Nosh on nourishing fare at West End’s charming new plant-based cafe and deli Yoke Kitchen
A few weeks ago West End locals woke up with a brand-new cafe in its midst. Yoke Kitchen, an exciting eatery and deli from a doyenne of Brisbane’s plant-based eats scene, is making it a cinch to source quality and nutritious Indian and Middle Eastern-inspire fare – as well as invigorating coffee, chai and fermented beverages. Want some sustenance that will make your insides sing? We reckon this newcomer has what your body is craving.
Once upon a time, it was difficult to find a satisfying plant-based feed in Brisbane. The times have changed now, thankfully – vegan cuisine is flourishing across town, with an assortment of cafes, restaurants and bars offering a diverse range of comestibles devoid of animal products. But many still remember the lean years. Elaine Young‘s contribution to the herbivorous cause stems from her own struggles finding healthy vegetarian and vegan-friendly foods out and about. Upon returning to Australia after living abroad in India and the Middle East, the hospitality veteran took it upon herself to help enact some epicurean evolution in Brisbane by launching Bond Street Eats – a concept that slung home-style salads, stews, felafels and more at Wandering Cooks and Northey Street Organic Market. After pivoting to a takeaway-based service model during lockdowns, Elaine elected to evolve her business. Earlier this month she opened Yoke Kitchen, a bricks-and-mortar cafe and deli dedicated to fostering feelings of nourishment and connection through food. The cafe can be found on Hardgrave Road in the space formerly home to Luigi’s Italian, with some new fixtures (such as the coffee and deli counter, which has been fashioned from wood reclaimed from an old house) and a mural from local artist Hayley Lock giving the space its own identity.
At its core, Yoke Kitchen looks to offer vegans and vegetarians nourishing whole foods while also hoping to convince carnivores that they don’t need to eat meat at every meal. Elaine is responsible for crafting an ever-changing all-day a la carte and deli-style menu, which will offer variations on recognisable dishes boasting a day-to-day assortment of organic, hyper seasonal and locally sourced produce. Those with only a small appetite can munch on toast with house-made nut butters or amazake rice and buckwheat pudding with grilled pineapple, and salted almond and coconut granola. Larger plates include turmeric-spiced potato hash with vegetables, avocado, tice and lentil dosa, a daily curry with veg, pickles and tahini drizzles, and a shakshuka with tofu or eggs (the only non plant-based morsel on the menu) floating in a rich spiced green sauce with quinoa tabbouleh, almond dukkah and salted lime tahini. Yoke’s bread is currently sourced from Riser, while Yoke’s flatbreads and gluten-free sourdough are made in house by Anastasia Nestorovic of Culture Sourdough and Ferments. The deli cabinet is stocked with an assortment of vegan sweets, takeaway curries, salads, tofu, dahl and rotating special items. Elaine is applying a similar conscientious and handcrafted approach to Yoke Kitchen’s drinks offering, with an assortment of fermented, brewed, juiced and blended beverage on hand to choose from. Coffee from Blackboard and tea by The Steepery headline the range, which is further bolstered by Yoke’s own hazelnut sesame cacao (a take on hot chocolate), amasake horchata (a creamy fermented sweet rice drink enhanced with spices), house-made almond milk chai that has been batch brewed for 12 hours on whole spices, and a range of fermented drinks made using excess fruit and veg.
Yoke Kitchen is open to the public – operating hours and other details can be found in the Stumble Guide.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.