Plant-based cafe PANCHA starts slinging wholesome fare on Racecourse Road
As increasing numbers of locals look to make more health-conscious choices regarding the food they eat, Brisbane’s plant-based dining scene grows in tandem. More vegan-friendly outlets are popping up across the city, with Brisbane’s northside currently benefitting from a sharp increase in meat-free munch spots. Hamilton’s storied promenade Racecourse Road is the recipient of a new plant-based pit stop called Pancha, a cafe that utilises fruit and veg from its own farm for its menu of nourishing and salivation-inducing eats. It opened on Wednesday December 8 – here’s what’s on offer …
Sam Berge’s vision for his dream cafe extends beyond eye-catching aesthetics, a decent menu and up-to-snuff coffee service. He wants to be involved in as many processes as possible, including growing the produce he uses in the kitchen. With PANCHA, Sam is legitimately building a concept from paddock to plate. The cafe, which opened this week on Racecourse Road in Hamilton, positions itself under the broad culinary umbrella of plant-based dining and looks to offer locals a cosy respite for brunch, lunch and, in the near future, dinner. PANCHA boasts the same eclectic rusticness of Sam’s previous venture Little Digs, with the square-shaped interior adorned in an aesthetic of decorative brick, moss-green, timber and subway tiles (with eye-catching artwork also adding a vivid dynamism to the space). Although small, PANCHA has room for a coffee counter and cake cabinet, interior seating and street-side tables – everything you need to cater to bleary eyes commuters in the morning and tie-loosened locals looking to unwind in the evening.
At PANCHA Sam has teamed up with chefs Vince Mettagarunakul and Sumalee Aei – two skilled culinary talents with decades of industry experience – to execute the menu. In a bid for self-sufficiency, the PANCHA team are endeavouring to grow as much of its ingredients as possible. A farm just outside of Warwick yields a considerable chunk of PANCHA’s produce, with a newly built greenhouse growing everything from kale to beetroot. Extra ingredients are sourced from local farms near Stanthorpe and across the Darling Downs region. This bounty is then used to craft PANCHA’s extensive menu, with all-day brekkie bites like vegan pancakes with grilled bananas and whipped vegan butter and croffles topped with peanut butter and berry coulis joined by lunchtime mains including creamy mushroom and miso pasta, tofu and potato massaman curry, soba salads, felafel croquettes, and an assortment of sandwiches and wraps. An ambient cabinet stocks house-made salads and an assortment of treats from Veganyumm, while pastries from French Tarts. Organic coffee is being supplied by Sacred Grounds, which is available alongside fresh juices, smoothies and herbal tea, though folks seeking a stiffer sip can mosey in for craft beer from Newstead Brewing Co. or wines from Granite Belt producers Balancing Heart and Jester Hill Wines.
PANCHA is now open to the public – opening hours and contact details can be found in the Stumble Guide.
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