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Can takeout be healthy? Find out at this plant-based place in the city centre
8 reasons to try Bamboo Plant Power in the CBD
Last updated: Friday, 13 October 2023
Sweet and sticky wings, loaded cheese fries, harissa drumsticks, ragout spaghetti, Snickers chocolate bars… what if we told you this could be healthy (and plant-based)? Bamboo Plant Power is changing how we think of fast food. Here’s eight reasons to try this healthy takeaway restaurant.
Mexican takeout, but good for you. Image: Bamboo Plant Power
GOOD FOOD CHOICES ARE A RISING TREND
“More and more people are starting to eat less meat to curb their carbon footprint,” says Bamboo Plant Power founder Sebastien Alexanderson. This has seen a rise in diets like veganism and flexitarianism, a plant-based diet that includes occasional meat and fish (no, it’s not vegetarianism with cheating).
Most plant-based protein sources (like tofu and beans) produce barely any carbon dioxide, and some sources (like nuts) are even carbon negative.
Can you tell this is a plant-based burger? Image: Bamboo Plant Power
PLANT-BASED FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
This is where Bamboo comes in: Its mission is to help people eat better and help the environment by serving healthy plant-based food. Flexitarian, vegan, vegetarian, meat-lover – regardless of diet choices, Bamboo’s dishes are wholesome for everyone (the food just happens to be plant-based).
And they want everyone to know of the goodness. “Following a fully plant-based diet for one year can save up to 1.5 million litres of water, over 1 000m² of forest and 3 300 kilograms of carbon dioxide.” You’ll see informative signs like these on every table at the cosy eatery on Long Street.
Incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet is good for both you and the environment. Image: Bamboo Plant Power
FREE OF CHOLESTEROL, REFINED SUGAR + MORE
Plant-based eating has a major positive impact on your health too. Veg, fruit, whole grains and legumes help improve heart health, kidney function, reduce diabetes and cancer risk and more.
Not only is the food at Bamboo balanced and nutritious (like the Glorious Greens bowl, filled with broccoli, edamame, cucumber, sunflower sour cream and pesto), the entire menu is also free of soy-based meat alternatives, cholesterol, refined sugars, added preservatives and artificial flavours.
Everything is also air-fried and ethically sourced. Plus, many of their items are gluten-free (or have gluten-free alternatives).
The Glorious Greens bowl. Image: Bamboo Plant Power
HEALTHY TAKEAWAY IN THE CBD
Bamboo is on the corner of Long and Riebeek Street, close to the Department of Labour building. Surrounded by offices, it’s in the prime spot to pop down during lunch or have it delivered to the office (instead of stopping at one of the junk food chains on Long Street).
The high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows let in plenty of natural light and the deck looks over the busy streets of the CBD. There’s wifi too if you need to take a working lunch.
Who doesn’t love a Morning Glory? (toasted sarmie with cheese, pesto, crispy onion and greens). Image: Bamboo Plant Power
DELIVERY FOR COUCH (SWEET) POTATOES
You have a more nutritious choice for those Friday movie nights or when you need a mid-week break from cooking: Bamboo is also on Uber Eats and Mr Delivery. All of the packaging and utensils are biodegradable too, so you won’t end your meal with a pile of plastic to feel guilty about.
We recommend the cauli wings – they’re sweet with flavours of soy and ginger and rolled in Cornflakes for crunch. Image: Bamboo Plant Power
TRY THE BESTSELLERS
Some of the best sellers for takeaways include the pulled mushroom burger, sweet soy sauce cauliflower wings and panko-crusted artichoke bao with gochujang mayo and Asian slaw. The tempura cauli bowl, with sweet sticky cauli nuggets, black rice, edamame, pineapple, nuac cham dressing and miso mayo is also a favourite.
One of Bamboo’s best sellers is the tempura cauli bowl. Image: Bamboo Plant Power
There’s impressive swaps on the menu too, like the “calamari” (crumbed king oyster mushroom rings with tartare sauce, slaw and fries) and the Drummie (four jackfruit “drumsticks” with crispy skin, spicy harissa and cauli rice).
Cheese is one of the more difficult foods to make plant-based, and Bamboo’s toasties will convince any doubters. Served with tomato and pumpkin seed pesto, it tastes just as good as a classic toasted cheese. For the more seasoned, there’s the kale, sauerkraut and chilli version.
The mushroom calamari looks just like its fishy counterpart. Image: Bamboo Plant Power
HEALTHY LOADED FRIES, MAC ‘N CHEESE?
The comfort food on the menu goes beyond just a toastie. By upping the nutrition with veggies and healthy fats, Bamboo has made classic dishes more balanced and satiating.
There’s the loaded fries, with air fried sweet potato topped with mushrooms and cheese sauce, and the mac ‘n “cheeze” (penne with sweet potato cheese sauce, cashew parmesan and sprouts).
The spag bowl is also popular (tempeh balls in tomato ragout with spiralised zucchini and almond parmesan). Peanut butter bars mimic Snickers: a fudgy peanut butter filling (sweetened with coconut sugar and coconut syrup) covered in dark chocolate.
The peanut butter bars are moreish and don't taste like they’re made without refined sugar. Image: Bamboo Plant Power
AFFORDABLE PLANT-BASED MEALS
Plant-based food can have a hefty price tag attached; Bamboo’s prices are more reasonable than you’d expect from a healthy plant-based restaurant. Mains start from R85 and the lighter meals (like soups and toasted sandwiches) start from around R50.
The butternut and sweet potato soup is topped with crispy sweet potato bites. Image: Bamboo Plant Power
TRY BAMBOO PLANT POWER
Bamboo Plant Power is open (sit downs): Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm
Bamboo Plant Power is open (delivery): Daily, 11am to 9pm
Find it: 9 Long Street, Cape Town City Centre
See more: Bamboo Plant Power's website, @bambooplantpower, Facebook
By Julia Rowley
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