|In a word: Vibrant|
|Food: Fragrant and fresh vegetarian, vegan, raw and gluten free options, plus they have a shop for take homes and a booze license!|
|Service: Friendly and helpful|
|Presentation: Simple; the quality and freshness of ingredients shine from the plate|
|Ambience: Tranquil and full of light, beautiful quiet garden overlooking vines and fields|
|Location: Conveniently located amongst the vineyards of the Swan Valley|
|Value for money: On the upper end of the café scale at around $20 for a main. This is ingredient, labour and love-intensive food. Plus it’s in Western Australia, possibly one of the most expensive places on the planet!|
|Worth a visit?: The perfect place to refuel, nourish and relax between tasting sessions|
The Swan Valley Café is a breath of fresh air, it’s super easy to find- on one of the main roads in and out of the Swan Valley wine region, the staff are friendly, the café has a homely and welcoming feel, and the food, perhaps most importantly, is absolutely delicious, looks and tastes fresh and brimming with goodness.
The recommendation to visit the Swan Valley Café came from the lovely Sami of Ayana Organics, producer of lush organic cruelty-free facial, spa, pre & post natal and baby care products. Sami is one of my favourite vegans and embracer of all things cruelty-free, and she has been an inspiration for much of my own foodie experimentation.
The Swan Valley Café really feels like a local café and definitely from the outside looks a little bit like a simple roadhouse café, but step inside and you’ll be warmly greeted into this homely and comfortable setting and offered up some of the best ‘alternative’ grub in Perth. Well worth a trip out of Perth, especially if you can squeeze in a visit to some of the local vineyards.
I don’t think you can go wrong with the food here at The Swan Valley Café, even for the carnivore the menu has some really easy non-meat options with nothing too out there; you’ll find a menu full of reliable vegan and veggie options – think patties, falafels, frittatas, soup and panini’s. There is a small selection of raw mains; marinated mushrooms and raw pasta (zucchini and sweet potato spirals et al.) on the lunch menu.
We started out on our Swan Valley Café experience with juices, the Green Charger for me; a blend of green apple, kale, lime and spirulina, and the Blood Cleanser for my other half; carrot, apple, beetroot, ginger, celery and lemon.
Eating out with the family, we ended up with a table full of absolutely delicious looking plates of food; the BBQ Tempeh Burger, Veg Patty and Salad, the Soup of the Day, and Falafels plate. This delicious looking food certainly lived up to my taste buds’ expectations, this place comes highly recommended.
I chose the Veg Pattie with Salad, a lovely and hearty mix of five different salads; Moroccan quinoa, Asian slaw, rice salad, salad of the day (a beetroot medley), and the garden salad of leaves, red pepper and tomato. The portion size was good, lots of pulses, grains and greens left me satisfied with just enough room saved for dessert.
The BBQ Tempeh Burger is a Swan Valley Café best seller and I’m informed was delicious. The marinated tempeh resembles a classic cheese burger, and comes served in a wholemeal bun with spinach, mushrooms, red onion, tomato, spout shoots and sauce, together with a small classic salad of leaves, red pepper and tomato on the side.
The Falafels were served with brown rice, a fragrant tomato sauce and garden salad, it certainly looked delicious and didn’t last long on the plate. The soup of the day; a spiced Coconut & Lentil dish was described as warming and filling, perfect for the cooler winter months.
Aside from the savoury dishes on the menu and specials board, the Swan Valley Café has a wide range of dessert options, of which we only had time to try a small selection. The carrot cake was a vegan and therefore dairy-free options, with the frosting a nut-based alternative to the traditional heavily sugared and processed cream cheese frosting, and was fully loved by all whose lips it passed.
The Rawlicious Delights Super-Choc Obsession Balls were absolutely divine – full of crunchy cacao nibs, maca, mesquite, lucuma, cacao, Himalayan salt, almond butter, agave, coconut oil, vanilla, almonds, and dried coconut.
The Pick Me Up and Go Balls were pretty awesome too, again by Rawlicious Delicious, and packed with raw super foods: pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, coconut, macadamia, cashew, lucuma, spirulina, dates, maca, cranberries, agave, coconut oil, almonds, cinnamon and vanilla. Phew, I don’t know how they manage to squeeze all that into a little ball!
After lunch we digressed to a bottle of Wild Fox white wine to enjoy under the marquee at the bottom of the garden, yep, they have a booze licence here too! Not only have the Swan Valley Café got a healthy food menu, you’ll also find that the wines served in the cafe are either biodynamic, organic, vegan, or preservative free, and their beers are gluten-free.
The afternoon was finished off with cups of tea, I chose the Swan Valley Café’s home blended digestion support tea called Tummy Restore from the cafe’s own range of teas; Valley Tea. The perfect end to a very good afternoon of feasting in a delightful setting.
Friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable.
A tiny bit disordered at times – with wine being bought to the table and then taken away from us(!) untilwe moved from the booze-free zone to the licenced zone, and then waiting for the bottle to be returned to us…oh the hardships we had to endure!
The food looked great; all the dishes used colourful fresh ingredients, which were only brightened by the sunshine and blue sky outside against the clean white crockery.
From the outside, the café does look a little bit like a road side diner that might serve up stodge, but don’t let that fool you, as inside you’ll find a cool and clean counter, shop and dinning area that leads you out in a delightful garden perfectly set up for outside dinning; strategically shaded and overlooking fields and vines.
Value for money
With mains coming in at $20 per head, $5 for a superfood ball and a juice at just under $10 it’s not cheap, but, as always, that’s what I’ve come to expect from dishes lovingly prepared with fresh produce, super foods and nutrient-dense ingredients…and then throw in the double whammy of being in the Swan Valley tourist trap and just outside Perth; Western Australia is unfortunately notoriously expensive.
990 Great Northern Highway, Millendon, WA 6056
Tel: +61 08 9296 6320
Monday to Friday – 9am to 5pm
Friday dinner / takeaway – 4pm to 8pm
Saturday & Sunday – 8am to 5pm
**Please check with the cafe before you head out there, i’d hate for you to be disappointed!**