With constantly rotating salads, a protein-of-the day and jars of homemade smoothies to take-away, every day’s a surprise at Nelson Road Tuckshop.
Even for its workers.
“I don’t see what salads we have until Monday,” says Nelson Road Tuck Shop manager Trent Bramley. All he knows is that there will be three available: “one grain based, one root vegetable based and one leafy.” What each is exactly is solely up to chef Corinna Clark who, with her partner Felix, also owns Cafe Bellagio down the road.
Come to think of it, a lot of the decisions behind Nelson Road can be attributed to the woman beside the man. “If you ask whose idea Nelson Road was, it’d be more Corinna,” admits Trent.
More, being mostly.
Being a personal trainer and knowing the gym culture of the locale, Corinna saw a gap in the market for a dedicated, health-focused venture in an area where the only alternatives were cafes that merely "served" healthy food.
Her answer was to take inspiration from Kitchen By Mike, with its fresh and honest approach to food and Aussie-fy its canteen-style feel by changing it into a tuck shop.
Smoothies, salads, a protein of the day (today it’s a chicken schnitzel), house made sausage rolls and banana bread tease us from behind glass displays, while lashings of Australiana weasel their way into every nook and cranny. A handful of ceramic cockatoos from Corinna’s personal collection make an appearance, while there’s even a Ned Kelly statue hiding on the shelves amongst jars of house made pickles, preserves and sriracha sauce.
Yes, they make their own sriracha sauce.
Start your morning with a house made smoothie and wholesome brekky at Nelson Road Tuck Shop.
The vibe: Catch-up casual
Ideal for: Mums and bubs, pets, morning walks, gym junkies/health nuts
Try the... Tuck Shop Brekky, $18
By the way... It’s pram friendly and pet friendly, has loads of gluten-free and dairy-free options and, if you purchase a smoothie and return the jar, you’ll get a $2 refund.
Find them on Facebook: Nelson Road Tuck Shop
And gluten-free pepita and black quinoa bread. And banana bread (which they share with Bellagio). And pickled pine mushrooms. And kimchi. Everything on the shelf is available for purchase so you can stock your pantry full of the good stuff and everything is made on the premises in their amply sized kitchen. Well, everything except the sourdough. They order that in. For now.
“We’ve got a nice starter going already,” says Trent. It’s merely a matter of time until it’s ripe for the mixing and they can claim that as their own too. No doubt when it’s ready, it’ll secure a well-loved spot on the already bursting breakfast menu, which includes, porridge, frittatas and muffins for those seeking something simple, easy and on-the-go.
But we’ve got time to spare and stomachs to feed.
If you do too, then you shouldn’t go past the Tuckshop Brekky. “It’s our spin on the traditional bacon and egg brekky,” says Trent. Instead of bacon, there is crispy pancetta. Instead of baked beans, you’ve a seasonal smash to work through. Today is the season for smashing peas and sheep’s milk feta together into a creamy, thick layer that’s light, low in lactose (for all your lactose-free followers out there) and totally hits the spot.
And the eggs? They’re always soft-boiled to heavenly perfection: hard on the outside and absolutely drooling on the inside.
Pair it with a kick-ass smoothie and – yes, we’re saying it – there’s really no need to order one of their Campos coffees. The green smoothie and its kiwi, spinach, avocado, mint, lemon, celery and cucumber blend is (surprise, surprise) going gangbusters, though personally we couldn’t drink the red blend and its liver boosting beetroot, berries, mint, basil, coconut, lemon, red grapes and dates mix fast enough.
For something heavier and notably more ‘indulgent’ however, yours is the Mocha blend. Guaranteed. Trent calls it "brekky in a jar" because it literally has everything you crave for breakfast in one delicious pot. That’s banana, raw cacao, maple syrup, yoghurt, dates and that all-important coffee hit.
And you thought we were lying when we said there was no need to order a coffee.
(Though you can if you really must.)
Address: 60 Bronte Rd, Bondi Junction
Opening Hours: Daily 6am-3pm, weekends 7am-3pm