This authentically Portuguese restaurant brings the heat this winter
Plant Restaurant in Cape Town
Enjoy wholesome and ethically conscious fare at this health savvy haunt
Situated in the heart of Cape Town’s city centre, Plant Restaurant has truly built a reputation as a haven for health-conscious gourmands. Since its humble beginnings as a charming little Bo-Kaap café – the first dedicated Mother City vegan kitchen of its kind – serving the ethically mindful scrumptious plant-based grab-n-go delights, Plant has evolved into a fully-functioning full-service restaurant and bar serving patrons healthy and hearty vegan fare all day.
Ultimately supplying Capetonians with readily available, convenient and affordable, morally produced nutrition without sacrificing flavour, Plant promotes a more compassionate lifestyle through its offerings (a percentage of its profits are also donated to human- or animal-based charities). Encouraging the community at large to make more sensible plant-based food choices, the eatery also acts as an inclusive space for all who wish to live a healthier lifestyle through the efforts of ethical eating.
“I moved from Los Angeles where there are so many choices [for vegans], from hole-in-the-walls to fine dining restaurants,” explains South African-born founder and owner Adien Aggenbach. “I came up with the idea for Plant out of sheer frustration with the limited options available in Cape Town.”
An engineer by trade and a vegan for over six years, Adien championed the city centre health-spot as a passion project, but also as an extension of her quest to educate meat-eaters and vegetarians alike about the implications of their meal choices. “It’s a great way to get people interested in veganism,” she enthuses. “Plant-based eating lends itself to so many interesting recipes.”
Although its founding base, Plant isn’t solely centred towards vegans and as previously mentioned, the wholesome hotspot truly does cater for a wide range of individuals (non- and meat eaters alike) who are interested in improving their lifestyle through the way they view and source their daily produce intake. Acting as a healthy alternative, Plant creates tasty and nutritious homemade food and beverages containing no harmful ingredients and preservatives.
And indeed, with a wide range of uber healthy and equally delicious eats on its menu such as its spicy mushroom rice paper rolls (rice paper rolls filled with buckwheat noodles, exotic spicy mushrooms, avocado (seasonal) and cucumber, sprinkled with sweet and spicy cashews, sprouts and ginger and served with greens, homemade sweet chilli sauce and miso ginger dressing), and its bunless Mexican tower (two black bean patties, towered with homemade sour cream, salsa, avocado (seasonal) and topped with coriander), even the most fervent of carnivores will leave feeling wholly satisfied.
Furthermore, all of Plant’s dishes are made from scratch and diners can expect to find homemade treats such as egg-less mayonnaise, dairy-free cheese and home-smoked tempeh rashers (a vegan alternative for bacon) on their plates. “We make everything here so we at least know what’s in our food,” clarifies Adien. Most importantly though, the 100% plant-based products, some of which are even raw or gluten-free, wrecks next to no havoc on the human body. The cuisine is healthy by default, a fact that Adien can readily attest to.
Taking a second look at the eatery’s menu, patrons are truly presented with an array of delicious and hand-produced breakfast, lunch and dinner options as well as a variety of energising freshly squeezed juices, smoothies and hot and cold beverages. A favourite amongst the vegan community, Plant serves morning meal options that comprise everything from breakfast scramble (made with silken tofu) to French toast (served with Plant’s homemade vegan butter and cinnamon maple syrup). It’s also worth highlighting that although the CBD haunt’s kitchen only opens from 9am, early birds looking for their morning pick-me-up can purchase a freshly brewed coffee and daily baked muffin combo from 8am.
For lunch the not-so-hungry can opt for freshly made sandwiches and wraps (available between 12pm and 4pm), while those with a more generous appetite can choose from the likes of gluten-free quesadilla, vegetable Thai rolls, mushroom burgers and much more. (Don’t forget to also ask your waitron about the eatery’s daily chef’s specials). Evening meals include dishes such as Miso soup, hearty vegetable lasagne and crispy sweet and sour tofu, to name but a few available items. Health-conscious visitors will also be happy to know that Plant serves a wide selection (some of which are gluten-free) of homemade delectable sweet treats in the form of decadent raw cakes, moreish raw chocolate bars, tasty raw nut truffles and creamy milk tarts.
To complement its wholesome, preservative-free menu, the city centre restaurant also boasts a fully-functioning bar offering an extensive range of reds, whites and bubbly (all 100% vegan) as well as a great selection of local artisan craft beers, pints and ciders. For those who enjoy a more fruity concoction, try one of Plant’s signature cocktails (there are mocktail options available too) – the Plant Mellowpolitan (vodka and triple sec with watermelon juice) as well as the Plant Avocado Dream (rum blended with avocado, fresh lime juice and ice) are an absolute must-try!
Aside from ensuring no harm comes to animals, Plant is adamant that little damage is done to the environment as a whole. Thus, all of the establishment’s cleaning products are environmentally friendly, many of the ingredients are organic and sourced from community producers and even the takeaway containers are made from vegetables and are compostable.
So whether you’ve committed to the vegan lifestyle, consider yourself a health conscious individual or are interested to learn more about living a plant-based lifestyle regime, Plant is the ideal space for all of the above. Maintaining its vision of championing for the people, the animals and the environment – Plant Restaurant is a city centre health-spot you’ll find yourself returning to again and again. Don’t believe us? Pop in and see for yourself!
As an extension of Plant Restaurant, Plant Café (Plant’s sibling eatery located in Observatory) too offers customers delicious vegan products to take away and enjoy at home. In line with the parent company’s vision to promote a gentler lifestyle, Plant Deli offers a wide range of homemade deli products readily available to the public. Such items include smooth or spicy mayonnaise, smoked tempeh rashers, Miso ginger dressing, dairy-free chunky cottage cheese, hummus, truffles, freshly squeezed juices and more. So next time you enjoy a delightful meal at Plant; don’t forget to take some vegan-friendly goodies home with you!
NOTE: To save time – during lunch hour or after work – Plant customers are welcome to call ahead and place their order before collecting their meal or choose from its wide selection freshly made lunches in the display cabinet. For delivery, CBD diners can also order online via Orderin.
Tip: For those interested in finding out more about living a healthier and more compassionate lifestyle, Plant’s website offers visitors an array of different resources – including recent research, recipes ideas, fitness models, literature and more – revolving around the benefits of committing to a plant-based lifestyle. Check it out here!
The Bill: Breakfast items ring in between R25 and R63 while main meals will cost around R38 – R80 depending on the dish. Desserts will set you back between R15 and R47 a plate. Freshly pressed juices and smoothies range between R38 and R48 whereas cooldrinks cost around R16 to R49 and hot beverages range between R20 and R42. Cocktails and mocktails cost about R30 to R50 a beverage while craft beers, beers and ciders ring in at R28 to R48. Wine and bubbly can cost between R90 and R285 a bottle depending on your choice of vino or bubbly (wine by the glass is also available on selected wines only and cost from R35 for 250ml).
Happy Hour: Tuesday to Sunday: 4pm – 6pm
2for1 Vondeling Petit Blanc and Vondeling Petit Rouge
2for1 Coconut Affair Cocktail and Mocktail
3for2 Striped Horse craft beer (lager, pale ale and pilsner)
Opening Hours: Monday: 9am to 5pm | Tuesday - Saturday: 9am to 10pm | Sunday: 9am to 4pm (Plant is open for brunch on Sundays and every third Sunday there will be a live Deep House DJ.)
Don’t forget to also check out our awesome overview titled 10 Top Healthy Eateries in Cape Town.
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