Things you've never dreamed of

February 12th, 2010 by Rose

About Life, Rozelle

I’ve written an entry on About Life before in my now defunct blog. Last week, the SO suggested that we have breakfast there since we usually come down there for lunch. With Pimento in tow, we walked down to Rozelle.

About Life is probably one of the more expensive places to eat around here. The menu states that they use “100% clean ingredients and as much organic as is seasonally possible”. That’s cool, I don’t mind paying a little bit more for good food. They’re also very accommodating when it comes to people’s dietary needs – there are heaps of vegetarian options (even vegan!) and there are little legends on the side of menu items for things that are vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, low fat, low sugar and low GI.

The real test however, as we all know, is in the taste.

The SO ordered the big breakfast – “including natural smokehouse bacon and chorizo, with organic eggs your style, char grilled field mushrooms and slow roasted organic roma tomatoes”. I’m an idiot because I forgot to note down the price of the meal, but it was a bit more than $15, and even more if you get the optional coffee and orange juice. It was OK. I reckon the best part of the breakfast was the giant field mushroom, it was nice and meaty and perfectly seasoned. The SO isn’t a big fan of the bacon, which was a bit too crisp for his taste and a bit bland. I think it’s because there’s less sodium in these (a good thing IMO).

Pimento got the bacon and egg roll. This was also… OK. There are a lot of green bits. I personally don’t think green bits belong on a bacon and egg roll but well, this is About Life we’re talking about. This was also kind of expensive for some bacon, and egg and lots of green bits on a bun. What’s that? Organic? Oh, right.

This bacon and egg roll took agesss to arrive, which brings me to the service at About Life. They’re very friendly but damn bro things fall apart a little bit when it’s busy. My SO and I were nearly finished with our meals before Pimento’s arrive, even though we placed all of our orders on the one ticket.

I got the vegan breakfast – “scrambled tofu with spinach, spanish onion and roast pumpkin relish with sumac”. This was very tasty but sweet (they’ve stirred through the relish instead of having it as a side). I was actually taken aback by how sweet it was, but I was doing fine until about 2/3 of the way through when the sweetness started getting to me a little bit. The soy and linseed bread was very good so props to About Life for that.

There’s just one little thing. Protip: Don’t give away one of those little butter packets with a VEGAN breakfast. It was busy though so I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and just say it’s an oversight. It’s awesome that they even have vegan options (that’s right bitches, PLURAL) on the menu. I’m not vegetarian, but I know how annoying it is to try and get vegetarian, let alone vegan stuff around here without resorting to chips and a green salad. Or a veg option that’s not just egg and cheese.

This reminds me of an anecdote: I once got the “vegetarian breakfast” from a place that shall not be named (irrelevant – the business is now closed) and found a piece of ham hock in my beans. I asked them about it and they were apologetic and said that a piece of bacon “fell” in the beans. Right. I’m pretty bloody sure that the ham hock is part of the recipe because I can tell the difference. I’m just sayin’, if you cook your stuff with bits of meat/meat-based stock/sauces, it’s not vegetarian even if you remove all the meat.

Wow that turned into a super rant. Did you know that I love to read vegan blogs in my spare time? Well, now you know.

In summary – I love the concept of About Life as a “natural food market” and appreciate the fact that the menu’s mostly organic AND caters to all sorts of dietary needs, but it’s overpriced and the service gets super slow when it’s busy.

About Life
605 Darling St., Rozelle
(02) 8755 1333

Oh and here’s a thing that I got from Bertoni Casalinga today!

It’s a ricotta cheesecake with coffee beans on top. Oh man, the first time I’ve had the ricotta cheesecake was probably one and a half years ago and I’ve been waiting for it to make a comeback all this time. Well it’s back and I got two slices. It’s really good and surprisingly light. If you’re in Balmain you should get there quicksmart and get yourself a slice before I buy the rest of it it’s all gone.


21 Responses to “About Life, Rozelle”
  1. The big brexmax was over $20 with the beverages I think.. and the bacon and egg roll was disappointing before the price tag. After that was taken into consideration, I’ll skip brekky there next time thanks. The coffee was ok though. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on the funny timing though, cos they were separate tickets on the same letter. Number. Thing. Pole with identifier tag on it wot makes food come to the table.

    Bacon & egg bagel from up the road greater than the roll pictured here.

  2. I know what you mean about finding good vegan food
    asian food courts do it well

    and I am so sold on that ricotta cheesecake
    bertoni casalinga, here I come

  3. Good rant! I like the look of the vegan breakfast, so colourful.

  4. Oh…that baked ricotta cheesecake! *swoon*

  5. Heh they don’t ‘get’ vegetarian or vegan at times. I order a lot of vegan stuff, because I can’t have dairy and don’t like eggs, so I can cope with a piece of meat here and there, but still happy to get cranky at them, because if they’ve messed up there, how do I know they haven’t cooked it in butter?

  6. I want that cheesecake.

  7. I love, love, love About life!

    Wish there was one closer to me!

  8. I like your very frank reviews – I probably wouldn’t go here unless am having breakfast with a vegetarian… or it’s really early in the morning and not busy… that ricotta cheesecake form Bertoni on the other hand… yum! :)

  9. Agree. Tasty food, terrible service

  10. I highly enjoy your ranting. It sucks being a vegetarian and fishing meat out of food like you mentioned.

  11. BusinessClass says

    If we lived in the same city, I would throw animal products at your house because you read vegan blogs.

  12. but did you ask whetehr they are really a cult? :P I used to love About Life coffee when I used to work just around the corner from them. The big breakfast looks good to me, i am biased cuz I like my bacon crispy :P

  13. Ooh, I hope they have that ricotta cheesecake at the Wynyard branch! My usual supplier have dropped their quality control and I’ve been disappointed with the last 2 cakes I tried, I’m ready for someone new!

  14. Crispy bacon is the only way that bacon should be served in my mind. Not so crisp as to turn into charcoal powder when you bite into it but if it can’t remain stiff against the forces of gravity, it’s not cooked enough.

    Having said that, I’m not particularly won over with what they have on offer, considering the options you have in the area, or a short distance away if you want to include Balmain into the mix.

    Good to know to avoid for the future.

  15. Don’t get me started on having to fight for my vegetarian friend…

    Yes, there’s only one. Don’t judge.

    The bacon and egg roll doesn’t really look like a roll, but that egg looks delicious. I guess greens are quite useful for soaking up the yolk…

  16. that’s pretty awesome that this restaurant provides organic food! your meal looks delicious… you can never guess it’s organic! speaking of organic, i’m going to a food expo this weekend in anaheim, california which is all about organic and natural food! i’m so excited.

  17. i was a big fan of ‘macro’ before they changed to ‘about life’
    i used to always go to the one in bondi, and went to the newtown one once i think

    i agree it is overpriced but you do pay for what you get- which is good quality organic food – something you can get in rare places around sydney i think??

    sux0rs about all the food not coming out in one go – they should really re-think how the kitchen is working.. i hate getting my food last, and i feel guilty if i start eating when someone hasnt gotten their food yet

  18. Oh, that ricotta cheesecake looks amazing!! Mm… I don’t know how I feel about the lettuce on the bacon & egg roll… it’s just not right!

  19. Hey Nice blog!!! I do like About Life, I usually go to the one in Bondi Junct. When I find myself out of home and hungry, sometimes it’s worth the extra just to stay healthy and feel better, after all it still tastes good. If you want to know about some Syd places, I have some on my blog :)

  20. That field mushroom looks amazing. Shame you had to wait so long for your tofu though and the ricotta cake? Oh yeah… Never had it with coffee beans on top though. That kind of fluffiness is surely calorie-free. Lol.

  21. Hey I go to About Life a lot, and yeah, is a lil pricey. I go to the one in Bondi Junction. If youre ever around there, right opposite it is a Health food store called “The Suv” – It’s AMAZING! Hard to find, as they don’t have any signs outside in Oxford st, but always busy. Everything there is organic, gluten free, dairy free and SUGAR free, egg free, etc etc. And everything is delicious from their Cocoa treats (cheap too!!) and pancakes, organic lamb roll things etc. Also sell many of About Lifes’ products cheaper, such as Alkalife water and Himalayan pink salt. Cheers.

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