Restaurant’s offering is deliciously beautiful
Even though I’m a meat-eater, my new favourite restaurant in Port Elizabeth is a vegan cafe at the corner of Raleigh and Irvine Streets called Kindred Kitchen.
I stumbled upon the deliciously beautiful – and beautifully delicious – food made by its chef Amy van der Merwe earlier in 2018 on her Instragram feed.
She and her partner Duart Maclean started to whip up vegan lunches under the name An Earthen Life from their home in Richmond Hill, marketing it via word of mouth and social media.
Together with smoothie queen Simone Jacobs, they decided to open a little restaurant and, voila, now they have Kindred Kitchen just opposite Vovo Telo.
Although vegan – which means not only no meat but also no dairy or eggs – each and every item I have tried (four visits and counting!) has been really good.
The smoothie bowls for example are large and luscious, although better for a warm summer morning than winter as they are pretty much frozen smoothies topped with fruits, nuts and seeds. What makes them more than this is the addition of ingredients like chia seeds, macha, cacao and more, adding up to a unique breakfast combo.
If you are looking for something hot, the beetroot and buckwheat pancakes are filled with a savoury combination of mushrooms and caramelised onions, garnished with rocket and pea shoots. Then you can sit down to, or take away, the smoothies – and the raw cacao smoothie which is a vegan version of a double-thick chocolate malt, comes pretty close to the latter in terms of taste.
The coffee is also good and there is a non-vegan (ie cow’s milk) choice offered.
When it comes to lunch, the burgers are a good choice: try the charcoal bun for something different. One jarring note is that the rolls are not gluten-free which you think might be offered in a restaurant oriented towards health. However, there are plenty of options for the “no gluten” diner.
The zoodles and meatballs are a flavourful colour blast. I also can recommend the Vietnamese summer roll– another light and delicious food.
Round off a meal with raw carrot cake, a cashew cream cake – the filling changes, and I’ve had one which had a granadilla flavour and was more like a pudding than a cake – or perhaps the choc coconut and raspberry bars, a bit like a healthy coconut ice combined with chocolate mousse.
Forget that it’s insanely Instagrammable, what I really love is that the restaurant is authentic, offering food I haven’t seen anywhere else and everything is just so pretty – Van der Merwe’s stained glass art training shows in the jewel-like colour combinations.
The decor is stripped back and simple, with art on the walls, a little play area for the kids and a yoga studio next door. There is an outside courtyard, and a verandah which all add up to a new cafe that positively breathes “fresh”.
You can still order takeaway vegan lunches – they can be delivered if you live in one of the nearby surburbs – but the restaurant offers a much wider range of food.
You may ask, “opening next to one of the city’s most successful coffee shops, how can these new kids possibly survive?’ but the timing might be right in view of the number of increasingly visible vegans.
However, if you crave a less virtuous fix, you can always cross the road for scrambled eggs and bacon or perhaps a cruffin at that patisserie palace of sensory delights. Who says we can’t have our cake and eat healthy too?Prices are around R60 to R85 for a main meal, cakes and smoothies between R40 and R50.Kindred Kitchen, 074-897-9339, 14 Irvine Street, Richmond Hill, Port Elizabeth; 7am to 3pm Tuesday to Friday, 7am to midday on Saturday.
Plant-based diet explained in new cookbook
Just in time to mark World Vegan Day on November 1, The South African Vegan Cookbook hits the spot not only for vegans but also for the growing band of foodies who are keen on an increasingly plant-based diet.
Author Leozette Roode is a blogger, recipe developer and consultant for Humane Society International. As she notes, veganism is growing on the global culinary scene but here in SA, although also growing, it is relatively new – and that can make it difficult to find local alternatives.
Not only that, but many recipes include dairy or eggs, which are a no-no to the vegan, who not only does not eat meat but avoids any animal by-product (some vegans do not eat honey, for example).
Roode gives great information on what you will need if you are thinking of following the vegan way of eating, including substitutes for everyday products such as various meats as well as vegetarian-friendly foods such as eggs, milk, cheese and butter.
The South African Vegan Cookbook includes recipes for breakfast, snacks, lunch, teatime, braais, entertaining and more. It also uses locally sourced products which are becoming increasingly available here.
Try Roode’s recipes for a post-workout protein bowl, to the right.
The South African Vegan Cookbook by Leozette Roode is published by Human & Rousseau and retails for R315.
Post-workout protein bowl
For the dressing:
1 can (400g) chickpeas, drained 3 Tbsp tahini 1 garlic clove, left whole 1 tsp ground cumin Juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup) ¾ cup water Salt and pepper, to taste 1 cup brown rice Pinch of salt 4 cups water 1 tsp Robertsons Spice for Rice Oil, for frying 1 onion, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp mustard powder 1 can (285g) sliced mushrooms in brine, drained Salt and pepper, to taste 3 cups spinach (baby spinach or Swiss chard) 1 tsp fresh lemon juice 1 can (400g) lentils in brine, drained and rinsed
Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and blend until creamy yet runny. If the mixture is too thick, add more water. Set aside.
Rinse the rice until the water runs clean. Add rice, a pinch of salt and 2 cups of water to a pot and bring to the boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. Stir often to prevent rice from burning. Add a third cup of water and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the final cup of water along with Spice for Rice and cook until all the water is absorbed. Drain rice and set aside.
While the rice cooks, make the mushroom mix: Add a drop of oil to a non-stick pan and turn the heat to high. Add onion and fry until translucent (add a drop of water if it starts to brown). Add garlic and fry until fragrant.
Add cumin and mustard powder and coat the mixture. Add mushrooms, plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Fry until the mushrooms start to brown.
Remove from heat and transfer to a separate bowl.Using the same pan, add ¼ cup of water and bring to a simmer. Add baby spinach and cook until bright green and slightly wilted. Add a grind of salt and pepper and the lemon juice.
Mix through, then remove spinach from the heat.
Mix the drained lentils, cooked rice and mushroom mixture. Serve with a side of spinach and a good drizzle of dressing.