Food Wine Produce
28/04/2020
FORK TALK — A CHAT WITH OUR FOOD, WINE & DINING EXPERTS – Pojjanee Bundit, Nature Café Bar, 1-3 Thompson St, Frankston

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Your dishes look like vibrant, fresh, and very tasty works of art. Can you tell us your secret?

Well, that’s exactly what we are going for. We want people to first eat with their eyes, and enjoy something that they wouldn’t usually make at home. We use fresh produce, and love our food to be as colourful as possible. We use only naturally found colours in foods to create our dishes, using things like beetroot, turmeric, blue spirulina etc to enhance not only the nutritional value of a meal but add that pop of colour to things too. For us there needs to be an even balance between huge flavour, nutrition, and visual appeal. All three of our chefs are also artists in various mediums, so this is just another creative outlet for us. 

What can customers expect from your new takeaway menu and contactless delivery/pick-up options?

They can still expect to see a large menu on offer, with easy budget-friendly pricing to get everyone through some tougher financial times. All light bites are $8 and mains are $15. We are still open our regular hours of seven days and three nights a week. Call us crazy but our menu is an all-day/all-night menu, meaning if you want a shakshuka for dinner or a burger for breakfast, you can. Our full drinks menu is still available, including smoothies, hot drinks, and now even alcohol. Everything can be ordered in store or over the phone, and we offer deliveries locally as well as a drive-through-style contactless option, where we bring it to your car with a free smile!

What’s your go-to trend to serve up that customers are loving?

We love serving things in a big bowl. It feels so comforting eating from a bowl, and a lot less fussy and formal than on a plate. So we offer a number of Buddha bowl-style dishes that are fun to eat, offer variety, and are nutritionally rich, including a Thai-style Buddha bowl, shalom bowl (pictured), curries, nachos, and of course our famous smoothie bowls.

Could you tell us about your industry experience?

I have been a chef now for 22 years. I’ve worked a lot with international and Asian cuisine as well as being a pastry chef. I’m also a food carving artist, and turn watermelons etc into beautiful sculptures. My experience ranges from huge 5-star international hotels to local restaurants, and for the last two years with Nature Cafe Bar creating innovative vegan food.

 What’s your style in the kitchen and what do you love most about what you do?

My style is tasty vegan food with a Thai twist. I love seeing the delight on a diner’s face when they see their meal arrive and take in the presentation, and then when the plate comes back to the kitchen totally empty and I know they enjoyed their food.

Do you have any advice for aspiring chefs? 

Keep an open mind, and cook from your heart. Every single skill and experience you can get is a bonus. Make the most of every opportunity to create your own style.

KATE SEARS

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