Collin & Co + Nutrition Republic - a roving lunch to rave about

Collin & Co - 123 King William Rd, Hyde Park SA

Nutrition Republic - 2/92-94 King William Rd, Goodwood SA

Written by Tom - check out our other vegan blogs here.

I was catching up with my friend Chloe for lunch, we had originally planned to go to Salad Days (I can't wait to blog about that place) but it was so hot and Salad Days isn't air conditioned so we headed down King William Rd. Our first stop was Nutrition Republic. I'd seen photos on Instagram, read people's Facebook posts about how great the raw food is but when we arrived, we discovered they're not serving lunch until the new year - another reason to go back in January!

We took a short stroll up to Collin & Co where we were greeted, seated and handed menus. We were asked to order three times before we actually looked at the menu where we found four pages of specials (two of salads, two of sandwiches) but they didn't match the specials board behind the counter. Chloe and her Inspector Gadget-like problem solving skills worked out which pages were relevant for that day - PHEW!

I had my heart set on the picked mushroom salad but after the wait staff spoke to the chef, I discovered the carrots were cooked in butter (not vegan). I asked about another dish and if that wasn't vegan, what was. She came back with great news: the chef had freshly cooked carrots in oil he was going to add to the pickled mushroom salad - it was a long process but we got there.

Collin & Co, King William Rd - Pickled mushroom salad
Pickled mushroom salad
The salad was fresh and super tasty. The mushrooms had a subtle kick to them that cut through the creaminess of the beans. The herbs added a light, fresh flavour to the dish and the trouble making carrots could've been left out. I'm glad I ordered a side of bread to make up for the small-ish bowl of salad, even though the bread was served with butter. Hmph.

Chloe ordered the 'fritata of the day' with a side of salad. I can't remember what was in the fritata or the salad (do I even blog?) and we were talking too much and forgot to take a photo before she got stuck in but here it is...

Fritata of the day - Collin & Co, King William Rd
Fritata unknown with salad unknown. (Photo source: Yelp)
Because she's one of the nicest people on the planet, Chloe shouted me lunch. I have no idea how much the bill came to but my guess is about $35. As we left, our wait staff specifically asked if I enjoyed my meal - a nice touch of personalised service not often experienced anymore.

Nutrition Republic
Nutrition Republic
After not being able to have lunch at Nutrition Republic but desperate to try it all the same, we headed back for coffee and a little raw dessert. We were talking to the guys (owners?) about how we heard about their store, what they were buying in and the core beliefs they run their business by. It's great to hear the story, understand the substance behind a business and see how it has evolved - even during the short time they have been open.

Chloe ordered a latté, on their recommendation, I ordered an iced rooibos tea and a slice of raw peanut and cacao slice.
Iced Rooibos tea - Nutrition Republic
Iced Rooibos tea
Our coffee and tea was served super quickly and the conversation between us and the owners continued with some in-depth info about the antioxidant qualities of rooibos tea and raw foods. The only downside? My tea was served in a jar... and we all know how I feel about that.

The slice (not pictured because I'm a bad, bad blogger) was delicious! The strong peanut flavour was matched by the bitterness of cacao and sweetness of medjool dates, all wrapped up in a decadently sticky slice.

On the neat, minimalist shelves, you'll find raw, vegan delights such as; protein powders, dehydrated snacks and all the extracts, powders and seeds you could ask for. If you don't know what it is or does, ask - the guys who served us are only too happy to help.

Inside, Nutrition Republic is comfortably industrial. Industrial swivel stools are tucked under scaffolding tables topped with recycled timber, raw cotton fabric lounges surround rustic farm-style coffee tables and warehouse style lamps provide ambient lighting. For a small space, the designers have created functional seating options without overcrowding the space.

Roaming down King William Rd is something I hadn't done for far too long - I have promised myself to do it more often. Next time you're driving along King William Rd, pull over (there's a stack of free parking) and take a stroll to check out some of the new, funky and exciting stores and eateries opening up.

Collin & Co:
Ambiance - 4/5: Organic, earthy, contemporary and comfortable.
Service - 3.5/5: Little knowledge of vegan options and a little too keen but still very friendly.
Food: 7/10: The sizes are a little small and the carrots threw me. 

In total, Tom gives Collin & Co 14.5/20 chops on The Chopping Board.

Collin & Co on Urbanspoon

Nutrition Republic:
Ambiance - 4.5/5: Industrial with a slightly minimalist feel but still warm and inviting.
Service - 5/5: Friendly but not familiar, super informative and not forced.
Food: 9/10: These guys have filled the gap in the market for raw, activated, organic food.

In total, Tom gives Nutrition Republic 18.5/20 chops on The Chopping Board.

Nutrition Republic on Urbanspoon


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