Mint Fresh IGA Cafe, Baulkham Hills
Please remain open-minded as I tell you about the café in the supermarket.
Stay with me.
Believe me, there is no place I like being less than a supermarket. Another big pro for eating out is it’s one less meal to grocery shop for … Do I have hour upon hour to whimsically spend trawling the aisles for food stuffs? No, I don’t. Yet the amount of hours I have spent in said aisles have slowly eroded some of my soul.
So, you can trust me when I say that when I WILLINGLY choose to dine out in a supermarket café, the place really has the goods.
This IGA is owned by two brothers and since opening a few years back, these guys have worked hard to create a corner store vibe with a supermarket range of products.
And, if that wasn’t enough, they’ve also really invested in carving out an authentic local café with alfresco dining to boot that is integrated, not separate, to the grocery store. Better yet, they've managed to pull it off. People dig it.
I remember the first time I came to this particular spot. It was then a DVD shop and I went there with my now husband. I had been living in a very urban environment for a long time and it just struck me what an utterly suburban setting this was.
Pointless facts about myself aside
... that’s kind of what I love about eating at Mint Fresh IGA Café. It’s lovely and quiet and neighbourly. A space of contentment, really.
This is a chilled out spot to meet up for a coffee, or to grab a juice or a smoothie with your kids after school, or to tuck in to a hearty weekend breakfast or brunch.
'Straya Burger. Chicken Moroccan Salad. Philly Cheese Steak. Fresh Shish Plate. Is it any wonder the menu is so great when these guys have such ready and regular access to a wonderful range of produce and baked goods?
Even better, the meals might be heavy on quality and flavour but extremely light on cost. The last time I went there, my lunch cost me $17 all up.
On this occasion, the weather was very much heat soup, so I didn’t opt for a coffee. Instead, I ordered a coconut straight up because why the hell not. Not my usual beverage or flavour of choice but it just felt right.
(Add a shot of rum to this puppy and you have just taken this tipple from daytime refreshment to cocktail hour).
And now onto the food. Simple and sumptuous; I went for the Reuben Roll on sourdough rye: Wagyu pastrami, Jarlsberg cheese, pickled cabbage, aoili - press toasted to infuse flavours.
And, if I may be so indulgent as to tell you that while I was at Mint Fresh IGA Cafe, I Shazam-ed a song that was playing that seemed to encapsulate how I was feeling about the whole cheap and cheerful dining experience.
So, in summary: