Not just a café, it’s a lifestyle
I arrive at Earth café tired and drained from the heat, and Liat, suggests I try a Bali Boost, a special blend of nutrients, vitamins, mood elevators and brain stimulators. It tastes like a chocolate milkshake and I am instantly revitalized; this is the essence of Earth, providing healthy whole foods, based on macrobiotic principles, that are good for the body and the spirit.
Liat Solomon, the café founder is a one woman holistic dynamo. A trained nutritionalist, macrobiotic counselor and vegetarian chef, she opened Earth in 2006, following on from the success of her other enterprises – Zula ‘vegetarian paradise’, and the Down to Earth cooking school and food line.
Occupying an attractive green building on Jalan Leksama, Seminyak, the café and store is cosy and comfortable, with tables and chairs set amidst attractive shelving units filled with various health foods, natural beauty products, jewelry and an organic cotton clothing range. There are books on macrobiotics and flyers on the wall advertising yoga and health retreats.
I have often eaten at Zula and had always assumed that Earth café would have the same menu, but apart from the Mediterranean Platter and Planet Platter it is quite different. Liat tells me that she needed “More room to express myself” and that at Zula she already had as much as she could fit on one menu in one place, so Earth café was about “Expanding the concept.” It is clear that she is not in this for the money, she truly believes in the regenerative power of a healthy diet. While living in New York she worked for the Cancer Institute, helping to heal patients by providing a medicinal diet. She also cooked for various celebrities including Kevin Costner.
Macrobiotics is a philosophy, not a diet, and literally means ‘big life’. Health is promoted through the use of whole grains, vegetables, beans, sea vegetables and non aromatic teas while eschewing dairy, refined sugars and flours, eggs and most animal foods. The menu (printed on recycled paper) reflects this and Liat tells me that when people choose to eat at Earth café she wants them to feel “Safe and cared for, because everything has been carefully chosen and prepared.”
There are a number of tonics and juices and herbal teas, I choose a Ginger Float, a creamy blend of ginger, aloe vera lemon and honey that is as tasty as it is healthy. I also try the Live Hip & Happening, a raw food platter. It is my first experience of raw tempeh and it is a pleasant surprise, crunchy, and spicy from its marinade of sambal matah. The sweet sprouted wheatberries are delicious, and a serving of alfalfa sprouts and wakame radish salad complete the platter. The Quinoa Pilaf features the Latin American grain, Quinoa, known as the ‘Food of the Aztecs’ it is high in protein and a rich source of nutrition. Mixed with vegetables, herbs and crunchy tempeh the grain has a similar texture to cous cous and a very pleasant taste that is wholesome and slightly nutty.
Other offerings include Falafel, Lemon and Rosemary Tofu Sandwich, Seitan steak and enticing soups and salads. There is also a healthy range of desserts, such as a Raw blueberry pie Non dairy icecream, cakes and cookies. I have a Boomshanker Bliss in a Bite a lovely concoction with layers of roasted granola, a natural fruit jelly and a coconut and honey mousse.
It is a pleasure to eat good food that I know is also good for me and I like the mellow ambience, the chill out music and browsing through the natural health books. I also really like the fact that this business has huge integrity. The staff are treated like family; food is prepared with genuine thought and consideration; cottage industries and community programs are supported and care for the environment promoted. I make a note that this is not just a café, it’s a lifestyle, and when I look on the website later I read that many customers share this sentiment.
Earth Cafe Jalan Kayu Aya 99, Oberoi, Seminyak
Zula Vegetarian Paradise Jalan Abimanyu 5, Seminyak