Raw and Roxy Vegan Café in Cape Town

The new little Woodstock haunt putting the hip into healthy eating

Beatrice Holst, the founder of the new Raw and Roxy café in Woodstock, has the rare ability to render anything sexy. With long, lustrous blonde hair, skin that radiates health and the energy of a young university student, the glamorous owner makes 50 look like 20, and she’s dead set on instilling raw vegan fare with the same sort of cool appeal that she embodies so effortlessly.

Always a conscious consumer, the distinguished Danish-born chef and caterer – she’s cooked for international glitterati and worked everywhere from Los Angeles to Switzerland – first noted the great benefits of this form of healthy eating when her early-onset arthritis and eyesight problems started to subside once she’d made dietary changes. Now, with the April 2014 launch of her little deli and patisserie, she hopes to not only introduce others to these type of advantages, but also to debunk the notion that uncooked, plant-based nosh is bland, boring and wholly unappealing.

“A lot of people are put off by the idea of vegan food...they’re worried it’ll taste like someone peed on grass,” says the charismatic Beatrice. “But it’s possible to make it interesting and cool; you don’t have to feel like you need to sit and chew on carrot sticks all day”.

She proves this point by using her advanced culinary skills to give all her dishes a gourmet twist. So, instead of just throwing together a dull veggie stir-fry or some tasteless tofu snack, she creates flavour-rich breakfast and lunch dishes like granola with coconut, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg; stripped zucchini pasta with a creamy cashew nut, capers and garlic sauce; and a crunchy Asian salad with red cabbage, raisins, dates, cashew nuts, pink salt, lemon juice and herbs.

Not to mention, thanks to an assortment of ‘naughty’ treats like nutty macaroons made from coconut, cacao butter and organic almond flakes; hot tonics mixed with raw honey, bee pollen and vanilla; kale chips spiced with chilli, red pepper, sundried tomatoes, garlic and more; and velvety avocado-based chocolate tarts that are as delicious as any sugar- and cream-rich cake, customers never feel like they’re being deprived of anything.

Though not much more than a hole-in-the-wall deli (the café boasts only one wooden counter with four seats), the trendy shop is ideal for those who’re keen to dine responsibly, but don’t have the time or know-how necessary to prepare wholesome, unprocessed eats at home. Conveniently, all the dishes are available as takeaways, and patrons can quickly and easily get their full rush of nutrients from any of several smoothies or freshly pressed juices, like the Love Elixir (a sweet, pink potion made from pomegranates, black grapes, ginger and rose water) or the Lemon Ginger Blast (a medicinal green blend of spinach, celery, ginger, kale, apple, lemon and cucumber that, according to Beatrice, will “keep you out of the doctor’s office”).

However, if you’re not in rush, you may want to stick around for a little while and chat to Beatrice while she chops macadamia nuts, sprinkles seeds on salads and waves to regular customers, like staff from the uber hip Pot Luck Club just next door. Not only will she almost certainly offer you a myriad of complimentary tastes, but she’ll also delight you with fascinating stories, insight and advice. At the end of it all, you’re likely to leave a little taken by this larger-than-life lady and rather convinced of the coolness of raw vegan eats.

Tip: Phone ahead to order your meal or juice so that it’s ready when you get there; preparing this sort of fare can be quite time-consuming, so it’s best to give Beatrice and her team a little forewarning.

The Bill: Considering the size of the dishes and the amount of fresh fruit packed into the juices, prices are rather fair. A large portion (usually comprising raw pasta or lasagne and salads) costs R70, a small portion goes for R50, a large juice or smoothie rings in at R40 and a small juice or smoothie is R30.

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm; Saturday: 9am – 3:30pm

Woodstock Co-op | 363 Albert Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0)79 599 6277

Photos courtesy of Raw and Roxy

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Not so keen on the vegan idea but still eager to eat consciously? Read our overview of healthy eateries in Cape Town.

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