Take everything you remember about Plant (good or bad) because it has just re-opened and it REALLY means business this time around. I frikken LOVED it.
Address: 8 Buiten St, CBD
Hours: 8am-10pm Mon-Sat, Closed Sun
I was very tempted to call this review Plant 2.0 because essentially that is exactly what the re-opened version is – an entirely new operating system!
Where to start???
Long story (very) short, after living in Asia (Malaysia and Vietnam) French Chef Pierre Lambret found it quite easy to stop eating meat after watching the movie Earthlings. He then quit his corporate job as a finance director in France, studied to become a chef, turned vegan, moved to South Africa and became a partner of Plant. The rest is history.
Before I introduced myself and had a chat with Chef Pierre, I watched him work his magic around the room, alternating between cooking and supervising in the (open) kitchen. He then personally delivered plate upon plate of extremely decadent dishes to hungry patrons and included a brief exchange of words before heading off again. This guy was hands-on. I was already impressed.
I ordered a Botanical Fruit Lemonade (R30) – made with raspberry, pineapple & vanilla, peach & tarragon and strawberry which was FRIKKEN DELICIOUS and so much better than any mocktails I’ve had that have half the amount of contents and are double the price. I ordered a second one later – it was THAT good.
The menu left me deciding rather resolutely that I had to come back (before I had even eaten) because the options looked far too good to make a concrete decision. I EVENTUALLY (after ignoring the waitron’s suggestions) opted for the Dirty Mac&Cheese because anything with the word “dirty” in it deserves to be in my belly.
One of the problems with the original Plant (1.0) was the slow service, but boy oh boy, I watched everyone around me get their food in record time and mine arrived timeously. After one bite I knew that there had to be a French-inspired theme going here (whether intentional or not) because it was SUPER creamy and so decadent. Portion-wise for R75 it was bang on the mark – and if I had to ‘make up’ a price for it – this would be it.
To be fair I was there for a while (doing some work) so after having a bit of a break (to make space for some more of their insane food) I tried their Bagel (served w/Plant V-Lox, capers and cream cheese). Understand one thing – I was never a salmon fan. And I hardly ever ate bagels. But … words fail to describe how delicious this (carrot) “salmon”-cream cheese bagel was. Utter perfection.
If it sounds like I’m gushing too much about Plant (2.0) then I am. It deserves to be gushed all over (… is that even a thing? “gushed all over”. Steady cowboy!).
Show Chef Pierre, co-owner Adien Aggenbach and the Plant staff some support and after you’ve tried some of their new dishes (one of which is VEGAN CREPES!) then report back to me – let me know what you liked.
Remember to support ALL vegan enterprises. It is also not unreasonable to demand quality, consistency, and affordability whilst still understanding that some products will naturally be more expensive due to where we’re at economically.