You’ll know that Shelter is on-trend before you even see Organic Turmeric Kombucha ($8) on their menu.
You’re served by a bevy of tanned, brown khaki apron-clad staff in a simple, Scandinavian inspired space full of exposed, repurposed wood, blonde wood tables and comfortable Scando-style chairs. Hanging macramé planters and glass jars holding bunches of native flowers soften the extreme minimalism of the beachfront space. It’s made more homely with a few shelves of (branded) take-home products, and handwritten labels for the beer and water taps on the white tiled bar-back.
Shelter is run by a breakaway band of Three Blue Ducks – Andy Love, Troy Noonan and Grant La Brooy - who defected from their farm in Byron Bay. There are obviously no hard feelings though, with brother Mark La Brooy, ribbing them about their Fish Cakes ($19) breakfast needing lemon on their Instagram account. The Shelter lads have stuck to their guns though, presenting me with two house-made fish cakes sans obvious citrus.
The fish cakes are flavoursome, with nice flaky white fish interiors and thin, crunchy crumbing. They're accompanied by two poached eggs, a pile of well-dresssed fresh leaves and tangy capers. It’s a light and compelling breakfast, which leaves me feeling energetic. I didn’t miss the lemon.
Tasty Pork and Eggs ($18) was the other standout from a menu that maintains close connection to the local area. Shelter nail pulled pork, which remains moist with lovely long fibres, a hint of sweetness and bags of flavour; ensuring my chilli-mad dining companion didn’t need to ask for sauce.
Nice foam work is the key feature of smooth, if otherwise unremarkable, coffees made in their shiny La Marzocco machine. Both the Flat White ($4.50) and the Latte ($4) I tried were solid by Sydney standards, though fell short of exceptional.
With Lennox Head sitting less than ten kilometres off the Pacific Highway, and Shelter only twenty metres from an excellent beach, put it on your radar for the next time you’re passing through the Northern Rivers.
41 Pacific Parade, Lennox Head
Ph: (02) 6687 7757