haloumi, egg and chipotle sauce on a brioche bun, and a teriyaki burger are other star items on the menu.
Meadow’s suppliers include Three Mills Bakery and Honey Delight from right here in the capital. Other niche suppliers include Seven Seeds coffee, Storm in a Teacup, Holbrook Eggs and un-homogenised milk from Country Valley. “It’s more expensive than normal milk, but we absorb that cost in instead of passing it on to our guests,” says Nathan.
Meadow is more than a café. It’s a community.
Events include Laneway Yoga, held Saturdays from 7 to 7.45 am. Laneway music sessions are held some Saturdays, featuring local artists. Perhaps the most intriguing event is the ‘Gather Dinner’ held one Saturday a month, organised by chef Adrianne Davo. Sixty guests share a curated three-course meal and ‘pay as they feel’ with profits given to the Meadow Matters Program which supports charity causes. “Sometimes we’ll invite celebrity chefs and other times we’ll have a theme and a speaker,” says Nathan. “It’s an engaging dining experience.”
The first workshop, to be held 25 January, will be by Handsome Devils Co sauce creator Ryan Brown who will show how to create an all-natural sauce for those who like it hot.
Meadow is throwing a laneway party this Saturday 16 December, from 12 to 5 pm, dishing up delish bao buns and sweet desserts by chef ‘Adi’ and sangria by local seasonal drinks company Pallet and Vine. There will be live demonstrations by local artists, lawn games for the kids and live music. Why not spend the day at your meadow in the city?
Meadow is open six days a week for all-day brunch (open on Sundays from February). Mums, bubs, and prams are welcome.
For more information, visit their Facebook page.
Meadow: Odgers Lane, Melbourne Building. Parking off London Circuit, Corner West Row (1-minute walk).