Urban food, culture and healthy living.
The Gold Coast is fast becoming a healthy hub for Australian families, athletes and retirees seeking the active, outdoor beach lifestyle it offers. Leading the way in this health movement is BSKT Café on Mermaid Beach.
The café came about after former rugby league star and nutrition advocate Selasi Berdie (Sel) teamed up with acclaimed chef Andrew Gimber (formerly of Chin Chin Melbourne) – a unique combination of skills combined to design a menu that reflected the core values of good health.
Sel says, “BSKT is about fueling a food and health revolution using the highest quality foods available.”
With a background in nutrition and exercise science, Sel was compelled to open his café after years of struggling to find nutritious food that matched his personal beliefs of what food should be, and after becoming bored with having to cook everything himself at home.
He set about creating a clean menu with an ethos he describes as “delicious justice” – meaning each and every menu item had to have a positive impact on your health, whether it was paleo, vegetarian or vegan.
A dedication and passion to food means we only use the finest quality produce. The result is a rustic, wholesome menu versatile for all tastes and occasions.
Creative inspiration came from Sel’s extensive travels of some of the culinary centers of the world including New York, Tokyo and Paris. His cuisine also reflects his unique heritage having being brought up by parents originally from Africa.
As Sel explains, “The great thing about African food is that it’s very untouched; it comes directly from the land. Over there, paleo is all that is known.”
Opening in 2013, BSKT Café offers a range of foods heavily influenced by ancient recipes and cooking techniques. Ingredients such as quinoa, chia seeds, goji berries and kalenaise (the café’s house made mayonnaise with kale) feature prominently, and whether you follow a paleo, vegan or vegatarian lifestyle (or anything else) there is something to suit everyone.
Sel also says that he tries to make food as fun as possible. “Many people believe that eating healthy has to be bland, but this doesn’t have to be the case.”
What’s on the BSKT Café menu?
The most popular dishes on the menu include the signature BSKT Bowls – with the café’s very own trademark CocoWhip, a vegan ice-cream made with coconut and topped with paleo granola (pictured below).
The Navajo Native Breakfast also rates highly among regular customers, which comes with fried free-range eggs, BSKT beans, avocado and tomato salsa with basil essential oil on native flat bread.
Other menu picks include the paleo breakfast granola, the kangaroo san choy bau, the BSKT ribs (slow braised ribs with house slaw) and the 18 hour sticky pork.
The clean food carries right through to the ingredients they use in the preparation. It’s one of the few places that does not use any form of refined sugar (amazing!) and steers clear of nasty hydrogenated vegetable oils too.
Sel sources ingredients from many local providers including JT’s coconut essence – for coconut water for their trademark ice-cream – and Nature Pacific, a local business supplying a range of coconut products.
Paleo eaters are regulars at the café, and BSKT Café also provides a take-home menu with education on paleo eating.
What else do they offer?
As well as a fantastic beach backdrop, the café is family friendly and has its very own kids playground and heaps of menu items that kids will love.
“Parents and families are a big part of what we do,” says Sel.
They also have their very own BSKT Yoga studio upstairs from the café, so it’s the perfect place to get some zen and refuel your mind and body.
Visit BSKT Café
Address: 4 Lavarack Road, Mermade Beach Gold Coast, Queensland
BSKT Café is open every day for breakfast and lunch, and serves dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. For more about BSKT Café visit them online: