Stifled by my own ignorance, I walked past The Cardamom Pod in Broadbeach hundreds of times, never once giving it the time of day.
I tagged along with my more open-minded friends for dinner at The Cardamom Pod. You’ll never guess what happened, I LOVED it (I’ve even been back on my own since)!
1. Feel Good Food
Meat, do you really need it all the time? ‘Nourish by nature’ is the name of the game at The Cardamom Pod, and it’s true, you will absolutely feel nourished from the food -meatless and all!
How hungry are you? It’s almost like a buffet, so you can pick a corresponding amount of food.
With items like hardy meat-free and cheese packed Lasagna, savoury Thai Green Curry and ooey gooey veggie Cheesy Bakes to go with your Couscous and Tofu Salad, you’d have to have a hollow leg to leave still hungry.
If I may make a suggestion, you’ve got to try the hand rolled Spiced Kofta Balls in rich and well-seasoned tomato gravy too. So good!
The next thing to know, is that The Cardamon Pod is owned and run by chefs who subscribe the Hare Krishna faith. This means the food is prepared, served and eaten in ways that honour Krishna. If you’re not spiritual, it’s no problem. You certainly don’t need to believe in a higher power to know this is seriously delicious AND nutritious food.
2. Sin-Free Desserts
Can vegetarians make a good dessert? Well, it’s a no meat restaurant, not no sugar restaurant, so the answer is YES! As pretty as they are sweet, their homemade delights will put a smile on your gob.
We tried the Pod’s Own Lime and Blueberry Pie and the Byron Hippy Pumpkin Cheesecake. The collective favorite was the Pumpkin Cheesecake with layers of sweet pumpkin filling on a dense crust and topped with a pear slice. The side of ice cream wasn’t bad either! The Lime and Blueberry Pie won the beauty contest and was a close runner up in flavour. The creamy sweet & tart pie was topped with blueberries and dusted in pistachios. Being that they are relatively healthy as far as desserts go (most are raw) so, they don’t come with the extra tablespoon of guilt.
3. Getting Your Drink On
So there’s no alcohol served at The Cardamom Pod, but they do have fantastic juices. They call them mocktails. I know, Mocktail, schmocktail right?– hardly! The mocktails are killer! Refreshing and yummy, you’ll barely miss the alcohol. But let’s face it, it’s not easy to convince everyone to go to a vego restaurant AND takeaway their wine (they’re grapes anyway right?). The good news is, The Cardamom Pod is BYO and corkage is only $1 a glass. Wine spritzer anyone?
4. Luxe Décor
Whoever designed the cool digs at The Cardamom Pod needs to get to my place a.s.a.p. Lush velvet against crystal chandeliers and bamboo chairs, funky colors, hanging plants and mismatched furniture gives The Cardamom Pod a swanky, eclectic, bohemian, glamour vibe. I know that sounds like a lot going on, but trust me, it works! Who says eating vegetarian means getting takeaway out of a little hole in the wall? (Well, me until recently, but I admit, I was wrong). Grab a Kofta Ball and a Mocktail and sit in a decadent wingback chair overlooking Victoria Park why don’t ya? #lookgoodfeelgood
to veg out in sublime eclectic bohemian atmosphere. Oh, and by the way, they have a share plate that feeds four for only $35. Yeah that’s right, healthy food at under ten bucks a person, BYO and Insta-worthy décor.
Open 11:30am – 9:30pm daily. The Cardamon Pod is also now open at the Brickworks in Southport for breakfast! 1/2685 Gold Coast High way, Broadbeach
Takeaway could well be the greatest thing ever invented and if wasn’t so bad for you, you’d probably get it every day right? WELL GUESS WHAT! According to this very article, takeaway food doesn’t have to be bad for you and that could be the greatest news ever not invented.
Here’s a list of the top 9 restaurants offering healthy takeaway options. Happy days.
Raw Energy, Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads
Located on the corner of Marine Parade in Coolangatta is Raw Energy, a healthy food and lifestyle café that started on the Sunshine Coast. Their focus is on fresh food, served fast in a funky environment. Raw Energy’s got you covered, offering anything from healthy smoothies or juices to macadamia and lentil burgers, YUMM!
Where: 110 Marine Pde, Coolangatta
If you haven’t been there yet, put this one on your ‘to do’ list! The Pocket in Burleigh’s Connor Street is an absolute favourite amongst locals and offers a great range of healthy take away options (with an extensive vegetarian/gluten free menu). The Pocket aims to be a conscientious restaurant serving locally sourced, wholesome food, often using produce grown by owners David and Michelle.
Where: 13 Connor St, Burleigh Heads
Marie Anita’s Gluten Free Health Cafe
Marie Anita’s offers a solely gluten free and sugar free menu designed to provide dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, and raw alternatives. With the aim to source from local suppliers and to use as much organic produce as possible, Marie Anita’s challenges the image of healthy eating.
Where: 2364 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Greenhouse Canteen & Bar
A personal favorite is Greenhouse Canteen & Bar, the holy grail of all healthy food. With the motto ‘anything you can do, we can do vegan’ they’re onto something, because they are busy every day of the week. But not to worry, they do take away, too! All produce are sourced from trusted suppliers and farmer’s markets – food is medicine and it should nourish the mind, body and soul. Amen!
Where: 1916 Gold Coast Hwy, Miami and 1/140 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
BSKT Cafe (Biscuit) was founded with the belief that people care about their health. They just needed the right place to deliver these health options in an indulgent and accessible manner.
All products are designed to inspire through nutritional quality, taste and a global conscious. Made from high quality plants and free from refined sugar and anything artificial. All products are hand crafted with love using traditional methods busting the myth Vegan and Paleo products can’t be delicious as well as nutritious.
Where: 4 Lavarack Rd, Mermaid Beach
The Shack Superfood Cafe
The name says it all, the Shack Superfood Café in Nobby’s is a health freaks paradise with real and fresh food that tastes great and is nutritious! On offer is quinoa, acai, smoothies and juices, breakfast, takeaway lunch and dinner boxes, plus tea and coffee. If you are looking for a hassle free, convenient and easy takeaway option look no further and go give the team at the Shack a visit.
Where: 2221 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
Cardamom Pod in Broadbeach is a vegetarian and plant-based restaurant inspired by the art of creative and tasty cuisine. With an extensive salad bar and delicious hot meal options such as curries or lasagne, Cardamom Pod is the perfect place to get some tasty and healthy takeaway, and word on the street is there are opening one in Brickworks! But be warned, their desserts are out of this world, especially the raw peanut butter cups.
Where: 2685 Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach
Govindas is without a doubt one of the most popular vegetarian, eco-friendly take-away restaurants on the Gold Coast. They offer a variety of pure vegetarian foods (vegan and gluten free options available) including vegetable dishes, basmati rice, dhal, potato bake, samosas and a variety of salads, desserts and drinks. Veggies are sourced locally and all dishes are prepared daily using the freshest produce. The buffet style approach lets customer create their own meal at reasonable prices. YUM.
Where: James St, Burleigh Heads
Giri Kana Cafe
The Giri Kana Cafe is a fresh take on vegan and vegetarian food, with a wide selection of freshly made vegan / vegetarian items (many organic and gluten free options also), including an extensive dessert menu. Their emphasis is on fresh and wholesome foods, which are good for the body, as well as the mind and spirit – and to this end, food is cooked with love and devotion. Try one of their signature tofu or vegie burgers served on turkish bread or as a gluten free option the Open Burger on rice. All so good!
Where: Cnr of Nind St and Gold Coast Highway, Southport
Words by Kirra Smith
The Gold Coast restaurant scene has been quick to catch up to the increasing number of people jumping on board the vegetable train.
While everyone is dishing up tasty meatless treats these days, there are plenty of veggie only venues the locals are loving. Here are 11 of the best from north to south.
Plant Based Cafe
The newest on the block, Plant Based Cafe is both aptly named AND slinging some absolutely incredible vego eats. The kitchen is headed up by former Masterchef contestant Christine Laker and she has nailed every single dish. Of course. The Zucchini and Corn Fritter Stack is next-level with a stack of low-fat, baked fritters served with tomato relish, smashed avocado and a lightly-dressed petite salad. So tasty and perfectly presented too. Try them all for yourself.
Where: 1/2 Grice Avenue, Paradise Point
Giri Kana Café
Southport’s famous vegetarian and vegan café is just as loved by meat eaters as it is by vegos. Their emphasis is on fresh and wholesome foods that are good for the body, mind and spirit – and to this end, their food is cooked with love and devotion. With salads, burgers, breakfast, juice and smoothie options you’ll be spoilt for choice at this welcoming little café. P.s they now do breakfast too.
Where: Ground Floor, H2O Broadwater, Corner Nind Street and Gold Coast Highway, 82 Marine Parade, Southport
The delightful folk at Blendlove believe nothing is worth eating, if it hasn’t been created with love and let it be known that everything they create there, is worth eating. Co-founders Ricki-Lee and Sharlene pride themselves on serving the tastiest, freshest and healthiest plant-based food on the Gold Coast. Everything in their space is made fresh daily without the use of refined sugars, artificial colours or preservatives. One of the very best.
Where: 253 Ferry Road, Southport
For many years it’s been a firm favourite amongst lovers of a delicious vegetarian dish. So much so that a second Pod opened at The Brickworks on Ferry Road. They offer creative, colourful eats and the most magical of mocktails. In a first for the Gold Coast, Cardamom Pod also offers a vegan high tea made up of a selection of their finest raw desserts. There’s a reason this place has been around for years, go discover it for yourself.
Where: Shop 1/2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach and Brickworks, Ferry Road, Southport
It’s a little eatery tucked away in Mermaid Beach serving vegetarian yum cha on the daily. The locals love it and it’s easy to see why. They also offer regular meat-free meals like the yummiest of stir-fry’s. Don’t go past the dumplings, there are many kinds so save it for a day when you’re absolutely ravenous, trust us, you won’t want to stop.
Where: Markeri Street, Mermaid Waters
i like ramen
If there is a perfect food for keeping you warm and nourished in winter, it is ramen. Particularly ramen by the boys at i like ramen. Which is vegan honestly but that also means it’s vegetarian and you should eat some ASAP. We love the Spicy Kimchi Ramen with a side (or three) of Panko Mushrooms and probably also a beer to wash that down. Big fans of everything about this place.
Where: 2251 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
The holy grail of health food. With the motto ‘anything you can do, we can do vegan’ they’re onto something. In the short time they’ve been open they’ve amassed a huge following of both vegans and meat eaters who can’t go past the flavour-filled foods. All produce is sourced from trusted suppliers and farmers markets with the belief that food is medicine and it should nourish the mind, body and soul.
Where: 1916 Gold Coast Highway, Miami
Tian Ran Vegetarian
Meaning nature in English, Tian Ran provides the purest of vegetarian and vegan Asian cuisine. Their meals are free from meat, dairy, alcohol, garlic, onions and MSG and they also offer a gluten-free menu. The team are passionate about providing quality food and make their meat substitutes with soy, wheat, yam, seaweed and mushrooms. The restaurant is run by authentic, loving people who strive to provide full of goodness and flavour. Make this one a must visit.
Where: Shop 8/ 2462 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
The Milkman’s Daughter
The funkiest little vegetarian joint around is Mermaid’s The Milkman’s Daughter, tucked away on Alfred St and serving up some of the very best (and most stacked vego food). The interior is as cool as they come filled with cascading greenery and terraniums built into tables, you’ll be Insta-snapping up a storm. The entirely vegetarian menu is made up of both all day breakfast and lunch options and my word, will you be hard up to make a choice. The Housemade Lemon Pancakes are a real treat. Get excited for this one gang.
Where: 43 Alfred Street, Mermaid Beach
Doko Demo V
One of the most diverse eateries on the Gold Coast vegetarian scene is Doko Demo V in Miami. The menu is both breaky and lunch all day, as of just recently, dinner too and it’s filled with beautifully prepared dishes that are both healthy and of the eyes-are-bigger-than-your-belly variety. We’d go the Mexican Chicken* Brown Rice Poke Bowl because it’s a fresh, tasty option with Spanish beans, smashed avocado, ‘chicken’ made from tofu protein and a corn and coriander salsa. Plus, Mexican always. They’ve got a little bit of everything and the produce is super fresh and super delicious. So good.
Where: 1908 Gold Coast Highway, Miami
It’s a vegetarian institution on the Coast and if you haven’t been there, you haven’t lived. With options from potato bake and lasagne to an array of salads and desserts, there’s always something tasty to try and a line up of people waiting to get in on the goodness. Eat in or takeaway and definitely don’t forget to indulge in the lemon, mint and ginger refresher, it’ll make your day.
Where: 20 James Street, Burleigh Heads and 72 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Words by Kirra Smith.
No matter how you’re feeling right now or what you’re current situation is, there’s no doubt we can all use a little bit more health and happiness in our lives. So we’ve collected the five top tips to ensure your week is that little bit healthier from now on in. Take care of yourselves Gold Coasters.
Get up an hour earlier
It doesn’t seem like much but you’d be surprised how much you can fit into an hour. There’s nothing worse for your brain than waking up, going to work, going home, watching TV and going back to bed – where’s the relaxation? Instead of reaching straight for your phone the minute you wake up, roll straight out of bed and into some sort of exercise or stretching routine, play with the dog, cook yourself a healthy breakfast and ease into your day. You’ll soon see that starting your morning in a slower, more relaxed way sets the tone for the rest of your day.
Plan your meals
It sounds a little bit like something your Nanna would do but trust us, planning your meals will make life a million times simpler and healthier. Everyone knows what happens when you go to the supermarket after work, usually on an empty stomach and with very little willpower – you end up with an entrée of cheese and biccies followed by garlic bread and a big old bowl of spaghetti bolognaise. Delicious sure, but not so much on the healthy side. Planning allows you to choose healthy options, buy everything you need at once and not be tempted by the lure of excessive carbs.
Ahh the ever elusive shut eye. It’s highly likely you aren’t getting enough of it what with work, exercising, eating and those all-important Netflix binges taking up so much of your time. Something’s gotta give though and usually that thing is your health, or your sanity. They say you need at least eight hours but in truth, you need as much as you need. If you’re tired, sleep more, it’s imperative to both your mental and physical health (and the people who have to put up with you). If you need a nap through the day, go for it, this is your permission slip.
Take time out
You’ve been hearing people bang on about the miraculous benefits of meditation for awhile now and those people aren’t lying. It is one of the best ways to calm your mind, find out the answers to life’s big questions and generally just take time out from the chaos of day to day life. Seems overwhelming though right? Sitting down in silence and trying not to think. It can be simple though, start with five minutes of deep breathing and don’t be discouraged if your mind wanders, just stay there and enjoy the serenity, before you know it you’ll crave that time out.
Move your body
Although it’s easier said than done to get up off the couch when it’s cold out, the benefits are about three million fold. Even if you just go for a short walk around the block or do some easy stretching, your body will absolutely thank you. There are plenty of online workouts and yoga classes to choose from too so you don’t need to spend money on exercising to see the benefits. Morning is probably the best time of day to move, it’ll make you feel good all day but anytime will do. You’ll be happy you did.
Words by Kirra Smith