You ask, I oblige. A lot of you have been wondering where I eat well in Sydney. So, here, a guide to how to eat like a caveman in my hometown. Hand up in the air before I start: I’d just like to say ladies and gents that I don’t classify myself as “Paleo” as such, mostly because I really don’t like to restrict my eating to a label. I eat according to what makes sense, and how my body feels. I ebb and flow. Sometimes I just can’t face dairy. Sometimes I need carbs (although, I’m selective about which ones, always opting for nutritionally rich options). Sometimes nuts hurt my guts.
Yessssss… I quit sugar. But as I outline a lot, quitting sugar is mostly a really snappy way to cut out processed foods. And nooooo…I don’t eat gluten. But that’s due to my autoimmune disease.
But labels aside, I tend to find Paleo eating an easy way to navigate my way to nutritious options. I outline my thoughts on the inherent value of the Paleo diet in I Quit Sugar for Life. The approach is fundamentally low-starch, anti-processed and pro-organic. It turns to meat (pasture-fed; nose-to-tail cuts), saturated fats (no processed or seed oils) and vegetables, with a little fruit. Paleo is also anti-sugar and the philosophy overall (eating whole, living sustainably and dodging toxins and stressors) is on the same page as me and my messaging.
When I travel I find Paleo eating a particularly helpful approach to adhere to because Paleo-orientated outlets will tend to prioritize ethical meats and good quality veggies…both of which I crave when I’m on the road. Which is why I’ve written this Paleo Guide to London, this one for Calgary and Lake Louise and this guide on how to eat Paleo (ish) while travelling.
Anyway, shuffling on. Here’s a rundown of great places to eat in a Paleo fashion here in Sydney (grain-free, pasture-fed meat, organic vegetable etc). I got a few of my fellow cavemen and cavewomen to share their thoughts, too. Nom-nom-on!
Porch and Palour, Bondi. I rather love the Porch. They “get it” in a pretty relaxed kinda way. They cook with coconut oil, serve Suveran’s sprouted bread, offer a side of beef with breakfast and so on. I like their breakfast bowl (steamed greens, avocado, herbs and boiled egg …I ask for no quinoa) and the grain-free pea pancake (with a boiled egg and herbs). I Quit Sugar’s community manager Jordanna Levin also loves this joint and mentions the dinners: “Always Paleo-friendly, too. Pan-fried ocean trout with beets, fennel, feta, mint and walnut.”
Suveran, Bondi. Their sprouted buckwheat bread with turmeric tahini is $1.50 and a great takeaway breakfast snack. Owner Pete (who’s partnered with Pete Evans) is rather extreme with his dietary thinking…just so you know.
Paleo Cafe, Bondi Junction. They make “bulletproof” hot chocolate and coffee with coconut milk. Renee Lynch, I Quit Sugar’s social media manager, is a fan, too.
Rushcutters restaurant, Rushcutters Bay. My mate Marty Boetz consults here and supplies the vegetables from his farm on the Hawkesbury. The menu is ethical and mindful, with slow cooked secondary cuts of meat, etc. Marty also “gets it”.
Fratelli Paradiso, Potts Point. This place is my favourite restaurant in Sydney. OK, they make their own bread and croissants, but their menu is largely meat and vegetable-based. They use organic and local (without making a song and dance about it) and most of their wines are natural or orange.
Apollo, Potts Point. Honestly, Greek food can be so sound: meat, veg, cheese, oils. They serve Marty’s veggies (see above), do a mean slow-cooked lamb with yoghurt. And sardines.
Four-One-Four, Surry Hills. Colin Fassinge is a fabulous operator and a mean proponent of nose-to-nail cooking (even if he uses I Quit Sugar as door-stop). Go with a group and order their big slow-cooked dishes (that come out in Le Crouset pots to serve 3-5 people). They also do a few things with bone marrow. (Scotty Gooding is also a fan!)
The Fish Shop, Potts Point. They only serve sustainable fish and all their wines are organic.
Egg of the Universe, Rozelle. They make their own kombucha, fermented veggies and Kefir. ‘nuf sai.d
Pinbone, Woolhara. A fun night can be had here. Their bone marrow entree and liver chocolate crackles are pretty special.
Fish Face, Darlinghurst. Renee: “Great selection of fish if you’re after a nice dinner out.”
Bread & Circus, Alexandria. Clean Living author Scott Gooding recommends the amazing fresh salads and choices of cold meats. IQS General Manager Zoe adds: “Breakfast is always a pain. Bread with this. Croissant with that. B&C does an amazing dish called “Breakfast with Gwyneth”: sautéed white quinoa, kale and mixed greens with garlic and chilli under a fried biodynamic egg. It’s my go-to weekend brekkie.”
Sefa’s kitchen, Bondi. Scott says: “The Brussels dish is out of control as is the beef cheek and lamb.” Scott’s Clean Living co-author Luke Hines adds: “I go for the lamb and beef cheek. Phenomenal service and a really perfect first date atmosphere.”
The Grounds, Alexandria. Zoe: “Boring Brekkie Need Not Apply. This is fancy pants eggs and cane-twirling bacon. Try their breakfast board (poached eggs, double smoked ham, pesto and heirloom toms and feta), or house-smoked ocean trout with scrambled egg and dill creme fraiche. They even do rolled eggs with truffle oil and asparagus for heaven’s sake. Don’t forget to pay tribute the Ground’s pet pig, Kevin Bacon (seriously), on the way out.”
Chiswick, Woollahra. Scott: “The lamb is the one to try. Great meat and value for money.”
Hurricanes, Bondi. Zoe: “Juicy steaks, racks of ribs and tender cutlets, nobody does grilled meat quite like Hurricanes. It’s Paleo nirvana on a hot plate.”
The Hill, Bondi. Jordanna: “Breaky salad: quinoa, kale, greens, poached eggs and sauerkraut.”
Soup kitchen, Darlinghurst. Scott: “It’s super cheap but they offer a fantastic quinoa and beef cheek dish. Can’t beat it for value.”
Nomad, Surry Hills. Scott: “Perhaps the best pate I’ve ever had!”
Henley’s, Bondi Junction. Renee flags this one: “Everything on the menu is Paleo-friendly. Their hazelnut meal bread with zucchini ribbons and smoked salmon… Hello!”. Luke adds: is a great breakfast or lunch spot with a wicked slow cooked lamb.
Ester, Chippendale. Zoe: “It’s my local (and I’m still trying to pin Sarah down to join me here) and I love everything about it. Entrees might be crispy pig tails or blood sausage or roasted oyster, you may share some bone marrow or warm cauliflower salad, but you’ll come back for fermented chilli greens and the T-bone with bagna cauda.”
Ruby’s diner, Bronte. Jordanna: “Raw breakfast salad with kale, avo, almonds, feta and poached eggs. Or go for dinner. I have the slow roast lamb salad with quinoa, tabbouleh and hummus.”
Kitchen by Mike, Rosebery. Luke says: “Tucked away in the great industrial estate, this warehouse canteen style always has some Paleo offerings and all produce is local and sustainable.
North Bondi Fish (by Matt Moran), Bondi. Luke: “Some wonderfully clean options on the menu. Fish cooked on a chargrill served with klle and walnut salad, not to mention a killer quinoa salad, too!”
Mr Crackles, Darlinghurst. Luke: “This is your quick Paleo take away fix. Chose slow cooked pork or lamb with a rocket salad and sweet potato fries. Otherwise you can order a bucket of crackling on its own!”
Vincent, Woollahra. Zoe: “With really clever dishes and beautifully presentation, it’s a first-date-with-a-Paleo place to impress.”
Porteno, Surry Hills. Zoe: “Part theatre, part restaurant, it’s an upmarket Argentinian parilla run by rockabilly team Ben and Elvis. It also serves some of the best asado in Sydney (and the South American wine list ain’t bad either).”
Three Blue Ducks, Bronte. Jordanna: “Blood sausage (ummm yum!) with poached eggs and sides – skip the bread!”
This Broadsheet post has some great paleo venues, too. http://www.broadsheet.com.au/
Feel free to add your Sydney Paleo joints to this list in the comments below.