Bruce Leaves, Alexandria

Eating healthy during the working week is far from impossible – especially when you have Bruce Leaves on your side to kick that unhealthy dash-and-run habit in the butt.

You know the one. It’s the one where you look at the time, realise it’s going on 2pm and you still have mountains of work to do but that if you don’t eat soon the ‘hungers’ will set in and you’ll be lying comatose on your keyboard come 3pm muttering the words ‘coffee’ and ‘sugar’ and typing sentences that sense make not.

So you pop out for a split second, head for the closest thing that serves food – which just happens to fall under the banner of “fast food” – and run back to your seat stuffing your face. There is another option, you can call on Bruce Leaves.

Barely seven weeks old, Bruce Leaves is the newest addition to Sydney Corporate Park and the burgeoning health-conscious Alexandria scene – though as its manager Laura Houston says, “without the hefty price tag that can come with the area and with eating well.” They serve salad bowls for less than $13 and Bruce’s juices and superfood smoothies for less than $8. Coupled together they’ll leave you satisfied for a $20 plus pocket change. And yes, for you time-poor workers in the area, you can call in your order, pop down when you’re ready and take everything back to your office lickety split.

Tasting Notes
Title
Discover a healthier you at Bruce Leaves.

The vibe: Relaxed, chilled, sunny.

Ideal for: Catching up with girlfriends, work lunches.

Try the...Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chipotle, $13

By the way...You can call in your order early to maximise your out-of-office time.

Find Bruce Leaves on Facebook: Bruce Leaves

All salads are tossed fresh on the premises with produce sourced from the local grower’s market. To be expected, the menu will change seasonally and with autumn on our doorsteps, you can expect them to be boiling soups to keep your belly warm by April/May.

I’m betting big that at least one of those soups will be Asian-inspired. If you haven’t already guessed from the title of the outfit, it’s a running theme which ex-Canteen entrepreneurs Shane Moran and Liam Constantine landed on while curating the menu. “We originally wanted to sell sandwiches,” says Shane. But as they looked further into the direction they wished for the venture, the green began to stand out.

“We called on our friend (and chef) John Mulligan to help with the menu and starting looking into salads,” he says. “All the ones we liked were Asian, so there’s a heavy Asian influence.” You can see it clearly in the salads, which include soba noodles, wasabi peas, bamboo shoot dumplings,

and chilli jam dressings,

and in the decor, with its faux bamboo ceiling, bamboo steamers and its wall shrine to the kung-fu master himself, Bruce Lee.

So it comes as a surprise to hear that one of their most popular salads deviates from this norm. Called Crouching Tiger Hidden Chipotle, it’s our pick of the mix (I’m a sucker for chipotle) and is a toss up of Adobo chicken breast, avocado, green shallots, jalapeno, raw sweet corn, organic corn tostadas, lettuce, tomato, coriander, lime and chipotle dressing. I add some more heat for good measure from the condiments stand and am not disappointed. Well, unless you count the fact that it’s so filling I couldn’t finish it as a disappointment.

Or the fact that there’s not a second one of me around to devour the equally as tempting sushi salmon al-warrior salad with its fresh sashimi, green tea soba noodles and wasabi peas. Looks like I’ll just have to return.

Perhaps it’ll be on Saturday, which is now possible thanks to its new weekend opening hours. This, to allow fans who’ve been following Bruce Leaves’ salivating food porn posts the chance to taste these salads at their leisure. Now that’s done and dusted, the next step is to expand into a second franchise. Where are they thinking? “Somewhere in Bondi or the city,” says Laura.

Can we start a petition? (CBD please.)

What you need to know

Where: Shop 2B, 85-91 O’Riordan St, Alexandria

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10am-3.30pm

Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is a journalist, avid traveller and all-round bargain hunter. If there's an online coupon code, deal or cheap flight available, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too.

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