Trying to find good healthy food on the northern end of the coast? Don’t despair, because the Giri Kana Café is now open!
To Giri Kana, meaning ‘food from goodness’, Maha (Maryanne) and her son Haya have brought their wealth of vegetarian cuisine and philosophy. This inviting café under the H2O building opens its arms to us as a healthy haven, a pure vegetarian restaurant with lots of gluten free and vegan options. For a tiny outlay you can make a big investment in your health.
With views to the Broadwater, the café is a large open space with a pleasant garden aspect on the western side. It’s an airy light area strewn with polished camphor laurel furniture bordered by long cushion covered concrete benches. We sit chatting as I have lunch, Maha’s quiet gentleness and beaming smile sunning me, as she tells me of her journey to this place.
Maha’s adventures with food began early in her life, her family moving to India when she was 8 years old. At 11, she began cooking, opening her first food store (a bakery) at age 18, then an Asian fusion restaurant with all proceeds supporting the local school. On her return to Australia, Maha worked at the Piggery, Byron Bay, in the Arts Factory precinct before managing Govinda’s restaurant when it opened in Burleigh Heads three years ago.
But the absence of vegetarian restaurants on the northern end of the coast prompted Maha, with Krishna’s blessing, to meet the needs of the growing alternative food market. Maha says that the café’s name is derived from Giri Raj, the holy mountain in India, from which she draws strength, focus and food. Beneath verdant walls embossed with autumn leaves, a sense of serenity surrounds us. She tells me that her food is made with that feeling in mind; with the creative force of giving something from the heart, using the freshest ingredients to provide nourishing goodness to her guests.
From early morning, Maha begins the day’s food preparation, greeting her first guests as the sun rises. They come from a walk along the Broadwater, or to grab a Quest organic coffee on their way to work, for a breakfast of organic bircher muesli, or a more substantial vegie frittata accompanied by a freshly made juice.
The lunch menu provides a choice of made to order dishes, or combination plates of salads and pre-cooked meals from the display, with handmade cake for dessert. The sago pudding we tried was simply delicious, the creaminess of the sago balanced by the acidity of berry coulis. In a small but well-chosen menu of tasty vegetarian food, most dishes range between $8 and $12.
There are plans to extend the cafe’s hours, to provide corporate lunches, phone orders and takeaways. But for now Maha, with son Haya at her side, is pleased to have begun her quest to meet and serve local guests, sharing her gift of happiness and health. In this private quiet oasis, we’re in a calmer more centred place, a world away from the slick frenzied pace outside.
Shop 1, 82 Marine Parade, Southport Ph: 07 5591 3555
Open: Mon – Sat 6.30am – 9pm
You’ll find a full article about Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants here.
DISCLAIMER: Good Food Gold Coast was a guest of Giri Kana. Food and beverages were provided by the establishment.