Published on June 9th, 2015 | by Ann Rickard0
Cafe Envy – Sunshine Beach
A sunny Sunday morning. It’s winter but you wouldn’t know it.
At 8.30am it’s warm enough to have the Sunshine Beach village full of people out in shorts and T-shirts.
The ocean across the road is making a light whooshing sound and the scene is so quintessential Noosa, all is good with the world.
Such bonhomie calls for breakfast. And good coffee.
This indoor/outdoor cafe takes up the entire corner, rambling prettily from quirky internal spaces to leafy outdoor freedom.
Envy Cafe might be new to Sunshine Beach but it is well known to locals at Cotton Tree and Mooloolaba.
Owner Nicole Hoffman has established cafes there (11 and five years respectively) and had been looking to expand to the Noosa region.
So now she has brought her concept here and there is much to like about it.
Let’s start with the retro interior.
There are Laminex tables and chairs, quaint wooden tables, crocheted rugs and knitted tea cosies just like nanna used to make.
Macramé hanging baskets dangle from the ceiling with the kind of pot plans we used to put inside our homes in the 70s, ditto the faux brick wallpaper. It takes a while to absorb it all, the more you look the more you discover.
That funny old brown couch by the wall. Is it leather or vinyl? Whatever it is, is reminds you of the one you grew up with about 30 years ago. (Younger readers, you won’t know what I’m talking about but you’ll love it anyway.)
That orange Laminex chair, mmmm…had one just like it in our kitchen all those decades ago.
“I’ve always loved vintage furniture,” Nicole said. “My house is full of that style so it came out naturally to do the cafes. And is also feels good to recycle.”
Because the building is fairly new, the old melds with the modern. The marble bar inside is an elegant contrast to the 60s wooden chairs.
Envy Cafe has a ‘healthy alternative’ approach and while there are indulgences, they are given a lighter touch.
Example. The eggs benedicts come on a house-made rosti, the hollandaise is made on-site and there is a scattering of fresh spinach and quarters of tomato to give it colour and health.
“My philosophy is ‘real food’ ” Nicole said. “We don’t have anything with additives in it, that’s why we make our own sauces. But we are realistic, there are things with sugar in them, but it’s all real food.”
The low carb breakfast of poached eggs with off-the-bone ham comes with high-flavoured mushrooms, spinach and avo with a little pot of home-made chutney.
The baked beans are home-made and arrive on buttered sour dough (delicious) with spinach.
There is a lot of make you feel as though you’ve indulged, but the healthy factor is a constant, sort of slipped in while you weren’t looking much like a mother would do to a child.
On our visit, a gang of cycle enthusiasts arrived decked out impressively in Lycra and ready for corn fritters with sour cream and relish and avo and spinach.
There’s an omelette with goat cheese or smoked salmon or leg ham.
Bricher muesli…it goes without saying. Same goes for a fruit stack.
The big breakfast is given the same healthy hand as well as the breakfast burger. And the breakfasts are served all day. There is a generosity of spirit in that.
Local produce, free range, organic, gluten free. All these good words apply at Envy Cafe.
Lunches continue the healthy theme with sandwiches (roast veg, chicken, tuna smoked salmon, BLT) offered on Turkish, sour dough, rye, grain, gluten-free.
Burgers (beef, chicken, rib, vegetable and chick pea) come with fries and house-made relish.
Quiches and soups and a daily special keep regulars interested.
Envy Cafe is very much a cafe, looking after loyal locals and visitors who love to eat in a fair-dinkum coastal way.
Catering is available with options for weddings, functions, business lunches.