Despite being located in the bustling hub of Northcote’s High Street, Shoku Iku, Melbourne’s newest vegan eatery, somehow manages to remain unobtrusive. The only signage is small and white, and it is painted on the cafe’s front window. Shoku Iku’s reputation obviously precedes itself though because there was a constant stream of people coming and going from the cafe the whole time my mate and I were there.
Shoku Iku offers a calm and inviting space to enjoy their organic, raw, whole menu options. They pride themselves on being sustainable and the cafe reflects this. All of the timber used in the cafe is recycled, which, according to Shoku Iku’s website, is from the Forest Stewardship Council, and they use biodegradable packaging where possible. I’ve been reading a lot about sustainability recently (mainly through the love-food, hate-waste campaign) so I was happy to find out Shoku Iku recognises the importance of reducing our footprint on the world.
I also liked their simple approach to the menu. It isn’t cluttered with space fillers; rather, it focusses on a list of superfood smoothies and hot drinks that are designed to give your health (and your tastebuds) a really good hit. In terms of food, they offer one lunch option per day, which consists of three explode-in-your-mouth-good salads. You can order the salad plate in a small or large size ($10 and $15 respectively), which is an absolute bargain in my eyes. They also offer a small brunch menu and serve dinner on Saturday nights.
We were there for lunch and were served up creamy carrot and celery salad, spicy rainbow salad and leafy salad with nut mince. We also ordered their $26 (yes, $26) Ultimate smoothie (to share), which can be most easily described as longevity in a glass. It is packed full of 15 superfoods, and a blend of medicinal mushrooms, and somehow manages to taste bitter, salty and sweet all at once. It’s incredible! Well worth the money if you’re looking for a wellness boost. Within half an hour of finishing it, we both noticed an increase in our energy levels. You can almost feel it getting into your cells and making you healthier.
As soon as we saw the dessert case, we knew we were going to need to save some stomach room. We ended up going for the pecan, caramel and date tart, and the beetroot and vanilla cake. Both were heavenly. My mouth is watering just looking at that photo!
If you like your food vibrant, healthy and full of life, then Shoku Iku is the place for you. I’ll definitely be back.