Alter Ego - Mindful Eating

Friday, January 09, 2015

Image taken from

What used to be Flute Food & Wine in the Rosalie Baroona Rd precinct has morphed into self-proclaimed boutique wholefood cafe Alter Ego. They promote mindful eating through a seasonal, healthy menu made up of quality ingredients with options for the gluten and dairy intolerant as well as vegans. 

Now I'm a bit of a sucker for the wholefood concept and with several other cafes doing it well (e.g Mondo Organics, Merriweather Cafe), I wanted to give Alter Ego a go. I arrived around 8am this morning (Friday) and several tables were already occupied. Given that it was only Alter Ego's third day of opening, I was impressed. There are some comfortable cushioned bench seats outside as well as some inside seating. A large rotating fan above the doorway keeps the outdoor area cool-ish, which was helpful on this humid morning but did have the disadvantage of blowing all of the napkins away... There's not a lot to the decor and the area it is in is somewhat sterile looking but they've made some effort on the inside with the now-standard blackboard inside. 

Glasses of water were brought to us soon after arrival and we were given the paper breakfast menus, which given the printed date must change daily. The menu includes the standard toast, muffin, muesli, avo toast, and egg options with a few interesting items such as Fifty Shades of Green (Tri Colour Quinoa Sauteed with Kale, Baby Spinach, Garlic & Chilli with Poached Eggs) and Not So Bready (Paleo Pumpkin And Almond Loaf, Smoked Salmon, Homemade Organic Labna, Zoodles).  The gluten free, dairy free and vegan options are clearly marked as well. The drinks menu has an extensive range of Blended (Smoothies) and Squeezed (Juices) drinks. The other side of the page had a list of their stockists and detailed explanations so I know that the ham is Gooralie ham, the dairy is from Barambah Organics and that the bread (which includes the brown rice and chia gluten-free bread) is from Sol Breads.

Daily seasonal menu

Unfortunately I wasn't feeling particularly hungry otherwise I would have ordered the Fifty Shades of Green or Not So Bready as both sounded delicious. I contemplated ordering a smoothie as they sounded pretty filling (e.g Berry Cheesecake - blended cashews, banana, mixed berries, almond milk) but decided to go with the Maple Toasted Coconut, Nut, Oat & Cranberry Muesli with Barambah Organics Cinnamon Yoghurt ($12.90). My dining companion chose the Fruit & Hazelnut Loaf with Honeyed Ricotta ($7.50). She also ordered a cappuccino and I went for my standard long black with some milk on the side.  

Cappuccino ($4.00)

Coffees arrived fairly quickly and were good. As much as I like coffee I can only categorise it into bad, not bad, and amazing and this one was in the not bad category. My companion enjoyed her cappuccino, which was made with Barambah Organics milk. Given the warmth of the day I was powering through my glasses of water which was filled up when someone noticed, which wasn't often. The service was friendly but I definitely got the feeling that the waiters were pretty new to the game and I had to flag them down several times. 

We had a short wait for our meals, during which I peeked at the meals being delivered to the other diners. The Mashed Up minted avocado on toast with Barambah feta and cherry tomatoes looked popular and tasty but on the expensive side for $16.90. My muesli arrived in a giant bowl which dwarfed the serve of toasted golden muesli served with runny yoghurt, passionfruit and sliced banana. The muesli was primarily nut and seed based and quite sweet but had a good crunch to it. Personally I prefer a higher ratio of yoghurt and fruit to muesli so asked for some additional yoghurt on the side, which was kindly given to me. The fruit was a nice addition but some berries or stone fruit would have been nice to freshen up the sweet muesli as the banana just added to the sweetness and there wasn't a significant amount of passionfruit. For $12.90 I thought it was a little expensive but that is pretty much the standard price these days. It was a nice lighter option if you're not feeling one of the more substantial meals but still quite substantial. 

Maple Toasted Coconut, Nut, Oat & Cranberry Muesli with Barambah Organics Cinnamon Yoghurt ($12.90)

Fruit & Hazelnut Loaf with Honeyed Ricotta ($7.50)

The fruit toast arrived as four toasted half-slices and had been slightly buttered with salted butter with a small dish of ricotta in runny honey served on the side. My companion commented that the ricotta was grainy and that the honey had pooled in the corners of the dish, but I think she was just being a little picky. The toast was also toasted darker than she would have liked. Perhaps it was the humidity of the day but I felt that everything was just warm and could have used some extra refrigeration, such as the yoghurt and the water.

Outdoor seating area

A decent breakfast but I'm more likely to go to one of the other offerings in the area over Alter Ego again based on the overall package as there are just a lot of good options around there.

Alter Ego on Urbanspoon

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