This family friendly Mayfield cafe has healthy ambitions

FRIENDLY FACES: Chef Joel Syme and Alexandra Williamson work at The Nature's Cafe in Mayfield. Picture: Simone De Peak
FRIENDLY FACES: Chef Joel Syme and Alexandra Williamson work at The Nature's Cafe in Mayfield. Picture: Simone De Peak

Good food and good company. It’s a winning combination. And for one Newcastle couple, it’s the realisation of a dream.

Sue Park and Jake Kim opened The Nature’s Cafe in Mayfield last October. They have called Newcastle home for the past 15 years and have two children. Kim worked as a chef in a Japanese restaurant and Park was a passionate home cook who loved coffee. Their dream? To open a cafe where they could share their philosophy about happiness, health and “wellness” through food.

They started looking at locations. One Newcastle suburb in particular caught their eye. 

“We often passed Mayfield area and realised there were not many relaxing places to sit and drink coffee or enjoy a meal with the family. We spoke to lots of local people and they felt that Mayfield needed healthier food options. My husband works the kitchen and loves what he does. We focus on ensuring as much of our menu as possible is made in-house, from sauces and marinades to crumbing, desserts and cakes.”

You might recognise a familiar face in the kitchen, too. Joel Syme has jumped on board, who previously owned restaurant Terminus on Darby.

The cafe’s new all-day menu was introduced this week and is, Park says, “modern Australian with a Japanese and Korean twist”. Some of the more popular items are the acai bowl; salmon stack; seasoned avocado, beetroot and pear salad; and the Korean bulgogi beef bowl.

“Good food starts with good ingredients and good food makes people feel even better when enjoyed with friends and family. We want to promote health and well-being by offering the best, simplest and freshest food that we possibly can,” she said. 

“We believe that food connects people and we want to build a community through food and establish a network of suppliers who are striving for environmental well-being as well as delicious flavours.”

POPULAR: The Korean bulgogi beef bowl, on the menu at The Nature's Cafe, Mayfield. Picture: Simone De Peak

POPULAR: The Korean bulgogi beef bowl, on the menu at The Nature's Cafe, Mayfield. Picture: Simone De Peak

For people needing food on the run, there are “naughty and nice” grab and go choices. The large courtyard table settings are popular with families and groups and set back from the traffic.

“We wanted a relaxed atmosphere where people can carry on conversations,” Park explained. “We hope to open at night for dinner and it is our long-term dream to expand our business at multiple locations.”

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