Flora and Fauna Cafe is a recently discovered delight for myself and a work friend Lauren, and there is not really words to describe how in love I am with this cute little cafe. It is in a tiny little hole in the wall of Aberdeen Street in Northbridge, serving coffee, juices, tea, delicious vegetarian lunch options and take away desserts. There is also a cute selection of flowers out the front and inside you can buy cards, candles and tea. The lady that runs it is probably the nicest person you have ever met, and her warmth radiates throughout the cafe and makes you feel so at home. I almost don’t want to write this blog post as I want it to remain a little secret, but it’s too beautiful not to share!
When we arrived on Friday and wandered inside to order, I was pleasantly surprised that the owner remembered us, as we had only been in once before in the previous week. Besides the great food, it is little things like that which make you feel so welcome and bring you back time and time again! As we enter we pause at the glass cabinet and take in the offerings – Flora and Fauna doesn’t have a menu as such, but there is a rotating display of lunch options in the glass cabinet.
Although I have only been twice, each time I there has been something different to choose from. Last time it was a pumpkin and feta pastry that caught my eye, this time round there was an appealing looking spicy tofu filo pastry, which I decided to pair with a black quinoa and strawberry side salad. Lauren opted for both the salads on display – the strawberry quinoa salad and the risoni pasta salad.
There aren’t any seats inside, but there is a small set of tables outside with spots for about 8 people, and the owner let us know that we could move tables around if we wanted to sit in the shade. There is a selection of magazines to browse through while you wait for your food, including my favourite, Frankie magazine!
We sat down just outside the cafe window, and I noticed there was some new bunting that hadn’t been around last week, which made the outdoor space feel even more welcoming. I do find it amazing how they have taken a previously unused alleyway and a tiny shop front and created something so beautiful and bespoke. It is the kind of thing I dream of doing, but am always unsure if I have the ability to get off the ground. Maybe one day, when I am more wordly and experienced! For now, I am happy to enjoy the fruits of others endeavours.
I had decided to get a strawberry fields juice to accompany my strawberry salad, and it came out very promptly and did not disappoint! It was sweet without being overpowering, and nice and refreshing on this warm sunny day.
Lauren had ordered a green tea from their selection of Harney and Son’s teas, which was also really lovely.
When my pastry and salad came out, I had a big grin on my face first and foremost because it just looked so damn beautiful, but secondly because it was served on a Royal Doulton tree of life plate, from the exact same set that I had recently bought for my kitchen. The owners and I clearly both have excellent taste. But onto the food! The pastry was impossible flaky, layer upon layer of filo goodness. I had been warned when I ordered about the filling being quite spicy, and that was indeed the case. Luckily I had been given some sweet chutney to round out the spiciness, and it all worked together in a really lovely way. The strawberry salad was also gorgeous – fresh sweet strawberries with spinach, figs, walnuts and a teensy bit of red onion, it was on the money for taste and freshness.
Lauren’s salads came out one two separate plates, the quinoa as mentioned and the risoni with olives, capsicum, red onion, cucumber and a balsamic dressing. The flowers on top were so attractive, and almost made it too pretty to eat! The fresh ingredients were crying out to be devoured though, and it was a pleasure to succumb to them. The cucumber and capsicum added a great bite to the dish, and the balsamic had just the right amount of sweetness. The plates were piled high as well – there was no chance of going hungry here.
We had planned on going back in to get dessert afterwards, as there was a vegan banana cake that the owner proclaimed to be ‘the best thing she had ever made’ – however we were so full by the time we finished and had dilly dallied for so long that we were late in getting back to work, and forgot all about it. But that is ok, because this cafe is becoming a Friday ritual and I am sure there will be plenty of other chances to try the delicious treats on offer at Flora and Fauna!