When Carnegie locals saw a new development on the corner of Koornang and Leila roads, they figured it would be another take-away restaurant selling the usual fair. However, when the exterior was adorned with shiny blue tiles, Scandinavian wood and whitewashed walls they realised something unique for this part of town was on its way. And the team from Tall Timber, Touchwood, Rustica Canteen and Short Straw did not disappoint.
Left Field hits a spot that this area was looking for, a refreshing new café offering unique, flavour filled food that oozes with personality and panache. I was lucky enough to dine here on a Friday for brunch, and after being greeted by happy staff and handsome vases of native flowers, the choice was hard.
The menu is detailed and in some ways complex, but put simply, the flavours come together to create dishes that leave you feeling like you have just joined a club of lucky people who have experienced these exclusive dishes. As an aside, Ryan Lording from Tall Timber is the chef, and he has recently lost 30 kilos so healthy food is forefront with absolutely no sacrifice on flavour, so you can leave Left Field totally satisfied that you have met your daily nutritional requirements.
I could have chosen from a myriad of tempting options, but my friends and I chose three dishes to share. We started with the sautéed Middle eastern cauliflower. From a health perspective, this dish is a powerhouse of nutrients, and from a flavour perspective this dish is to die for. The chickpea and kale hash, sitting on a hummus base, provides a scrumptious low-fat, high fibre, protein and Vitamin B packed punch that compliments the spice-pimped cauliflower. The jewels of this dish are the sparkling pomegranate seeds, providing antioxidant and antiviral goodness, which add a sweet and juicy flavour burst to subtly tie all the flavours together.
Next we tried the smashed pea bruschetta, which after eating we felt like we had met our green nutrient requirements for a day or two. This dish rivals all those ordinary smashed pea dishes at other less exciting cafes. The fresh, fibre packed, peas are piled high on warm sourdough, which is packed with healthy natural yeasts, and covered with lashings of fine salty prosciutto, calcium packed goats cheese, zucchini and brain-boosting walnuts; a generous pile of herbs top this spectacular dish to provide an oomph of flavour that will leave you wanting for more.
Finally, we could not go past the Cookies n Cream donut sliders. This dish sings to a tune of its own, and it is at the top of the charts. The flavour combination of chocolate cookies, cream, donuts, caramel and fruit explodes in your mouth, making you smile from ear to ear until you devour the last bite. Pick it up with your hands, smother it in the salted caramel, top it with a slice of fig and enjoy this flavour ball of goodness. Be warned, it is delicious but rich so make sure you have a big hunger if you are treating yourself. From my nutritionist’s point of view, this is an occasional treat option, however the banana and figs add a healthy hit of folate, Vitamin C and potassium.
Left Field is very popular, so there are queues. The wait will be quick if you pick your time well, but I think it is actually worth the wait. Additionally, the coffee is delicious and they offer gluten and dairy free options too.
STYLES WE LOVE
FROM AROUND THE WEB