Barry. Coffee & Food

Californian superfood salad – tri-coloured quinoa, shredded kale, wild organic rice, charred corn, salted ricotta, black turtle beans, heirloom tomatoes, lime & jalapeno vinaigrette
$15 (+ tuna $2)

Check that out. Have you ever seen a longer menu item? I’ve almost reached my word count before telling you anything about it. Greedily taking up five lines on the menu, its dominating presence simply says ‘order me’. And after the third time at trying to get a seat at Barry, that’s precisely what I did.

The listing reads like the Superhero roster of The Body-Cleansing Goodness League. There’s quinoa, of course, now a hardened superfood veteran. The new kid, kale. It’s name alone suggests a power so wholesome that any pimply teenager would simply cower in fear of its mere presence. This leafy green is finding its way into more café dishes. In fact, it pops up so much here, you could be lead to think the frizzy stuff grows wild out back and needs to be sprinkled atop every skinny chai latte. But it’s good. So very good. And we should all thank Barry for giving it some deserved time in the menu sun.

But look again at the long list of gut-cleansing ingredients. Clearly there’s more to this plate than the un-fancied pairing of quinoa and kale. The supporting cast each has a role to play, and without them this dish would be as lacking in ‘pow’ as Ben Affleck playing Batman (someone, please do something to stop that happening). Wild organic rice gives the dish body, the kernels of charred corn offer pops of sweetness, black turtle beans deliver textural smoothness, while the heirloom tomatoes promise vibrancy in colour and freshness. A good handful of grated salted ricotta dusts all the superfood heroes, before a final splash of lime and jalapeño vinaigrette unites them as one.

It may look like an innocent salad, but it’s a salad in disguise. As ‘good-looking as good for you’ it knows you’ve devoured three cronuts for morning tea. And it’s about to give you a super smack in the chops for it.


85 High St. Northcote

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