Animal rights activist and vegan chef, Nikki Botha recently visited Lupa Osteria in Durbanville to try their new vegan menu. This is what she had to say:
Address: Shop 7, Village Square Mall, Queen St, Durbanville
Hours: 12pm-9pm Mon-Sun
“My best friend recently suggested we meet for a Sunday lunch at Lupa Osteria in Durbanville, after it was announced that they had a separate vegan menu. Finding a vegan-friendly eatery behind the “boerewors curtain” is challenging enough, let alone finding one which has a separate vegan menu. The menu offered vegan cheese for pizza, which after a week on a whole foods regime, had me sold.
Truth be told: I can’t quite make up my mind about the experience. The servers were proactive and professional, the service however, slow. I don’t mind waiting for my food (the difference between a good dish and a great dish is patience) but waiting for drinks means there’s a bottleneck somewhere in the system, especially when the restaurant was not full.
The food was a bit of a disaster: I ordered a vegan Margherita pizza with avo, spicy brinjals and caramelized onion. My first bite had my taste buds and my mind at war. My mind said I was eating pizza but my taste buds said that I was already at dessert. The brinjals were saturated with oil and the caramelized onion tastes more like a jam. The two ingredients which were also almost indistinguishable from each other were essentially a dark, blackish, sticky, oily mess.
As for the pizza base, it was mediocre at best and didn’t lean credence to cold pizza being the holy grail of leftovers. Because of the overwhelming sweetness of the pizza, I decided to rather take a doggy box. The moment the crust went cold, it was like chewy cardboard – nothing more, nothing less. So obviously that needs work as well.
Now don’t get me wrong: my critique has nothing to do with the “vegan-ness” of the food as we’re extremely grateful for the effort and the option. The critique is merely about the quality of the dish I experienced.
Would I go back again? Only ever as a last resort. First impressions count and unfortunately, it could have gone better.”
Thanks, Nikki! I’d love to hear from some of you about your experience at Lupa Osteria. I’m happy to add some constructive feedback from anyone who would like to add it.
Here is a link to the vegan menu at Lupa Osteria.
Meanwhile, Nikki Botha has given us a little tip on how to caramelize onions:
“When caramelizing onions, saute them in a little oil and do NOT add salt until the onions start to brown. Onions have their own natural sugars and should only ever be complemented with sugar to aid the beautiful brown colours when properly cooked. Salt inhibits the caramelization of the sugar, so only add it towards the end. If you’re looking to give more depth of colour to your onions, add a little balsamic vinegar and let the sugar in the vinegar do its thing. Killing caramelized onions with added sugar is sacrilege.”
Follow Nikki Botha on Instagram @activistslife