It feels like the Palmer family were destined to set up a café. But it…
It feels like fate that chef Wonjin Kong and head barista Bella Yu have opened a café in Tuggeranong.
Eight years ago, while working in the kitchen and behind the coffee machine of Caffe Cherry Beans Tuggeranong, they met and fell in love. Broadening their skills around the region, they followed each other from café to café until finally settling down in the south.
And now their ultimate dream has come true: Café Beetroot has officially opened its doors in Greenway.
Located on Anketell Street, just a short 10-minute walk from South.Point Tuggeranong, it’s the first eatery the couple has ever owned. And driven by their passion for food and coffee, Wonjin and Bella have the perfect little local—with a twist.
Paying tribute to Australian foodie favourites (like bacon and egg rolls), the menu is also a nod to their Korean heritage.
“Our motto is we are a typical café, but just a little bit different,” explains Wonjin.
“We want to introduce our dishes in Australian ways. So based on a typical Australian café menu, we’ve put in some Asian ingredients such as kimchi or soy sauce.”
Still in the process of confirming the final food offerings, the launch menu includes highlights like a smashed avo with a poached egg, lemon-chilli dukkah, beetroot radish pickle, fetta, and lemon as well as house-made shakshuka with a poached egg, fetta, and parsley.
But it’s their kimchi scramble—a delicious combination of kimchi scrambled eggs, soy pepita, togarashi, sesame oil, shallots, and coriander—that Wonjin is considering making the house special as it has quickly become Café Beetroot’s most popular dish.
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And while their lunch menu is yet to be announced, customers can expect mouth-watering options like Korean-style chicken burgers and Japanese-style salads.
Neither Bella nor Wonjin are new to the hospitality game (both previously working in the iconic cafes Pollen and Bookplate), but the excitement of being in their own space isn’t lost on them.
“It’s so exciting,” says Bella. “We are a little bit tired because we’ve put so much time into our café, but this is our dream, this is what we want.”
Choosing the SQ1 Southquay building due to its close proximity to a friend’s apartment, and designing the green and neutral interiors themselves, the duo says the ultimate aim of Café Beetroot is to be a “friendly, flexible and local cafe”.
And with hot coffee made using Veneziano Coffee Roasters beans (that have notes of almonds, dark chocolate, and caramel) as well as house-made cookies and muffins, it’s no wonder residents are welcoming them with open arms.
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But why Café Beetroot? According to Bella and Wonjin, the answer is simple—like the vegetable, they want to continue spreading their colour and making a mark on all of their customers.
“As you know, if you touch a beetroot you will get some colour on you,” says explains Wonjin. “It’s a very strong, intense colour and that’s what we want. We have our own colour in our café and when customers come, they will experience that.”
“We want to give them inspiration,” adds Bella. “We just want to give back to our customers.”
Now, finally working in the café they’ve dreamed about for years while bringing new and exciting food options to the area, the couple has come full circle.
“We want to be members of the community in the Tuggeranong area,” says Wonjin. “It’s funny when we came to Australia our first shop was in Tuggeranong….and now we’ve returned.”
What: Café Beetroot
When: Open Monday to Sunday, 7 am – 3 pm
Where: 311 Anketell St, Greenway