1/140 Ormond Rd
Elwood, VIC 3184
03 9531 0084
The discovery of this gem of a cafe was a bit of an accidental find due to lack of research on my part.
Here’s what happened… Fakegf had been going through a healthy 4-week clean-eating challenge when we decided to brunch out. When she suggested this place, if I had known about Combi’s food concept I might’ve gone “OMG…. rabbit food? NO WAY!!”. Instead, it was more a case of me not researching and hence thinking “Oooh… I haven’t brunched in Elwood before… so exciting. Yes please!”.
So I only learnt that we were in for an incredibly healthy (and mostly raw / vegan / vegetarian) meal when we were already on our way there. But as luck would have it, I ended up enjoying this meal lots!
Combi is set in a squeezy, narrow little space along the busy stretch of Ormond Rd in Elwood. And at 11am on a Thursday, it was very busy and full of smiles. The customer demographic seemed to lean towards the healthy yoga-loving and wheatgrass sipping variety of Melburnians. Needless to say, the menu boasted ingredients such as kale, chia seeds, activated almonds, spirulina, fermented protein powder, cacao nibs, acai and nut mylk.
BEETROOT KOMBUCHA 5 | GREEN FIELDS 8.5
Kale, cos lettuce, celery, cucumber, green apple, mint, lemon
Truth be told, I thought the menu here was a nice change from my usual oily-carby foodscape of cheap Asian fare, so I ended up getting pretty excited about what we were about to have.
We started off with a selection of drinks, with Fatbee having an organic cold pressed juice that contained so much vegetables that Fakegf funnily quipped that she thought she could almost “photosynthesise”… ha ha! Meanwhile, I had a fermented chilled tea that was served on tap, it tasted like a fizzy slightly alcoholic drink infused with beetroot.
ORGANIC CHIA PARTY (GF/RAW/V) – 14.5
Parfait of chia seeds, soaked in house nut mylk infused with orange rind, layered with banana, berries crunchy activated chocolate buckinis, zesty incan berries and macadamias. Topped with house made coconut cashew yogurt and strawberry coulis
Both Fakegf and myself decided to try Combi’s super bowls, aptly named so because it contains super foods.
Here’s Fakegf’s much-enjoyed chia seed dish served in a jar. I’d personally steer clear of chia seeds and basil seeds because of its sticky-slimy texture when wet (not to mention it looks a bit like tadpole eggs), but Fakegf really liked her dish and I have to admit it looked amazing.
ORGANIC ACAI BOWl (GF/RAW/V) – 15.5
Antioxidant-loaded Acai blended with banana, blueberries, house made nut mylk then layered with crispy coconut flakes, activated caramelised buckinis, banana, maca and cranberries
While Combi’s menu does have one non-vegetarian item (a ham, cheese and tomato sandwich), I decided to sample what Combi does best. My dish tasted like an intensely refreshing banana beetroot smoothie served very chilled and topped with a crispy nut granola. I absolutely enjoyed it and it really did feel like I was having a huge antioxidant hit.
RAW ORGANIC ZUCCHINI SPAGETTI (GF / V) – 14.5
Zucchini spaghetti with a creamy cashew sauce, mushrooms, soy beans, tomatoes, fresh herbs, topped with activated nuts
Fatbee went with a savoury item – ‘spaghetti’ made from tendrils of freshly shredded zucchini served with nuts, mushrooms, herbs and tomatoes then lightly dressed in a cashew sauce. Healthy, light and well balanced, this dish tasted fantastic without becoming ‘healthy-boring’. In a nutshell, I was amazed that raw food could taste so good.
Even though we’re both Singaporeans, Fakegf’s food journey is fast going on a widely divergent tangent from my own. And I think that’s a good thing because I get to (ever so often) have a hit of something that’s very different from the foods that I’d normally eat.
Perhaps the fact that I’m a big fan of the light and clean-tasting flavours in Japanese cuisine helped ease me into liking Combi’s healthy / raw vegetarian fare. But more so than this, I’m just very happy that there are foods out there that can still excite me.