Waratah Organics Cafe Ferntree Gully
You know those days that come around only when the sun, moon and stars align in one particular way, and you find yourself with plenty of time to indulge in whatever pleasure you so chooses to partake in?
I certainly hope you do, because it is honestly one of the most wonderful feelings ever and today, I was lucky enough to find myself basking in this blessed free time.
The marking that was meant to take up my weekend was reduced by just under half due to tardy turn ins and I was able to complete it in an evening instead of a day, leaving my Saturday blissfully free to do with it what I will.
Being a bit of a activewear tragic, I’ve had my eye on a new Health and Exercise festival which was to be staged at the Wally Tew reserve in Ferntree Gully. I knew there would be free fitness demos and trial classes plus plenty of discounts and freebies to be gained. Having drained one of my favourite pens in my marking adventure last night, I was keen to get my hands on some new, branded biros to supplement my stash— and check out what I consider to be a super local initiative. Any festival which supports small local businesses and encourages people to invest in their health sounds like a good festival to me.
The festival was really well set up. There was plenty of space for the stalls, a great space for the fitness demos and the people running the demos were super encouraging and supportive of everyone who participated. It was so great to see people of all shapes and sizes exercising so proudly in public, being watched and imitated by plenty of kids. The only down side was my own poor planning and a lack of an ATM on site, meaning I had to forego the delicious smelling falafel wrap that the fabulous Falafel People were serving up
Luckily, the festival is very close to the Upper Ferntree Gully shops- home to the very lovely Waratah Organics, a café which specialises in homemade vegetarian food and delicious juices and smoothies. The menu is varied without causing too much indecision for those among us whose greatest fear is food envy and I suspect that each option would be as delicious as the last. Lovely, local waitresses are also on hand to provide advice, recommendations and options for those with food intolerances or allergies.
While the lunch of the day special (Persian Lentil Casserole, served with brown rice and raw rainbow salad) sounded highly enticing, I went for the Scrambled Tofu breakfast option (available all day on weekends) which sounded like it would provide both a taste explosion and the health waves I was riding on.
It did not disappoint. The tofu and veggie scramble was light and flavoursome and came with lovely multigrain toast and a side of what I suspect is house made tomato relish. I also added a side of avocado (due in part to the ultimate first world problem- the avocado famine- robbing me of my favourite fatty fruit for much too long) which was very generously sized. The toast could have been a bit toastier but this is a minor quibble for what was a beautiful, satisfying meal and the perfect accompaniment for my active morning.
Waratah Organics also has an incredible collection of house made raw cakes and treats which all looked equally delicious but today, the Raw Vanilla Doughnut was calling my name. Lightly sweetened but nuttily dense, it bears no real taste or textural link to the Dunkin’ variety but I wasn’t expecting any. What I was expecting was a super filling but delicately vanilla-ry raw treat and that was what I received. If I was peckish after my tofu, I certainly wasn’t after my dessert.
While days like today are increasingly rare (and as the year continues to speed ahead, set to become much rarer), this rarity means they are all the more appreciated when they do grace us with their cosmic presence. Luckily, Waratah Organics also do takeaway, so even on those days when fun seems to be a distant memory and your last Instagram post was weeks ago, the gorgeous girls in Upper Ferntree Gully will be happy to help you choose between the soup, salad or scramble— infusing your busy day with a little bit of love.
Waratah Organics Cafe Ferntree Gully
1224 Burwood Highway
Upper Ferntree Gully
Melbourne Victoria 3156
Monday to Friday: 8am to 4pm
Saturday and Sunday: 9am to 4pm
Ph: (03) 8719 5982
Amy’s love of food is only matched in intensity by her love of fitness and her fear of choosing the wrong dish on the menu. She loves to explore new places and old stalwarts, constantly torn between ticking a cafe off her “to try” list and revisiting the favourites. She owns way too many cookbooks but the pleasure she gets from experimenting with new flavours and serving them to her family and friends far outweighs any debt incurred.