{Review} Peace of Eden Vegan Forest Retreat & Backpackers Lodge in Knysna

Tucked away in the mystical mountains of Knysna, we found a piece of Eden – or rather a PEACE of Eden. Whilst traveling to Port Elizabeth for IronMan 2017, this retreat-style, 100% vegan backpackers lodge offered Don & I a … Continue reading

{Review} Nooka Café

One of my favorite veggie restaurants in the Mother City has to be Nooka Café. This vegetarian & vegan coffee shop is situated in Roeland Street, Cape Town and serves a variety of hearty Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. It’s my absolute go-to place for a falafel fix since I can’t get my hands on Falafel Fundi’s fluffiness.

Nooka opened its doors in November last year, by good friends Eliav Vanunu and Or Sivan. The idea was simple – to complement the existing veg/vegan restaurants in Cape Town but bring their own twist into the mix with atmosphere, flavor, and design. Eliav told me that both him and Or believe in following a healthy, meat-free lifestyle (yay!) and so they wanted to share their views and love for Israeli cuisine in this fast-growing market. All their dishes, health drinks, and juices are freshly made/squeezed and they try to support local suppliers as far as possible. They are also part of our phenomenal Green Monday movement and promote eating plant-based foods at least one day a week.

Nooka Cafe Cape Town

As mentioned, the menu offers a combination of Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean flavors, which is the essence of Israeli cuisine. The most traditionally Israeli dishes are the Nooka Shakshuka and Sabich on a Plate – omit the egg and you have yourself a fine vegan meal. I’ve been to Nooka Café more than a couple of times and tried many of their marvelous dishes, but my old-time favorite is starting off with The Nook (a tahini, banana, dates & soy milk drink @ R33) and then ordering a few smaller items to share around the table. For two pax, I suggest ordering the following:

  • 2x Nooka Lentil Falafels (@ R30 per portion) because you’ll want more than two balls each!
  • 1x Hummus plate (@ R50 per portion) but ask for an extra pita bread.
  • 1x Nooka Home Fries (@ R30 per portion) – trust me, they are not the fries you have in mind.
  • 1x Salad of your choice… I like the Pan Salad without feta (@ R70) or, of course, the Vegan Salad (@ R65)

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Nooka Café is open from 7am to 6pm Monday – Saturday, but hope to keep their doors open for late night snacking during the silly summer season. They offer free Wi-Fi which makes it a great spot for a quick business lunch (hence the reason Galia and I were there again yesterday), but parking is just always a bit of a b*itch. The exciting news is that they are looking to expand! As soon as they secure a top spot in Sea Point, they’ll open up branch number two.

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Pop into Nooka Café and delight your taste buds the next time you find yourself in the Gardens area. You can also follow Nooka on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Vegan love,
Leo xx

{Review} Vegan Dining in Durban – Part 2

It feels like only yesterday when I blogged about my trip to Durban – and here I am at it again. This time around, Don & I skipped the bunny chows and opted for wholesome meals. We are both following Dr. Greger’s daily dozen program and so nutrition was our primary focus when dining together. That said, I did want to revisit a few of my favourite foodie hangouts in Durbs, and managed to add one more to the list:

Chilliplum:
This gastronomical gourmet vegan restaurant turned 1 on Friday, 8 July, and so Don, Mandy (Fry’s social media manager) and I met up with two Miss Earth finalists for celebratory snacks. Mireesha Narsai and Melissa Schreiber are both so lovely and inspirational – two humble, beautiful girls that wish to make a difference in the world. Please give them and their Mss Earth SA campaigns some support on Twitter and Instagram! Since we were on our way to a trampoline session, we just opted for a light snack – Don & I shared a portion of vegan sushi and mini soft tortillas with black bean chilli and slaw, topped with guacamole, vegan cream cheese, and fresh salsa.

Chilliplum vegan restaurant

Mugg & Bean:
Have you tried Mugg & Bean’s new coconut, carrot & ginger soup? Every vegan in town has been raving about this new green addition on their menu, but I’ve been reluctant to try it. I’m honestly just not a fan of ordering soups in restaurants, my dad makes killer veggie soups and so I see them as a waste of money (funny enough, I used to feel the same about steak…sis). As the Pavillion Shopping Centre was my office this time around, I decided to give this soup a go. Man, has Mugg&Bean done well! This sweet and spicy soup has super salivating status. The sourdough slices soak up its creamy comfort with each dunk. I take back what I proclaimed about soups – this one was every penny’s worth!

Falafel Fundi:
We couldn’t resist the deep fried crunchiness of Falafel Fundi, and so after an hour of jumping around, Don and I treated ourselves to a little cheat meal. We were such fatties – we swapped the eggplant side in the Mediterranean platter for extra falafel balls AND ordered four more after finishing our platter. I’d love to know how they get their falafels fluffy on the inside. Guess we’ll just have to return for more until we solve this mouth-watering mystery.

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Earthmother:
Every time a new health cafe opens up around the corner, the world smiles a little brighter. Apparently, Earthmother isn’t that new, but when they moved to the busy Musgrave area, they became an instant it-spot. The restaurant shares their premise with a beautiful little boutique and a chiropractor. It also boasts a deli with farm-fresh veggies, super powders, and eco-friendly household products. We only popped in for a quick snack before our half-day spa session (thanks again babe) and so our 39-minute meal consisted of two smoothies and a shared falafel wrap. It was yummy, but they should do with Falafel Fundi’s balls.

Palki Restaurant:
For Green Monday, and my final night in Durban, Don and I popped into Palki for a hot date. Literally! We shared the most amazing starter I have ever had at an Indian eatery: Vegetarian Manchurian – an Indian Chinese recipe of deep fried cauliflower balls in a sweet, spicy & sticky sauce. For mains, we shared a chilli mushroom curry as well as a chickpea curry with a big bowl of basmati rice on the side.  Take a quick squiz at their menu over here.

Palki

I’ll be visiting Durban again mid-August. If you have any recommendations of where else to go, please do let me know!

Leo xx

Back from Durban – and back to blogging

This afternoon, as I was soaking up the last of KZN’s winter sun through the boeing window, with teary eyes and an already-longing heart, I realized it’s time to get back into blogging and decided to share a bit about my brilliant little … Continue reading