Food fads come and go and they all claim to incorporate healthy eating, promote weight loss and boost natural euphoria. The paleo way of life revolves around the consumption of wild animals and plants and avoids foods that man couldn’t properly digest during the Paleolithic times. This means plenty of vegetables, fruit and meat and no dairy, grain or highly processed foods. The paleo diet is often referred to as the “caveman diet”.
The Melbournian brunch scene is so competitive these days that there are cafes option to suit the many varied dietary needs of the Melbournian masses. There’s gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, raw and with Patch Café, there’s paleo.
Housed in the refurbished Channel Nine building, Patch Café occupies a small but long strip of space. There are minimal indoor seats and maximum outdoor dining is achieved along the corridor, with heaters and warm throws to keep patrons comfortable. Inside, a cute tiled roof hangs over the kitchen, reminding me of the biscuit house from Hansel and Gretel.
After a 40 minute wait on a Saturday morning, The Angmoh and I myself were fortunate to score a table inside. As we warmed ourselves up with drinks, Anushka soy chai latte for myself and a Code Black piccolo latte for him, we checked out the menu. Most of the menu is paleo, although there are non-paleo options for those who like their bread the way it is or simply can’t do without dairy.
The Angmoh couldn’t decide on what to have and so constructed his brekkie with poached eggs and smashed avocado on toast, with a side of sweet potato fritters. The Angmoh, being a “food dob” (opposite of food snob) thought he was getting potato fritters that had been sweetened. Oh deary me…
Back to the food, his dish was well-executed in each element and I really liked his sweet potato fritters. The 2 of us are believers of “1 slice of bread per egg” and thought the lone slice could use a partner. I was in the mood for something comforting that wintry morning and settled for baked eggs. Patch café does a fantastic version with the eggs retaining a gooey yolk that slicked onto the rich tangy sugo. Once again, the single piece of sourdough was just inadequate to mop up all that sauce. Curious about the paleo bread, I ordered a serve. The paleo version uses almond and tapioca flour and cider vinegar and had a dense and far from chewy texture, almost tasting like an unsweetened cake. I liked it.
I made away with a raw acai cheesecake to savour for afternoon tea and while it lacked the smoothness of real cream cheese, tasted pretty close to the real deal. The berries certainly provided great flavour.
I support the idea of eating less processed foods and having a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. However, I do love my carbs and can’t say no to biting into chewy sourdough, twirling a fork of pesto-coated spaghetti or drizzling gravy all over fragrant Jasmine rice. I suppose it does boil down to discipline and moderation and Patch provides delicious options for those on a tight caveman diet.