Australian café culture makes us pretty harsh critics when it comes to new venues. It’s no longer enough to deliver good food; new players need something special, which is why recently opened, Youeni has grabbed our attention.
Joining the creative crew at The Stables in Surry Hills, Youeni is a café that delivers on all fronts. It offers healthy but unpretentious food, served by smiling staff in a well thought out space. As the second venue for owner, Chris Starke (the original is in Castle Hill), it’s no surprise he’s found what works.
The menu is simple – why offer fifty items when you can do fifteen really well, right? – but interesting, and served all day. It’s accommodating but not exclusively so; with a long list of add-ons for the fussy, as well as allergen-friendly meals that’ll satisfy even the non-sufferers. And health and flavour are at its core.
The porridge comes with salted date paste and the berry pancakes are made from buckwheat, but you’ll also find smashed avo on toast. For lunch you can try the Life Extending Bowl with vegetables, beans and turmeric, or simply stick to a salad or sandwich. Everything in the store is gluten free and all products – bar the milk and bread – are made in house.
When it comes to coffee, it’s always Fairtrade, and beans are alternated weekly depending on customer response. If you’re after something harder, there’s one red and one white to choose from, and on the other spectrum, bottled water is sparkling or alkaline.
Like all other merchants at The Stables, the people at Youeni are passionate about what they do. The precinct, which houses the likes of Ahlem Eyewear, Apotheke, Bather Swimwear and more, is known for collating creative lifestyle brands rich in story and quality. Youeni – which once had a café on Hill St, Surry Hills and a grocer in Darlinghurst – is a perfect fit.