Before owning their own eatery, The Standard Kitchen, Angela Bates and James Roberts often despaired of finding a nutritious, satisfying and tasty meal to grab while on their lunch break.
“With daytime eating it’s quite hard to find nutrient-rich food out there,” says Bates. “In places where I’ve worked for other people I've thought, ‘I really need something to eat and I don’t want to eat any of this’. I wondered, if I’m feeling this way, there must be other people who feel the same way.”
That turned out to be true. Since opening the doors of The Standard Kitchen in October 2015, the pair have been fuelling many grateful Dunedin-ites.
Ninety-five per cent of the food is prepared from scratch in the kitchen using seasonal wholefoods and produce sourced as close to home as possible.
“A lot of people don’t have time to make things from scratch so it’s nice to be able to provide something where if they are busy, they can still eat well,” Bates says. “It’s just trying to get across that philosophy that you don’t have to struggle to find good wholefood in town any more and when you are busy and on the go, especially if you have dietary requirements. People want to know what’s in the food. Many are celiac or lactose intolerant. A lot are vegan. They need to know ‘can I eat this?’, so we are filling a gap there as well.”
Roberts adds, “We’re trying to … show that it’s not tricky to have things that are vegan or gluten-free or dairy-free or sugar-free.”
The recently restored and renovated cosy, sun-filled eatery is a former fish shop. The original tiles decorate the walls and the intricate plasterwork on the ceiling of this heritage space has been lovingly restored. It’s a great spot to relax for a coffee, breakfast or lunch, or grab something to go.
The couple start each morning at 5am, baking bread, making fresh almond milk and food for the cabinet. The most popular dish on the menu is the Avocado on Seed Nut Loaf with seasonal green pesto and sprouts, $12, which has no flour or yeast and is made of nuts and seeds bound together with psyllium husk. For autumn the topping will be smashed peas and feta.
The couple, who are life and business partners, support local producers too. Their coffee comes from two small local roasters. They also sell Six Barrel Soda from Wellington and Chia drinks from Nelson. “We’re a small guy so we want to support other small guys,” says Roberts. g
The Standard Kitchen, 201 Princes St, Dunedin (03) 474 1188 Opening hours 7.30am to 5pm weekdays and 9.30am to 3.30pm weekends.