Organic food is the emphasis of new cafe and gallery ARTillery. Daniel Reigler goes raw, with photography by Dylan Walker.
Between the narrow winding alleyway, the sky-blue awnings and fragments of porcelain implanted in the outer wall, sitting down at ARTillery feels like you’ve ended up in Mykonos, Greece.
But don’t expect a spit-roasted lamb to appear. The menu, save for one daily special, is entirely vegetarian, with organic and raw food emphasised.
The lunch menu is small and extremely health-conscious, consisting almost entirely of a few salads and sandwiches. Beetroot makes a pleasing appearance in the summer garden salad ($4) and is paired nicely with a potent bucheron, a semi-soft goat cheese.
The fresh vibes salad, featuring watermelon and feta, sounds promising but arrives under-dressed. Rubbery feta falls victim to the restaurant’s stringent organic policy. If non-organic feta is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Sandwiches fare better. With nutty homemade hummus and crisp vegetables on walnut bread — which comes from Le Duo and is very good — the Live is perhaps the most flavourful item on the menu and is a terrific open-faced bruschetta. Raw is good in this case.
The kitchen makes a mean onion relish that dominates both the Yorkshire, featuring Gouda cheese on olive baguette, and the special of the day, a sandwich packed with delicious cured ham. All are great deals at $3.50 and come with a small but very well-dressed side salad.
Juices are fresh, but be prepared for a lack of sweetness. Every ingredient is listed on the menu and do not expect fruit to overpower vegetables. Beware the beetroot in particular.
We finish with a chocolate and almond brownie ($2) that is moist and served with a brilliant passionfruit and tamarind chutney.
With a small gallery-like space in the back, ARTillery is a pleasant lunch spot, although the atmosphere is slightly diminished by the industrial machine repair shop next door.
To avoid the noise, stop by for a bottle of wine later on. The wine list is small but reasonable, a $15 Woolshed Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is crisp enough to let the Mediterranean atmosphere linger just a bit longer.