It’s my habit, when in foreign restaurants, to close my eyes and point at anything on the menu. It takes care of my illiteracy, and doesn’t take the mystery out of the meal. Of course, it works better for omnivores with tough stomachs, and I no longer qualify in that department. Eating out isn’t easy for plant-based junkies. Salads are swathed in cheese, and veg thai curry is infused, unannounced, with fish sauce. I usually go for fries as a compromise and hope that my arteries will forgive the needs of my gut and conscience. How wonderful, then, to eat at a local restaurant in Cape Town where I can do the same and know that everything is safe.
This animal-friendly eatery in the centre of town is as clean-looking as it is clean-living, replete with its own vertical garden. Earth-loving patrons will also love its green contribution, as the establishment uses no meat or animal products at all. It’s got a feather-light carbon footprint compared to the other eco sink-holes in the city.
Maybe I should have used the finger trick to choose : with so many options, FOMO kicked in. The menu is packed with an array of dishes for all dining moods. ‘You can just come back again’ I reminded myself.
After a starter round of red latte with almond milk (me) and miso soup for my date, I almost went for what I suspect is the house favourite (and is certainly my dinner mate’s favourite) but it didn’t make sense for us to have the same meal. Mine was a mild mushroom and spinach lasagne with a creamy butternut white sauce that appeared too big to finish, but fitted well in my tummy and even left a little room for dessert. My date raised his eyebrows when his mains arrived and said, ‘Dayyim. Now THIS is meat.’ Mushroom burgers maketh man, it seems; the man opposite me, the men in the street passing by and giving his burger the hungry eye while he made rather suggestive sounds (and I don’t mean chewing with his mouth open).
Tam, the manager, had kindly kept sweet treats aside for us. A chocolate brownie and a raw cake that melts in the mouth with hints of berries proved that there’s no need to feel left out when you don’t eat butter or dairy.
If you prefer good (healthy, delicious, vegan) food, and you love the earth, take a trip to Plant Cafe in the Mother City. Even better if you arrive on a bicycle!
If you think Plant Cafe should be featured on Eco Atlas for their eco ethics then recommend them here!