Loose Change Lunch… Feast a fortune, Pay a Pittance

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The regular instalment in ourSt Kilda Bites food review feature continues, where our poignant food critic, Ravenous Renee, continues her relentless search for Great Value, high quality local lunch dining. Here is yet another lunch venue in the St Kilda area worth bringing to your attention!

Cafe De Cuba a Viable Lunch Option

By Ravenous Renee

On a mission for a satisfying but affordable lunch, that is reasonably healthy and wholesome (after just completing a solid morning weights and cardio session), I knew I needed a carb’ and protein ‘punch’ to really get me going. A busy woman with things to do, I needed something substantial, that at the same time wasn’t going to weigh me down (financially and on the hips). Somehow, on this particular day, my ever-so-tempting (note: mild sarcasm) daily boiled chicken, brown rice and veg’ at home in the fridge, didn’t quite cut it. It was the weekend after all (well almost, it was Friday and that has to count) and I felt that I deserved a treat (albeit a healthy one).

Then I remembered Cafe’s De Cuba’s unique twist on the usual cafe salad basics (chicken/calamari/vegetarian) that had me intrigued and enthused for their unique ingredient combinations. A viable lunch option with everything under their ‘Something Light’ (served from noon) and ‘Salads’ menu under $20 (not including extras), I knew I was onto a winner. Capturing my attention was the Energiser Salad ($17) which I was able to order with grilled chicken (add $4) containing wild rice, quinoa, mixed seeds, nuts, spinach, roquette and pumpkin with a harrisa yoghurt dressing. Sublimely delicious, and oh so nutritious (what y’know, it rhymes), but speaking very much by the truth, this salad rightly kept to its word and kept me energised all day.

Presented as a decent portion (enough to feed even the hungriest of “Hungry Horace’s”), I was plated up with four sweet-chilli-soy marinated and perfectly char-grilled chicken tenderloins; presented on a bed of scrumptious salad. This leafy concoction consisted of predominantly baby spinach leaves and yummy bite-sized chunks of pumpkin, mixed in with black wild rice and brown quinoa (amongst the other aforementioned nutritious goodies), and all folded in gently with just the right amount of creamy Bird’s eye chilli-spiked harissa yoghurt dressing (that added the indulgence factor, without forgoing all my efforts at the gym).

A delightfully unique sensory experience, my palate was met with a crispy, crunchy, slightly chewy and nutty affair (with sweet and evenly contrasting naturally bitter sensations) that highlighted a fresh take on the standard café chicken or vegetarian salad. Not just for the wannabe body builders and fitness junkies out there, this super salad is for anyone wanting to feel good about themselves (from the inside out) and fill up their tank on premium.


Cafe de Cuba

69 Glenhuntly Rd, Elwood

Open Monday to Sunday; 7am – 10pm

Ph: (03) 9531 0033

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