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The Hungry Herbivore in Cape Town
A new Mother City 100% vegan eatery bridging the gap between health and comfort food
Amy Scott and Brent Borman’s vegan eatery-venture began in January 2014. After returning to the Mother City – the couple formerly lived and worked in Thailand for two and a half years – and discovering an entirely new appreciation and love for eating more plant-based and nutritious fare while overseas, the duo – who both follow the vegan lifestyle for health and ethical reasons – founded The Hungry Herbivore; an artisanal plant-based eatery and snack manufacturer.
“We first started as a small food stand at the Hope Street Market,” explains Amy. “We were there once a week with three salad bowls on our table for nine months. After that, we moved our stall to the V&A Waterfront Food Market where we worked seven days a week.”
After working at the fair for nearly two years, and in realising just how much more they had to offer the plant-based community, Amy and Brent decided to expand their vegan eatery business. And so, in September 2016 The Hungry Herbivore opened its first café on Orphan Street in Cape Town.
“Since then we’ve just put everything into it to make the eatery happen,” continues Amy.
Sitting flush against the sidewalk, The Hungry Herbivore Vegan Eatery, despite its somewhat modest exterior, offers diners a unique and contemporary as well as warm and welcoming setting. Comprising a large bar counter complete with high-top stools – perfect for enjoying a quick bite to eat or yummy smoothie – as well as several tables and chairs – ideal for a prolonged lunch or catch up session with friends – the elongated space is alluring, inviting customers in with friendly faces (Amy and Brent are easy to spot) and large smiles, on top of its great food and vibrant atmosphere.
With the founders at the kitchen’s helm, The Hungry Herbivore strives to cater for all providing vegans, and meat-eaters, with clean and honest fare and take-away nibbles – that is rich in nutrients, 100% plant-based and non-harmful to the environment – not to mention, great tasting: “We want to cater for everyone – both vegans and the general consumer – and show that there is far more to plant-based food than just raw products. We want to branch out to everyone and make vegan food more approachable,” enthuses Amy.
“Even though we say The Hungry Herbivore is a vegan eatery, for us its first good food and then its vegan,” adds Brent.
And that’s exactly the type of foodie items diners can find on The Hungry Herbivore menu; healthy and much-loved meals – think traditional breakfasts, almond cheesy-pizzas, creamy pastas and hearty burgers, not to mention, a wide selection of guilt-free, refined sugar-free desserts – that are 100% vegan yet equally satisfying for meat-eaters.
“I want to break the ‘vegan stereotype’. I’m into health, but I also want to replicate things you can find on a menu in a traditional restaurant that you could enjoy vegan without thinking that it’s vegan,” continues Brent.
Containing no animal products, all menu items are dairy and majority are wheat/gluten-free (most of the flours used are derived from nuts, seeds and fruit) as well as are as natural as possible with little to no processing, uncooked (not heated above 46 degrees Celsius) and free from colourants and preservatives.
Offering a selection of breakfast and lunch options – the inner city eatery is not open for dinner just yet – customers can find an array of all-time foodie favourites (with an Amy and Brent twist). Dishes such as Avo Toast Deluxe (toast of choice, avocado, roasted tomatoes, fresh basil and house-made BBQ coconut flakes) can be ordered for brekkie whereas Spaghetti Alfredo (spaghetti, broccoli, sautéed mushroom, sundried tomato and baby marrow tossed in a creamy cashew garlic sauce, fresh basil and almond sunflower seed parmesan) and a wide range of crispy almond mozzarella pizzas (served with various toppings) is on the cards for later. In addition, The Hungry Herbivore serves a range of house-baked desserts (such as raw gluten-free cheesecake and raw chocolate cupcakes with a creamy cashew centre) as well as freshly squeezed juices and healthy super-food smoothies.
“Desserts and sweet things have always been my passion,” elaborates Amy. “I’m also really good at creating salads and dressings whereas when Brent started getting into the vegan lifestyle [a couple years ago], savoury was more his thing and he was better with pizzas and burgers.”
“The 'Dude Food',” Brent quips. “There’s a good balance between health and comfort.”
When asked the chefs recommendations, without hesitation Brent responds “pizza”, only to which Amy laughs and continues: “We eat a lot of pizza, so that was a big thing for us to serve.” Other must try items includes the eatery’s Protein Deluxe Bowl (seared BBQ tofu slices, quinoa, avocado, corn, beans and broccoli served in a bowl with house-made teriyaki sauce) and The Hungry Herbivore Breakfast (toast of choice, crispy seitan* bacon, tofu scramble with peppers, onions and spinach, sautéed garlic mushrooms and roasted tomatoes)and of course, all of the desserts because as Amy upholds: “They’re all really good”
“A lot of the food that we eat at home is on the menu,” says Amy. “Our personality is there – we’re just trying to recreate what we enjoy for others.”
“It’s just slightly more gourmet,” concludes Brent.
NOTE: The Hungry Herbivore does cater for private orders (light snacks, cheesecakes and desserts) - collection only - from Monday to Friday. All orders must be made at least two days in advance. Contact The Hungry Herbivore directly for more information and catering options.
Tip: For delivery, CBD customers can order online via OrderIn.
CapeTownMagazine.com Foodie Recommendation: Whilst visiting (see video), we tried the Raw Pizza Slice (a crispy dehydrated butternut and seed base topped with a sundried tomato puree, rocket or spinach, peppers, avocado and cashew cream cheese) served with a fresh side salad and the Waffle ‘n berries served with sugar-free vanilla coconut ice cream and dark chocolate drizzles (gluten-free waffle optional). Simply delicious!
100% Vegan Retail Products: The Hungry Herbivore retails a selection of hand-crafted products including coconut chips, kale chips, choc chip cookies and raw pizza bases. Customers can purchase the goods from The Hungry Herbivore directly or can find the various items in these stores nationwide.
Opening Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday: 9am – 6pm | Thursday to Saturday: 9am – 10pm | Sunday: 9am – 3pm | Monday: Closed | NOTE: The Hunger Herbivore may not be open for dinner currently, but it will be in the near future.
The Bill: Breakfast: R45 – R79 | Appetizers: R45 – R68 | Mains and Bowls (served from 11:30am): R55 – R89 | Pizza (served from 11:30am): R60 – R95 | Desserts: R28 – R46 | Hot Beverages: R22 – R39 | Fresh Juice: R34 – R42 | Smoothies (350ml or 599ml): R35 – R58
*Seitan (bacon) is made from wheat protein
by Krysia Gaweda | Video Credit: Josh Oates
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