Plant is perfectly situated in the Cape Town City Centre and is probably one the most well-known 100% vegan eateries in South Africa.
After having changed owners, chef Pierre Lambret introduced his unique French-inspired stamp on the menu. This became refined over time and more recently reflected even more ingenious offerings. Did someone say vegan Dim Sum?
Address: 8 Buiten St, City Centre
Hours: 8am-5pm Mon, 8am-10pm Tue-Sat, 9am-5pm Sun
I was invited to sample some of the new dishes Plant had to offer and can safely say that I left that afternoon completely satisfied and impressed.
Firstly, Plant has a dedicated breakfast menu. It is hard enough to find a DECENT vegan breakfast in Cape Town, so Plant has really set a precedent in offering a fairly diverse menu. This includes several rosti options, four baked goods (including their pain au chocolat), two wraps, a chia pudding, an almond yoghurt and their signature Plant Benedict (think vegan salmon with Hollandaise sauce).
But sadly I didn’t get to try the breakfast menu as I was there to eat lunch!
After a quick catch-up with Pierre (and a soya latte), Bae and I got stuck into a feast.
Sticking to Pierre’s French-inspired dishes: The La Ratatouille savoury crepe doesn’t disappoint. Based on a recipe from Southern France, this vegan crepe is filled with zucchini, red pepper and tomato sauce (R80).
Their wraps are also winners, and far more palatable for those who want to avoid dense and “doughey” buns. Bae and I shared two:
- Carrot Lox, Avo & Cream Cheese Wrap – tortilla wrap filled w/carrot lox (a vegan “salmon”), rocket and cashew cream cheese (R85)
- Shawarma – pita bread filled w/homemade paprika hummus, seitan and tempeh served w/a tomato and onion salad drenched in a white spicy sauce (R85)
If you like a “meaty” dish, then I would DEFINITELY recommend the Shawarma. The mixed of seitan and tempeh just takes the dish to the next level!
From France to the Middle East and then onto China:
If you don’t know what Dim Sum is, it is essentially a style of Chinese cuisine prepared as small bite-sized portions of food, usually served in steamer baskets (as is the case at Plant). Plant serves three pieces per portion (for a ridiculously good R25) or you can get all three variants (totalling 12 dumplings) for the bargain price of R60:
- Fried Pot Stickers – fan wheat wrapper fried in a pan and served w/flavoursome soy & rice vinegar sauce
- Steamed Siu Mai – served w/flavoursome soy & rice vinegar sauce
- Won Tons – wrapped in a wheat wonton skin and served in a coriander, onion and cabbage broth
The Dim Sum will be the main reason folks keep coming back to Plant. I may have unleashed a Dim Sum demon inside me, as this really is a winner of a concept. Yes, there are vegan-friendly Dim Sum establishments in Cape Town, but what makes this different is the affordability and the assurance that what you are eating is going to be completely void of animal-products without any “human error”.
One might argue that the inclusion of so many cuisines may be somewhat confusing and lack a sense of “theme” within the eatery. Plant, however, manages to prepare each type of cuisine flawlessly and thereby offers their patrons the option of indulging in any kind of culinary experience they crave in a laid-back environment.
They still serve their “favourites” such as the Nachos (R80), Quesadilla (R85) and Dirty Mac & Cheese (R80) and have included dishes such as a Bourguignon (R90) and Spaghetti Bolognese (R85), both of which I cannot wait to try!
Plant is one of those establishments where you can’t really go wrong as there’s something for everyone. And if for some reason you don’t like a particular dish, move onto the next! One may, however, get stuck on one menu item as I did with the Breakfast Wrap (R85). I ate that for a month straight whenever I could.
I love Plant. And I want you to love it too. Go show them some of your support. They deserve it.