Urban Projuice, Albert Park

Urban Projuice is a wholefoods cafe and juice bar in Albert Park, easily accessible by tram 1 or 96. The cafe prides itself on sourcing food locally grown, seasonal and healthy, and are a completely meat-free, fair trade and organic cafe.

A cute terrace setting with outdoor seating both in the front and back at the courtyard, Urban Projuice is a brightly lit cafe with pale wooden and white decor, contrasting with the artwork and vibrant plants to give the whole place a comfortable and modern feel. We went around 12pm on a Sunday and were lucky enough to not have to wait at all for a table. The staff were very friendly, however we had to wait over 15 minutes to grab their attention when we wanted to order, and there was about a 20 minute wait for the food itself.

There's a great range of breakfast and lunch dishes at Urban Projuice, as well as a display counter of desserts and baked goods. Apart from being vegan/vegetarian friendly, most dishes are gluten free or have a gluten free option, in addition to a garlic/onion free option, which I hadn't really seen before at cafes. We all went with breakfast dishes, including the Nourish Up ($17.50), the Big Breakfast ($21) and the Kale and Olive Bruschetta ($16.50).

The Nourish Up consisted of roasted sweet potato with kale, spinach, broccoli, activated buckwheat kernels, seasonal greens, macadamia mint dressing and a side of either scrambled tofu or eggs. The dish was really enjoyable, with a great collaboration of flavours and just the right portion size. The sweet potato in particular was really delicious, and the crunchy buckwheat kernels added texture to the dish. We weren't sure why the scrambled tofu came in a separate bowl; my friend ended up mixing it into the main dish anyway. The tofu itself had good flavour, however perhaps a bit of spice would've given it that extra kick. The macadamia mint dressing complimented the dish well for additional flavour, however it would've been great had it been a bit stronger. Overall, this was a really fresh dish, and the option to have scrambled eggs or tofu was a nice touch to cater for those who are vegan.

The Big Breakfast had crushed avo, mushroom and spinach saute, with a carrot and sweet potato fritter and sauerkraut on organic sourdough toast. This dish was also really enjoyable, with the eggs cooked perfectly and the yolk oozing out when cut into. The fritter had strong flavours though could've been a little crunchier, and the bread did become quite soggy under all the elements of the dish, as it hadn't been toasted. The sauerkraut had just the right amount of acidity to add to the dish and not overpower everything else, and the crunch added texture.

The Kale and Olive Bruschetta was made up of shredded kale, sauteed cherry tomatoes, grilled capsicum and olive tapenade (finely chopped olives) on organic sourdough with a basil almond pesto and tomato dust. This was a really great dish, with an extremely generous and filling portion. Even as someone who doesn't like olives in general, I found the dish to be delicious, as the salty heavier flavour balanced out the acidic cherry tomatoes and the slight sweetness of the capsicum. The kale added a crunchy texture that contrasted with the soft sourdough, and the basil pesto cut through the other elements nicely to add a zing to the dish.

Overall we were all really impressed with the dishes at Urban Projuice, and are already looking forward to coming back again to try some of the other dishes. A great brunch option that caters to a range of dietary needs, this is a must visit!

Ambience: 8.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 9/10
Price: $$


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