Iku is a 100% plant-based “healthy fast food” chain with 13 locations in and around Sydney. Five of these locations are within a half kilometer (.3 mile) radius in Sydney’s central business district. I was immediately impressed with Iku’s popularity and strong following, especially from the weekday lunch crowd.
In Japanese, the word “iku” has multiple meanings including “to live,” “to go,” “vital” and “lively.” This multifaceted word embodies the company’s mission which is centered on providing the community with nourishing whole foods that are organic and free from genetic modification, animal products, additives and preservatives. The food is prepared daily at one central kitchen in Marrickville in order to ensure consistent quality across all Iku locations.
From Iku’s expansion over the last 28 years, it leads me to believe that Sydney locals, meat-eaters and non-meat eaters alike, are looking for healthy, reasonably priced, plant-based food offerings that are both organic and unprocessed. Iku is an impressive example of a plant-based café that has been able to successfully scale its operations while maintaining a keen focus on consistency of experience and excellent quality. I look forward to seeing Iku continuing to grow in the coming years. Perhaps one day they’ll have a location at the Sydney airport!
Here a few of the highlights from our lunches and dinners at Iku.
I opted for the mixed salad on a few occasions. It contains fresh greens topped with sunflower seed brown rice, fermented cabbage, chickpea salad, white bean salad, lentils and broccoli. The herb-tahini dressing added a delicious creaminess to the fresh vegetables, brown rice and beans.
This particular Iku is located in a bustling food court on Bridge Street in downtown Sydney.
Onigiri filled with umeboshi
The mezze platter offers a nice sampling of Iku’s rice and millet balls, rice paper rolls, maki rolls, and beet and carrot polenta cakes.
Check out Iku‘s website for hours and locations.