Hot plate: Mr Perkins Bondi Beach


Hot plate: Mr Perkins Bondi Beach

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Roasted cauliflower soup, bone broth ‘coffee’ and a smoothie bar: sounds like yet another soon-to-be hot spot for Bondi’s cool kids. But Mr Perkins is more than just another hipster hang-out in Sydney’s most famous beachside suburb. We chat to co-owner Candice Miller about bringing her ‘slow-cooked fast food’ philosophy to the eastern suburbs

You’ve already seen a positive reaction to Mr Perkins since opening in October. Can you tell us about the focus of the business?
If I were to summarise it, it would be healthy fast food but made from scratch. So, on-site we’ve got a commercial kitchen, we’ve got chefs and we’ve got a nutritionist who helps develop and design our products.

Why soup? I hear you were inspired by your overseas travels.
Years ago my brother and I would often talk about having a soup place because we just love soup. We grew up in Canberra with a cold climate, and it’s just not something that is heavily featured in Australia. You don’t find too many great soup places, so that’s sort of where it all began. I spent a couple of years in Europe and London, and have also been to the States a couple of times. Christopher [my brother and business partner] has been to the States more than I have, and he would often say ‘we’ve got to do this soup thing because it’s a big deal over in the States’. So definitely that was part of the inspiration, but the main inspiration behind it is that we just love soup. We grew up with soup, Mum’s a great soup cook and it’s very difficult to find great soup here.

What are you finding are your most popular dishes?
Definitely the number one seller in regards to soup is the roasted cauliflower and kale. It comes with a coconut dressing, kale chips and roasted pine nuts – it’s absolutely delicious. But at the moment the oxtail minestrone is really starting to take off. The quinoa and kale is our best-selling salad, or the Moroccan cauliflower. Cauliflower’s just a big hit all round, really. What we’re really trying to do is just keep everything interesting, fresh and seasonal. So we don’t have any set rules.

What are the health benefits of your soups and bone broths?
We have a soup cleanse, but what sets it apart or differentiates it from the typical juice cleanses out there is the fact we’re not removing the fibre. We’ll often cook some of our non-vegetarian dishes in the bone broth that’s cooked slow over the course of 15 hours, and they’re packed with minerals and calcium and all kinds of goodness.

You also serve broth ‘to go’ – tell us about this?
The broth is basically almost a replacement for the coffee. So we serve it in a coffee cup and it’s like a cup of goodness on the go. People absolutely love it; it’s becoming very popular. At the moment we have three broths: spicy veal, chicken and a vegan shiitake and ginger option.

We also hear you put it in your smoothies. Is that true?
With the smoothies, there’s the option to add a flavourless broth cube. We use chicken broth but with no seasonings and salt, we just pop it in an ice cube tray. It’s a good sneaky way to get some nutrient value into children’s smoothies.

Coconut milk also features heavily on the menu. Do you often use it as a replacement for cream?
We do, very much so. We’ve also got a smoothie range where some have dairy in them but that can be replaced with coconut cream. So the smoothie range is very much on the health side; much of our menu was designed by our nutritionist, who happens to be a vegetarian.

Mr Perkins’ Top Five To Try
1. Cauliflower and kale soup garnished with pine nuts and coconut cream
2. Honey-roasted beetroot soup, topped with candied walnuts, goat’s cheese, sesame seeds and baby herbs
3. Oxtail minestrone with zucchini, green beans and basil, and garnished with parsley and salsa verde  
4. Moroccan cauliflower salad with chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, red onion and a yoghurt lime dressing 
5. Golden smoothie with mango, turmeric, macadamia, coconut milk, ginger and cinnamon

For more information on Mr Perkins’ seasonal offerings, visit their website.

180 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach NSW 2026.

Words: Jennifer Ennion
Photography: Supplied

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