16 McDonald St, Morningside
$60.80 for two
11am on a Monday. Half a dozen freelancers or work-from-homers had their headphones plugged in and faces lit up by their laptop screens on the tables, sipping dairy-free flat whites and plant lattes (turmeric, beetroot) underneath a ceiling of hanging baskets of greenery. Kind Cafe is a mostly plant-based - but not totally vegan - cafe, with an overall ethos of being kind to yourself, your community and the environment. You can still have dairy in your lattes and eggs on your toast - and if you're absolutely desperate for bacon, it's available as a side but the main menu is meat-free. The cafe is run by the same collective as Jacinda Ardern's local favourite, Crave, which is on the same block. Living close by, we walked there in five minutes in a light rain shower, knowing that parking is near impossible so close to the Morningside train station. We were quickly seated inside, but there are heaters and blankets for the outside tables.
We ordered two flat whites ($4.90 each), a herbed white bean smash on sourdough ($22), the bountiful breakfast ($24) and a side of halloumi ($5). The bountiful breakfast included sauteed broccoli and mushrooms, roast tomato, white bean smash and avocado on two pieces of sourdough, which had a good crust. The bean smash was a little more soupy than smashed but the flavours worked well against the creaminess of the avocado. I'm glad we ordered the side of halloumi, as the saltiness helped lift the dish. You can't really go too wrong with any kind of mushrooms on toast and the generous servings of sauteed broccoli on both dishes made us feel like we were starting the day exactly the way Kind wants us to - being kind to our bodies through nourishing food, produced sustainably.
Kind has so much greenery in the decor, you can't help but feel like you're in the middle of a community garden. Kind's owners want to help make Morningside a greener place to live and they help promote greener neighbourhoods and encourage community composting. The menu is ideal for those with dietary needs, with plenty of options available to suit different requirements and an array of plant-based milks, caffeine-free beverages and healthy-looking smoothies and green juices. Coffee is served in Laughing Pottery mugs without handles and the food on high-rim plates. Most of the meals are around the $20 mark. The cafe is licensed so there are a few cheeky options, including a watermelon breakfast mimosa, which I'm keen to return to sample on a day where I don't have work deadlines looming.