Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sarah's Sister's Sustainable Cafe, Semaphore (SA) by Big FIl

Sarah's Sister's Sustainable Cafe in Semaphore is a little different to most of the cafes around Adelaide.  For a start it's a meat free zone, offering a vegetarian/vegan menu only (although it does include eggs).  Secondly it took up the flag of responsible and sustainable dining a long time before it became trendy or fashionable to do so, being established 35 years ago according to the quite detailed description of the history of the cafe provided on the cover of the menu.

What this doesn't tell you is that it is also a most pleasant places to eat on a beautiful and not too hot summer's day.  You wouldn't pick it from the doorway, as the front room of the cafe looks like a little dark and cramped if quirky and interesting.  The back is where it's at though.  While the cafe doesn't have its own garden it does have something pretty close, a next door garden centre.  This included a small pond with goldfish and a tortoise just below where we were sitting.  Combine this with the retro feel of the mismatched 60s and 70s furniture and the artwork displayed on the walls and you have a great place to just sit and talk in a very relaxed and calming environment.

You can't have a cafe without food though, and admittedly the primary reason we were here was to check out a strong recommendation from the Advertiser.  I was a little surprised that the lunch menu seemed a bit limited, but we eventually settled on the Dr Shakshuka's eggs and the plate de jour.

The Skahshuka eggs are a middle eastern style poached eggs dish served with a tomato based sauce and bread.  Every other time I've had it it has been served in a small pot or pan but Sarah's Sister's came on a plate.  I did find the flavours a bit more toned down than I would have preferred but it was still a nice dish, moderately spiced with nicely cooked eggs, the tomato not too mushy and a sweetness compliments of the onion.

My plate de jour, which is based on what whatever happens to be available that day, included grilled eggplant, goats cheese, tomato, cucumber lettuce and walnuts.  With big flavours for a vegetarian dish, the combination of eggplant, tomato and the cheese reminded me very much of a vegetarian lasagne.  It did feel a little crude though for a specialist vegetarian restaurant, and on a return visit I'd be more likely to head for the soup and crepes which received positive comment at nearby tables.

To finish off our meal I decided on one of the cakes as a luncheon dessert, the gluten free chocolate torte.  While not as decadently rich as I had kind of hoped for, it meant that it wasn't overly heavy and better complemented a filling lunch.

Very nice setting, something a little different to the usual cafe fare and service which was obviously trying very hard to please adds up to somewhere that I'd definitely return to even without the added benefit of environmentally conscious and friendly dining.

Food - 7.5
Ambience - 8.5
Service - 8
Price - 6.5

117 Semaphore Road
Semaphore SA 5019
Tel: (08) 8449 5817

Sarah's Sister's Sustainable Cafe on Urbanspoon

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