The Three Feed – Pure Wholefoods

The Three (and a half) Feed
Where three people review wholefood, organic and gluten free restaurants wherever and whenever they get hungry.

Pure Organics
5/10 Darley Rd, Manly
Ph: 02 8966 9377

Angie Cowen (wellness warrior) Craig New (token male), Belinda Harrold (prenatal yoga guru) and Layla (not long out of the oven) came together on a gorgeous Friday morning to enjoy a little bit of everything. This is their story.

By Craig New

Belinda Harrold is one of those rare people who radiates love. Not just in a smiley, isn’t she nice way, but in a way that if love was measured in the same units as flu she’d have an N9H9 before her name and there’d be airport closures across the globe. It’s infectious and intoxicating – and when you’re in the presence of not just Belinda but her new baby girl Layla, any chance of a coherent recall of the moment is washed away in a tsunami of doe eyed bliss.

Craig, Belinda and LaylaWe met Belinda (and Layla, for the first time) at Pure Organics. It’s her local, and when she invited us out for tea we raised her breakfast and decided to make a review of it. Belinda is hyper healthy, and if she rates Pure Wholefoods, then we wanted to pass the word on. For at least twenty minutes (well to be honest, right through the entire meal), we sat giggling and playing with her cutest of cute babies.

But that is what Facebook is for, so I’ll try to stick to the menu. Pure Wholefoods offer breakfast and lunch, as well as dinner from Wednesday through to Saturday. We arrived around 9:30am and as we like to mix business with pleasure, I asked if we could order from both the breakfast and the lunch menu. The owner looked at me with a raised eyebrow and said, “Of course. We’re civilised here.”

Amid gurgling baby noises we settled on a red lentil spiced dahl ($14), a green salad with grated beetroot, carrot and a mind blowing house dressing ($12), a daily special called Crunchy Egg Quinoa (essentially quinoa and poached eggs with beans and a tomato base – $18), and just because the baby was there, savoury pancakes with pan fried mushrooms and a tahini sauce ($14).

Belinda said that the staff were quite nice most of the time, although the girl at the counter seemed to speak to me in the same tone I imagine she would use for a creepy guy who stood there staring at her breasts. She was very pretty, but for the record, I maintained eye contact.

Savoury pancakesThe food was brought out quite quickly (although we were in a baby vortex, so it could have been an hour and we wouldn’t have noticed), and we threw ourselves into it in true Three Feed style – swapping plates every few bites, sliding them across the table and reaching out for more if we weren’t quite done. To our immense disappointment, the pancakes – a dish I can normally be relied upon to hold with the crook of my elbow and defend with a raised fork – were sub par. Belinda was the first to detect they tasted as if they’d been pre-cooked, then heated up for order. Angie concurred, citing the texture as firm evidence. This probably would have been okay on its own, but the tahini dressing tipped it over the edge. It was like being dumped by text message, no room for discussion and no offer of explanation. We all kept poking at it, desperately wanting it to reach its potential, but each time had to quickly follow with a taste of something else.

Crunchy Egg QuinoaThe Crunchy Egg Quinoa won’t be dwelled upon. It was nice, but nothing special. If I’d ordered it as my only meal I’d have been looking for more food within minutes of leaving, but being a part of something bigger than itself really helped it to stand up. Now, a week later, I can’t even remember what it looked like.

I largely avoided the salad because of all the beetroot. I want to love beetroot, but I can only stand it in a chocolate beetroot cake. On its own, I won’t give it the time of day. But Angie and Belinda had very good things to say about the salad, none of which I noted down because I was enchanted by the way Layla was holding onto my little finger. It was polished off pretty quickly though, which is always a good sign. I did get a couple of pieces of avocado that were unspoiled by beetroot, with the house dressing, and my taste buds went into spasms of joy.

The dahl was definitely something special. If I go back I’ll find it hard to go past, it’s good enough to make choosing anything else now a risky proposition. It was a little spicy but not overpoweringly so, and mixed in well with a perfect portioning of brown rice. Belinda put it most poetically when she said, “I could pour tears into that dahl.” It was the most comforting of comfort food – warm, texturally satisfying and by the end of the bowl we each had a fork scrabbling around for the final bites.

As amazing as the dahl was, however, the entire meal was hijacked by the green smoothie ($8.50). I have no hesitation in declaring this the best smoothie I have ever had, and I like to think the smoothies I make each morning are contenders for that title. I’m going from memory here, but I think it consisted of spinach, avocado, green apple and ginger – ginger! – and it was like drinking a sherbet lolly. It fizzed in my mouth, it made my heart palpitate in a way that even Layla’s cute little smile couldn’t incite. If there were free refills like an American fast food outlet I’d have cleaned them out before our food arrived. I would contemplate heading all the way to Manly just to have one of these smoothies. Have I made my point yet?

It wouldn’t be a Three Feed without dessert, no matter what time of the day, and we somewhat reluctantly settled on a gluten free lemon biscotti ($2.50) and Hummingbird cake (pineapple, coconut, walnuts – $7). I say reluctantly as I was really keen to try the raw vegan lemon cake, except as it was made on cashews (Angie’s death nut), it would mean avoiding kissing her for the rest of the morning, something I wasn’t prepared to commit to. The cake was much more exciting than the biscotti, but somehow we knew this when we ordered. It was moist and tasted just like a gluten free, wholefood cake should, but didn’t step beyond. Angie felt it was more like a tea cake than a dessert cake, but I just liked it as cake – but couldn’t help thinking about the lemon cake, still calling out to me from the counter, wanting to know why I scorned it so.

Overall, it was a beautiful morning made more so by our company than the overall meal – but if we found ourselves in Manly we’d definitely head back there and focus on the highlights. I wonder if they sell that smoothie by the bucket…

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