A Sustainable Plate For Every Palate in Cape Town
Seasonal, local, responsible and sustainable. Those are the buzzwords we want to see on our favourite restaurant menus, right? But what’s all the fuss about? These terms are not just the flavour of the month, but actually describe a very worthy and necessary global food movement. Basically, when you eat local produce, it’s likely to be fresh and seasonal, as well as sustainable (i.e. the earth can keep giving it to us at no cost to herself), making it responsible. Working only with what’s physically growing in the garden at the moment also means the menu needs to change all the time – even daily in some cases. As an added bonus, these meals are full of seasonal flavour and tend to be quite inventive – imagine trying to use every inch of a cow in a delicious way.
Cow not your vibe? Perhaps you fancy seafood? A vegetarian diet instead? Or something a little more down to earth? There’s a sustainable plate for every palate in Cape Town and we’ve rounded up the tastiest ones. Most of the chefs are from SA, trained under some big names, had a stint in London and then brought all the good ideas back home.
Wolfgat – Seafood
Their 7 course tasting menu, inspired by the tumultuous Sandveld area stretching from Elim to Cape Aghulas, consists mainly of seafood, veldkos and fresh herbs, often from their own garden.
Chef: Kobus van der Merwe
Open: Wednesday – Sunday for lunch and Friday & Saturday for dinner.
La Tête – Meat
Literally meaning the face, this meaty farm to fork restaurant believes in making use of the entire animal, wasting as little as possible. This is also known as nose to tail dining, and can produce rather daring dishes, but is a marvellous experience in creative sustainability. Some of the regular dishes on the menu include deep fried pigs tails and aioli; grilled ox heart, beef and kidney pudding and by contrast, sweet and sophisticated madeleines for dessert.
Where: Bree Street
Chef & Owner: Giles and James Edwards
Open: Mondays 15:00 – 23:0 and Tuesdays – Sundays 12:00 – 23:00
Book: 021 433 1837
Ash – Grilled Meat & Vegetarian
This responsible dining establishment makes use of the Josper indoor charcoal oven to prepare meals só seriously seasonal, that they too are closed for the winter. Some truly inventive and local dishes from their menu include bone marrow brioche; samp cooked like risotto with parsley butter and parmesan; and roasted impala loin with beetroot pickle, dukkha and cow’s milk labneh.
Where: Church Street
Chef & Owner: Ash Heeger
Open: Monday – Saturday, 12:00 – 23:00
Book: 021 422 3554
Lily’s – Meat and Vegetarian (not so serious)
Their homely, not so serious attitude is probably the reason why, unlike some other local and sustainable foodie joints, this one is not closed for the winter. In fact, they have a winter specials menu from May to August. It includes Salt & Pepper Whitebait; Crispy Tofu Poke Bowl; Not Another French Toast and Eat Your Carrots Overnight Oats with carrots, walnuts, orange, raisins, ginger and numeric. You’re also encouraged to ditch your honey for maple syrup with breakfast as no animals are involved in sourcing it.
Where: Beach Road
Chef & Owner: Amanda Deetlefs & Paul Kovensky of Cove Collection
Open: Mondays – Sundays, 7:30 – 22:00
Book: 087 470 0457 or email@example.com
Hidden Leaf – Café, meat and vegan
Another informal responsible dining experience where the whole idea is to feel like you’re having dinner at a friend’s house. This friend uses free range meat, lots of foraged mushrooms and organic vegetables, often from her own organic urban garden. The menu changes weekly, but some of the regular appearances include vegan lasagne; a vegan burger; fish pie; chicken fried waffles with smoky cardamom and roasted garlic béchamel; tempura friend mushrooms and a variety of daily soups and stews. Heaty, healthy and homely food for every palate.
Where: Roodebloem Road
Owner: Bianca Bezuidenhout
Open: Tuesdays – Saturdays, 11:30 – 23:00
Book: 021 447 4868 or firstname.lastname@example.org
These are just a couple of the many responsible dining establishments Cape Town offers its discerning diners who like to enjoy their food while knowing that they’ve made a difference to the local farmers’ lives. It also means they’re doing their bit to conserve the environment. The result is better tasting food and a cleaner conscience, which in turn makes for a better dining experience. Let us know if you’ve tried any of these restaurants or have another seasonal spot you like to frequent.