Mantis in wonderland: Leroy on Acland St

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By Mantis Kane

What do ketogenic diet organic food, astro-turf and pansies have in common? They all feature heavily in Leroy café’s menu.

If you are not familiar with the ketogenic diet, it’s the new paleo, which involves starving yourself of carbohydrates, eradicating sugar and ultimately reaching the high ground of ketosis, where your body uses body fat as a source of energy rather than carbs. If you see grumpy but fit people gazing wantonly into Acland Street’s cakes shops, they’re probably in the throes of ketosis.

Leroy’s menu caters for vegetarians, vegans, gluten intolerants and ketotarians (possibly a new term).

Although geared towards the new age health crusaders, there’s also a staple of cheat day dishes that don’t promise ethical cleaning or dietary evangelism.

Alongside the nutritional concoctions is the traditional bacon and eggs.

But even with bacon and eggs, Leroy has not totally thrown the towel in – they still organic and free range.

Corn fritters at Leroy. Photo: Mantis Kane

Corn fritters at Leroy. Photo: Mantis Kane

The corn fritters we had felt like they frisbe-ed straight down from heaven. Light, yet crunchy, with bacon, a couple of perfectly poached eggs and homemade tangy relish.

An Acai Super Food Bowl arrived looking more like a wedding bouquet than a breakfast. Intricately stylised and colour coded, with strips of seeds, fruit and flowers laid ornately over iridescent purple acai. As it was placed on the table we sat transfixed by its rainbow like properties. A parting of the clouds – a new weather system glistened through. I automatically reached for my phone, Instagram muscle memory triggered in the presence of true beauty, fumbling and muttering to myself like I’d just been propositioned by the prom queen. It felt wrong to disturb such delicate architecture, such meticulous food planning. But shortly after the obligatory snaps and uploads, I was munching away, seeds plugging my teeth and pansies being demolished, as happy as the perennial bridesmaid catching the flowers.

The desserts are something of a house speciality. Leroy have concocted a healthy version of a key lime pie. Stevia replaces the refined sugar (a house rule), chai seeds, mango, coconut cream, nuts – all served in a takeaway cup. It tastes uncannily accurate, eerily on-point, like a phantom health conscious Heston Blumenthal has floated in, formulated a gastronomic magic trick and left via the back door.






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