Health food has been all the rage lately. After a good couple of years of rich, sweet, fat-driven dishes dominating the restaurant scene, there are apparently people in the ether who feel bad about eating that stuff, yet still want to actually eat. Fair enough.
The latest café to latch onto the trend is Surry Hills' Haven. With dishes like organic quinoa porridge and kale Caesar salad on the menu, they aim to be health-conscious, but with a little panache. They also serve slightly less forcefully good-for-you dishes like a pork belly kimcheese burger, which gives you all the fermented goodness of house-made kimchi alongside soft pork and hard crackling. There’s some grated apple in there for sweetness, some black sesame-flecked omelette for extra protein, and even a few leaves of kale to amp up the iron. It needs seasoning, but perhaps that’s part of the philosophy of this place. Regardless, it's the thing to order here.
Their tag line reads “Tailoring Coffee Joyously,” so it’s clear Haven takes beans seriously. The flat white is smooth and toasty, and they don’t charge more for extra shots, soy milk or turning it into an iced coffee. That's is a bonus. On the day we visit, our coffees arrive with little bowls of blackcurrants on the side, to bring out the sweetness. It’s a nice touch; who’d have thought dried fruit would be so nice with a coffee?
The interior is industrial-meets-cutesy, but the chairs seem a bit flimsy, so we’d advise heading for the bench seats at the side. It’s a pleasant place to hang out and have a coffee and the service is warm and welcoming. So if you’re around Central and need a pick-me-up or a speedy lunch, Haven will sort you out.