Vegan fine dining: 8 Restaurants in the Western Cape that are offering plant-based menus
images: Restaurant's own
Veganism is becoming more and more accessible, and restaurants are meeting the demand for plant-based diets. In Cape Town, a number of non-vegan restaurants and chefs have created a vegan menu for diners – and it's bringing all the heat!
Tintswalo Atlantic has introduced a fine dining vegan tasting menu to its beautiful Chapman's Peak offering. Catering for the growing demand from diners for a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle, Executive Chef Guy Clark is following the trend to move away from consuming animal products.
Clark says he enjoyed the challenge to not only source replacements for certain animal-based products such as gelling agents and eggs, but also to explore the surrounding fynbos and beach landscape for interesting and suitable ingredients to make their way onto the menu. The result is a fresh new take on vegan dishes that burst with colour and flavour; one of few fine dining tasting menu options for vegans in Cape Town. The four-course tasting menu (R650 pp) is available for lunch or dinner to tables of a minimum of two vegan diners and it has to be pre-booked.
Amuse Bouche Beetroot Wonton Ginger Apple Mousse
Savoury cashew 'cheese cake' Red onion jam
images: Marcela Clark
"I believe in using local and seasonal produce and wish to place emphasis on uncomplicated dishes, highlighting fewer ingredients where the quality of the produce can shine," says Cavalli's Executive Chef Michael Deg. "We're also placing more emphasis on vegan and vegetarian dishes, creating a destination of choice for visitors seeking good quality fare." Visit the beautiful estate in Stellenbosch and enjoy the vegan tasting menu, or thoughtfully designed vegan dishes a la carte.
Liam Tomlin (of Chefs Warehouse fame) along with Head Chef John van Zyl offer visitors to the Tomlin-owned Thali a delicious, intricate and extremely flavourful tapas set menu featuring Indian spices, ingredients and methods – think tandoor meets panch phoran meets all sorts of curried flavours. Although the tapas menu is best when shared, the vegan option for 1 costs R325 and is multiple courses of total deliciousness.
One of South Africa's most iconic and internationally acclaimed fine dining establishments, La Colombe at Silvermist Estate in Constantia offers the freshest seasonal produce, uncomplicated clean flavours and classical elegance in its tasteful, calming space. The restaurant offers an 11-course fine dining vegan experience – with or without wine pairing – that changes with the seasons. It's high quality (vegan) indulgence at its finest.
Although the appeal of La Tête is its nose-to-tail philosophy, vegans will be pleased to know that Head Chef and owner Giles Edwards is open to tailoring the menu to suit vegan diners – in fact, it's just about the most delicious mix-match of vegetable dishes you can find in Cape Town. Order the kohlrabi, Brussel sprouts and green beans made without butter, asparagas sans Hollandaise, and celeriac. Each dish is fresh and wholesome, a truly "home made" feel. La Tête is a well-lovd no-fuss eatery that focusses on quality over quantity and isn't afraid to feature one ingredient in a dish and allow it to shine.
Renowned for an traditional "High Tea by the Sea", the Twelve Apostles recently introduced a delicious vegan High Tea to its guests and visitors. Perhaps one of the Cape's most beautiful hotels (made all the more so by its unmatched Atlantic seafront location), sit back and enjoy both sweet and savoury treats in the Conservatory. From 10am to 4pm daily and at R375 per person, it's a total "must-do" for vegan foodies with a sweet tooth.
The Vegan Supreme Roll at Beluga in Green Point could well have its own vegan fan club: eight pieces of avocado, cucumber, pickled vegetables, vegan mayo wrapped in bean curd. Other recent vegan additions include vegan California rolls, avo and cucumber maki and tofu crunch, all available (along with cocktails) at half price from 12pm to 6pm daily. Go go go!
Possibly one of the first ultra-luxe hotels to offer a vegan Afternoon Tea, vegans can enjoy the incredibly beautiful grounds and the oasis of calm that the Nellie offers. Served on a tiered stand in the heritage hotel's conservatory alongside a tasty selection of loose-leaf teas (handpicked by tea sommelier Craig Cupido) and coffee, it's a glamorous way to spend an afternoon in the Mother City.
Keen to start your vegan journey? Read our three-part guide HERE.
Find our favourite vegan recipes that will change your mind about plant-based eating HERE.