When Titans Greg Bird, Nate Myles, Sel Berdie and Mat Rogers decided to open a restaurant with their friends, we were interested to check out the food of superheroes! Hype aside, BSKT is a simple concept: a dual function holistic café integrated with a yoga/pilates centre upstairs; a venue flooded with sunlight holding the best in food and health practices all under one roof.
The hype had slowly built up to BSKT’s opening in 2013, clientele growing as each takeaway coffee exited the reno site. From opening day, the place was busting at the seams, the café emerging sparkling white from its chrysalis into the beachside sun. With a nod to retro with its wood, tin and stone, it’s mostly beach house casual, understated and inviting.
BSKT is the ultimate café for the health-conscious beach set. The all day menu available from 7am is divided into three sections (Breakfast, Small and Large).
Health is the key: unadulterated, nutrient-rich food; as far away from nouveau cuisine as you can get. Out with white plates and rich sauces; in with simply prepared food on black plates and rustic wooden platters. Protein-rich, vegetarian, anti-oxidant and gluten-free options are clearly marked on the menu, but there’s also little dairy (besides goats’ cheese).
Dishes are packed with the nutritional food of superheroes: maqui, chia, goji, maca, and super berries. You’ll enjoy the highest quality organic gluten free foods: kale, brown rice, quinoa and seaweed; free range, spray free and laced with essential oils.
Small meals range between $14 – $19, large are $20 – $25, a share platter grazing board of the chef’s most popular dishes $42. But while some food names might be foreign to the uninitiated, the dishes hold familiar elements as well: eggs, bread, rice, salad, steak and fish…there’s even a burger with chips and a beer or wine to go with it!
For us, dining with gluten-free dairy-intolerant family members is easy at BSKT, with the simple goodness of the food shining through without overpowering oils or sauces. Since opening, meals have been tweeked to maximise both taste and nutritional value, the addition of lime wedges, kimchi, and chipotle balancing flavours. My eco-harvested torch seared Salmon Aburi is delicious, as are our breakfasts.
Cocowhip and nutritional food bars complete the picture. Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, there’s no reason why you can’t still enjoy a treat.
Recently, the cafe launched its new weekend dinner menu. Is your date vegan, GF or DF and you’re unsure where to dine? BSKT is your answer.100% gluten-free, and with many dishes vegan friendly, this is an intolerant diner heaven!
Evening brings a different vibe to the restaurant, an elegance not evident in the daytime, the perfume of lilies and Australian natives wafting through the venue. It’s ‘Date Night’; the chance to enjoy delicious healthy food in style with your partner or friends at discreet tables for two or four.
Our sampling of the dinner menu includes six courses matched with wines and a cocktail: Chicken as a main, perfectly cooked and luscious, with rosemary and garlic lemon, a simple but sublime marinade. Other share options on the dinner menu include Aged rump steak, Slow-roasted pork with honey and orange glaze and Rainbow trout with chermoula.
Featured in eight small plates as sides, BSKT recognises vegetables as king in the nutritional stakes, giving them a ’round the world’ treatment: Cauli is covered with a nutty fermented Korean Gochujang tasting much like a spicy tahini dressing; Grill-kissed corn is served Mexican style with cacao butter, Tequila lime and chipotle; while beans are dressed in a Mauritian spice curry.
The accompanying wine list is almost completely vegan friendly. Cocktails are priced to please ($12 – $15) and half the beers are ‘from our own backyard’. We try a Stone and Wood Cloud Catcher, its apricot and grapefruit notes pairing really well with the chicken.
The enclosed kids’ playground out the back adds another dimension to dining at BSKT. No need to employ a sitter. You can bring the kids with you to dine (they have their own menu), enjoy a healthy dinner and still maintain both sanity and romance!
In fact, one of the owners is there dining with his wife and young child. It must be like a home away from home for these athletes, eating this healthy food that fits their nutritional vision in the comfort of their own place with hand-picked chefs.
“This is who we are,” BSKT tells us. “This is what we are on about. Come and join us!”
Superfoods for superheroes.
4 Lavarack Road, Mermaid Beach Ph: 07 5526 6565
Open: Mon – Thurs 6am – 4pm; Fri – Sat 7am – 10pm; Sun 7am – 5pm.
NOTE Oct 2016: This is an updated review, first published in July 2013.