Friday, 1 July 2011

The Cardamom Pod, Byron Bay

The one thing I have always loved about Byron Bay is that there are ample and delicious food options for vegetarians such as myself. For diners like me, it is not always easy to find satisfying vegetarian options when travelling, so when visiting Byron Bay I take great comfort in knowing that in just about every cafe and restaurant, there will be at least one item on the menu for me to enjoy. But a real highlight for me when visiting Byron is dining at The Cardamom Pod - a fantastic little vegetarian cafe tucked away in an arcade in the town centre.

The Cardamom Pod has played host to many happy diners (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike) for many years now, and is popular with visitors and locals. Their offering of traditional Indian dishes as well as modern fusion cuisine means that there is something for everyone here, so it's no surprise that this place remains so popular. Run by Hare Krishna devotees, the food at The Cardamom Pod is egg-free, as well as the vast majority of dishes also being onion and garlic free. The food on offer here (like at Govinda restaurants around the world) is 'sattvic'. In Ayurveda, a sattvic or yogic diet is one that is clean, pure and wholesome. The food is never too salty nor sweet, and it satisfies the body and soul.

Hot, comforting food is available, including an array of traditional Indian dishes such as dals, paneer dishes, kofta balls in gravy, and vegetable preparations to be enjoyed alongside rice, papadums and samosas. There are also more western dishes available such as vegetarian lasagne. Vibrant and freshly prepared salads and tempting desserts entice us from the chilled display upon our arrival, and I just know it's going to be hard deciding on what to order!

We are greeted and served by the lovely Drew, who guides us through the hot food and salads available for the day. He also tells us a bit about where the cafe sources their ingredients, much of which is locally grown and organic. I also learn that a local dairy supplies them with fresh milk from which they make their own paneer - a firm cottage cheese often used in Indian cuisine. Nothing beats freshly made paneer - it's delicious!

The great thing about dining with a group of family/friends is that you can sample a wide range of dishes, and there are no hard feelings about the occasional stolen taste test from your fellow diners' plates! For your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures of our sumptuous vegetarian feast...

I thoroughly enjoy my vegetarian lasagne served with side salad. The Moroccan inspired baby spinach, chickpea and tomato salad with tangy yoghurt dressing is really good...

To finish, we share a slice of lemon and vanilla bean baked cheesecake with poached pear and syrup - simply divine!

Ladybird and family dined as guests of The Cardamom Pod.

The Cardamom Pod
Shop 8, The Pier Arcade
7 Lawson St
Byron Bay, NSW


  1. looks great!

  2. Oh gosh, everything looks wonderful! I haven't had cheesecake in so long, so my heart yearns for that last plate...

  3. Yummy.. Its really superb.. will definitely go to this place next time I up in Byron Bay !! I am also interested to know more about Sattvic diet... i strongly believe that ancient Eastern scholars had got it right in detoxifying the body from time to time. Its a pity that western medicine is so much driven by cures and short term prevention strategies rather than a balanced lifestyle which includes eating food that is right for you, is seasonal, is local, and is just right. Thank you for this Brilliant Blog !!! You have made my day !! God Bless you !!

  4. I wish there were more vegan and vegetarian eateries in Adelaide, they are very limited and all situated in the city centre.
    Looks like you enjoyed some amazing food! So colourful and looks likeyou got to sample so many different dishes.


  5. I am going to need another trip to Byron shortly, the food there is delicious and so many varied choices too. Pleased you are enjoying you Getaway :)

  6. This really makes vegetarian food look appealing with such wide choices. So many people just dismiss vego food out of hand without giving it a try. Yumm...

  7. Everything looks comforting and delicious. The cheesecake and poached pear combo looks divine!

  8. Oh My! Those photos look amazing!

  9. I've never been to Govindas! Oh the shame. I will have to try this place out next time im in Byron. I am surprised that some places don't have at least one nice vege dish on offer for you though!

  10. If the Divine Creator has taken pains to give us delicious and Exquisite things to eat,The least we can do is prepare Them well and serve them with ceremony.There is no love .sinecer Than the love of food.

    I would eat anything the Chefs cook at the Cardamon Pod Im returing to Bryon Bay on 2/9/12 To eat at the Cardom Pod.


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