When I first heard whispers of SMÄK Food House opening in South Yarra, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I have Norwegian roots so knew that “SMÄK” means “taste” in Norwegian. Dreams of sticky cinnamon buns, rice pudding and smørrebrød began to fill my mind and tempt my belly. But alas the new food house in South Yarra is only inspired by Scandinavia, perhaps in the design more than the menu.
Hidden off the main drag of Chapel Street, SMÄK Food House has joined the likes of Little Frankie’s and Fancy Nance on Daly Street. In typical Scandinavian design, it’s sleek, sexy and minimalist, with plenty of blonde timber and exposed concrete to go around. With floor to ceiling glass wrapping around the front of the venue, combined with cool concrete slabs, the cafe is a food photographer’s dream.
At SMÄK it’s all about nutritious food, which does not sacrifice on flavour and taste. The menu definitely tilts heavily towards the healthy and nutritious, with a good mix of “proteins” and “salads.” On the breakfast menu, there’s a buttery roasted pumpkin teamed with eggplant, red rice and an orange poached beetroot with thyme carrots, tomato medley corn and lima beans. For bigger appetites try SMÄK’s take on the big breakfast loaded with turkey chipolatas, poached eggs, free range bacon, swiss brown mushroom, truss tomato, kale and rye. There’s not many options for fellow sweet tooth’s – only the buckwheat matcha crepes (which looked far too healthy for my liking, and besides I have never liked matcha).
The baked eggs is a highlight on the menu, teamed with French spiced lentils, black eye beans, kale and almond dukkah. It’s the kind of dish which warms you from the inside out – the perfect winter warmer! It has a delicate spice, which gives it a nice flavour, without overpowering the dish. The eggs were a little overcooked for my liking, and I could have gone without the “life bread” loaded with nuts and grains. Give me sourdough any day of the week.
For a lighter treat, the acai and date smoothie bowl is a feast for the senses. Topped with fresh berries, kiwi fruit and seeds, the bright pink acai bowl is a nice blend of banana, spinach, cashe milk and white label protein. Smoothies are available by the glass ($11) and bowl ($15).
The drinks list is a nice mix of smoothies and warm drinks. Coffee is by Seven Seeds.
SMÄK Food House
A 6 Daly St, South Yarra VIC 3141
T (03) 8560 2146