Serotonin is a chemical created by the human body and regarded by some researchers as responsible for maintaining mood balance. It’s also the name of new Richmond cafe with the slogan “eatery, exercise, education”. As you may have guessed, this is a cafe with a purpose, namely to be “the world’s leading happiness educational institution”. There’s a fitness centre attached and plans to also run classes featuring nutritionists, dietitians and physiologists. But this is a food blog so my attention was firmly on all things edible rather than esoteric.
The cafe is in the back part of Richmond in a sunny corner location overlooking Bicentennial park. There are lots of outdoor tables on the footpath to catch the Winter sun and inside you can sit at tables with Japanese style built in seating or dangle from one of the swings hanging along the front wall.
The menu is “plant based” which appears to mean vegetarian and “contains no BAD-itives” according to Serotonin. So there’s smashed avo but Serotonin’s version also includes white beans and beetroot. Pancakes are “positive pancakes” ($22) made with organic banana flour and served with banana ice-cream, mixed berry coulis and hung yoghurt balls. Despite the overly-earnest name the dish looks amazing and the pancakes are so fluffy and light I almost forget they’re healthy.
Poached eggs ($12) come with dark wedges of house made Danish rye bread and a salads worth of rocket to increase the virtuous factor. Luckily the health philosophy doesn’t preclude Serotonin selling coffee (everyone needs caffeine to be happy right?). It’s from Five Senses and my latte is rich and creamy.
The downside to all this happiness is the enormous wait times at Serotonin. At 10.30 on a Saturday morning we waited 10 minutes for a table but then a further hour after placing our order. My friends Ben and Felicity who live nearby say this delay wasn’t just a one off. Let’s just say it takes more than some tasty plant based food to restore my serotonin levels after an hour sitting at a table without caffeine.
Details: Serotonin, 52 Madden Grove, Burnley (Ph 9428 8256)
Kids: Welcome. There’s a kids menu, high chairs and the staff even brought out some picture books for my 1.5 year old. Did I mention the cafe is also opposite a park? Perfect.