Bonne Santé

sante-Mexican-eggs-(2)Matthew Michaelis

Brunch is coming round

Santé is now open at 10am, seven days per week, for a brunch with a twist. Here, they have a rep’ for a delicate pizza crust (among other culinary choices), and using that reputation, they’ve created a brekkie hybrid that’s being introduced on the brunch menu.

The egg dishes on the menu are complemented with a thin and light pizza base and sit in interesting themes all comfortably on top of the pizza crusts – a little different from the usual thick-cut sourdough or toast accompaniments.

Creations the likes of eggs Florentine, eggs Benedict and the colourful Mexican breakfast, which comes complete with capsicum, jalapeños, poached eggs and an avocado salsa. From 10am, Sante have some hamburgers up for grabs too. I tried the chickpea and quinoa burger to my delight; this came with a really good house-made tomato and chili relish inside.

The smoked tomato and chili was balanced and sharp, with a sour and sweet tang to kick the patty off beautifully. I certainly didn’t miss the meat in the burger with aioli and an avo salsa to boot.

Santé is a modern eatery serving a contemporary menu along with traditional and modern favourites in pizza, pasta, ‘grains and greens’. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, it’s located right in front of the zebra crossing opposite the Woolworths carpark in Byron Bay. They’ve created an atmosphere here that embraces the basics of eating out – friends, family and fun. It’s a reasonably large restaurant so it’s a perfect fit for big gatherings.

‘We cater to seventy people with the same ease as a smaller group while there are corners and booths for the intimate and private diner,’ Sean Meehan told me.


Colourful and quirky

Santé has a functional al-fresco outside area and the dining room inside has a European flavour and a bit of New York styling to boot.

It’s a colourful fit-out, with a quirky interior and a textile theme that has ‘fun’ sewn into it. Many of the furnishings are designed and supplied by Aussie companies and Santé promote the businesses too, so if you see anything you like, you’ll be given the contacts.

Sean Meehan and Will Ennis (from the Italian at the Pacific) look after the food here. They’ve created fresh seasonal menus with the notion of high-quality ingredients and products at reasonable pricing, not to mention pizzas to die for. ‘We have signature pizzas. There’s always a special meat and a fish dish too, with wonderful seafood and pasta dishes, sides to complement the mains such as truffled chat potatoes, roasted and tossed in truffle paste with fresh-grated parmesan for example.

‘We promote and serve share plates here as eating out often involves groups and the sharing of food and I think people love the idea of tasting different combinations,’ Sean told me.

Scot free for ­­the kids

Wait, there’s more… If you have a family car full of kids or are just a pigeon pair, you should read the next paragraph very carefully indeed. All children under the age of 12 eat free at Santé between 4pm and 7pm. This is incredible value and really quite generous too (I’ve got a couple of kiddies that can at last start helping to pay their way on my cooking nights). While the kids eat free, why not have a cheap cocktail during the happy hour between five and seven, Monday to Friday – it keeps getting better.


Be my Valentines thrice

Santé has arranged a special Valentines set menu which includes: Champagne Bellini on arrival, pizza or pasta main and a special Valentines dessert tasting plate that includes sweet treats the likes of a burnt orange and chocolate tart and a coconut and peanut butter truffle, with vanilla crème fraiche and fresh strawberries. It’s love.

The Valentines set menu is available on Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights (just in case you or your partner are working on the Saturday) – how thoughtful.

The price for the set menu is all inclusive at $40 per person. Bookings are strongly advised for this affair. (Not that you’re having an affair – are you? I won’t say anything.)

Wait, there’s more…

Santé is close to the cinema, so if you’re after a quick bite or a slow bite before the flicks this could be the ticket. Live and local music is happening over each and every weekend.

Santé means a few different things in different cultures; in context here, it means ‘good health’. In short, this is a versatile eatery and if you like dining in a casual atmosphere and your food expertly handled, then this is an eatery to try. Simple, well-executed dishes, brunch, pastas, salads, pizza and a range of items for an accompaniment to a drink, cocktail or coffee.



95 Jonson St, Byron Bay,  6685 5009. Fully licensed.

Eat in and takeaway

10am–late seven days.


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