Times are a-changing, even in George Town, a city besotted with heritage; locals are excusing themselves from a second helping of char koay kak and announcing their 2017 aspirations to #eatclean. Cue Wholey Wonder, a cafe cum yoga studio that set up shop next to Hin Bus Depot on 20 November 2016.
It’s a place where we’d love to linger – we’re fans of the warm wooden accents and beautifully tiled bar – but alas, there is limited seating. The swinging seats in front of the bar are fun and allow for speedier service, but aren't comfortable for long and a better idea in theory than in practice. If you don't mind grabbing a quick bite and making way for other herbivores, however, Wholey Wonder is guaranteed to leave a favourable impression.
Calling itself a plant-based cafe, Wholey Wonder won’t satisfy any carnivorous cravings, but surprises the palate with well-rounded vegetarian fare. The Naked Burger, for instance, eschews ground meat in favour of quinoa, sundried tomato and chickpea patties and substitutes burger buns with impressively large Portobello mushrooms. Ask about the Wonder Dish of the day; during our visit it was a spiced Briyani Risotto.
Desserts here are sweet on the tongue as well as the waistline; think Bliss Balls (low-calorie take on truffles), dairy-free ice cream, raw cheesecakes and gluten-free brownies. On sweltering hot days, liquid relief comes by way of cold-pressed juices, smoothies and dairy-free milkshakes.
Once well-fed, get in a good work out at the yoga studio upstairs, which comfortably caters to ten students at a time – reserve your spot early. Sign up for Vinyasa with Tammy, whose fast-paced flow sessions will make you break a sweat and smooth out those kinks and knots in your stiff joints. Visit Wholey Wonder’s Facebook page to view their current yoga schedule.