16.7 C
Byron Shire
September 19, 2021

Holding your two hands when eating in Ballina

Latest News

Police arrest 32 in protests across the state

Police say they have prevented the mass gathering of people in various locations across NSW, arresting 32 people and issuing 265 Penalty Infringement Notices in a coordinated and mobile response to planned protest activity.

Other News

New ocean temperature data help scientists make their hot predictions

We’ve heard that rising temperatures will lead to rising sea levels, but what many may not realise is that most of the increase in energy in the climate system is occurring in the ocean.  

Happy for me to die?

Narada Vantari, I am over 70, have a pre-existing inherited condition, (no amount of healthy living could have avoided...


The Bangalow CWA branch is way more than tea and scones. The branch has a strong commitment to the...

COVID choices

The virus isn’t going anywhere – it’s here to stay. There are three real solutions. 1. Let the virus run...

Queensland passes voluntary assisted dying laws

Dying with Dignity NSW has welcomed the passage of Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) laws in Queensland and is hoping that NSW Parliament resumes next month so that this issue can be addressed in NSW without further delay.

How is RT-PCR used to diagnose COVID-19?

It’s fast, reliable and full of lines – but might look different to the PCR you learned about in school.

Two Hands is situated near the river just off River Street. Photo S. Haslam

Ballina isn’t core Echo territory (though I’m told that any papers that make it there get grabbed instantly). When an Echo drudge found herself at a tucked-away eatery in Ballina, she loved it so much that she said we had to write about it. So we are!

Two Hands is a breakfast and lunch cafe with the hallmarks of a good Byron eatery – a chef with an impressive pedigree, most items made from scratch using the best local produce.

If that isn’t enough to tempt you when your travels find you south, Two Hands’ seriously fabulous range of cakes just might.

All is the work of two chefs. Front and centre is Kylie Simpson, a winner of the prestigious Josephine Pignolet Young Chef Award. This was at a time when she was helping turn an out-of-the-way cafe (Lynwood) in a one-horse town (Collector – on the road between the M1 and Canberra) into a hatted venue (a big deal).

‘That experience taught me, a girl from Brisbane, about the seasons and flavour. I saw how a cob of corn changes in taste over the hours after it has been picked,’ says Kylie. ‘This shaped the rest of my career.’

This experience and expertise means that the Two Hands menu offers more than meets the eye. ‘Sausage and Eggs’, for example, includes kale, handmade sauerkraut and locally made, preservative-free bratwurst. Even the hand-cut chips are made from scratch and served with a handmade lime-and-chipotle mayo.

Working alongside Kylie in the kitchen is her life-and-business partner, Jessica Jackson. She moved to the region to study audio engineering but Kylie persuaded her to use her extensive experience at Two Hands instead. The upside is that Two Hands is not a cafe where you’ll have generic music blasted at you. ‘We curate the music,’ says Jessica, telling stories of having people spontaneously dance, or come in looking weary and leaving with a spring in their step.

The cakes may contribute to the lifted mood! Kylie morphed into pastry cheffing in work including at Bennelong at the Opera House. ‘I have a natural affinity with pastry cheffing,’ Kylie says. ‘I think it’s been handed down in my bloodline.’

The cakes are wondrous to look at, especially the billowy-meringue pillow-topped lemon-curd cheesecakes. Others are plainer to look at but bristle with quality and flavour.

Kylie and Jessica started Two Hands in November last year ready to cater to all sorts of food preferences. ‘There is less demand in Ballina than we were expecting, but we remain very aware of the need to provide vegan, gluten-free and preservative-free options,’ says Kylie. ‘Even in items not made onsite, we know what is in them.’

They are also becoming known for being open later on weekends (until 5pm) and their space being equally appealing for lone eaters, two people seeking quiet conversation, and small groups.

Though you may not make the trip specifically, if work or play take you the Ballina way, check out Two Hands.

Two Hands Collective, 4/2 Moon Street (between River St and the river), 7am–4pm Tues–Fri, 7.30am–5pm weekends. Closed Mondays. Ph: 6686 7756,
Facebook @twohandsnorthernrivers.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

COVID update – sewage detection in East and South Lismore and Byron Bay

Northern NSW Local Health District is urging people in the Lismore City and Byron Bay areas to get tested for COVID-19, after fragments of the virus were detected in samples from the East Lismore, South Lismore and Byron Bay sewage treatment plants.

The old slouch hat

‘This is my favourite,’ we say espite the painfully obvious fact that we all, from time to time enjoy a wide variety of hats. Jon Summers, Suffolk Park

The year 2000

I must answer David Heilpern. Remember 2000, how the computers were all to fail on NYE? How could so many get it so wrong? Why...


Viruses are organisms at the edge of life and possess genes, evolve by natural selection, and reproduce by creating multiple copies of themselves through...