Phrases like ‘clean eating’ strike fear into my heart, not because I’m opposed to eating healthily but more because I don’t want a side order of preaching with my lunch.
I’m very much from the school of ‘everything in moderation’ that allows for butter and cream drenched French cuisine or a dirty burger if the mood takes me.
There was a sense of mild peril then when I approached Grön Kafe, having seen plenty about food that’s good ‘for body and soul’ on its website.
The latest venture from Masterchef Professionals finalist Matt Healy, whose first venue Matt Healy x The Foundry is already scooping up awards, this place is built on the belief that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
I was braced for lectures on sustainability, provenance and all the worst aspects of hipster dining, so it was wonderful to find nothing of the sort.
My friend was already at one of the tables having been helped by the staff, who I’m told leapt up to help her as soon as they saw her battling with the door and a pram.
She was just finishing a decaf flat white made with oat milk, one of a number of alternatives at no extra cost. Perfect for while she’s unable to drink cow’s milk and sure to be welcomed by vegan visitors and those with intolerances.
There was no feeling of being pressured to leap up and order our food, with staffing leaving us to chat away for some time before I headed up to the counter to place our order.
The pancakes, with toppings like caramelised figs, maple syrup and berry sorbet, sound mouthwatering and will definitely be top of my list on a future visit, but the butternut risotto (£8) from the Scandi-inspired brunch menu won the day on this occasion.
Served with kale and herbs, and garnished with flowers that added a pop of colour, it was cooked perfectly – creamy but still with some bite to the rice. And I have to admit, I found myself feeling better for having eaten a wholesome dish that tasted great to boot.
There was a thumbs up too for the generous helping of avocado and poached free range hens eggs served on toasted sourdough (£7.50).
Not a coffee drinker myself, I went for the rhubarb tea (£2.20) but would have had plenty of fruit juices and smoothies to fall back on otherwise.
There’s tap water chilled in carafes in a little fridge too so customers can help themselves, another of the nice touches reflecting the attention to detail and focus on giving customers a good experience.
Bring all this together with the laidback atmosphere and surprisingly reasonable prices, and you’ve got to think this new addition to Oakwood is going to be topping plenty of people’s brunch lists before too long.
Address: 454 Roundhay Road, Leeds LS8 2HU