Culinary Quest: The Conscious Kitchen

Full disclaimer: I always approach plant-based food with trepidation.

Restaurants and cafes tend to approach such food unenthused – a second thought to the perceived mainstream, of carnivorous dining.

I’ve spent nearly 28 years gorging myself on cuts of all kinds of meat. Greens have only recently endeared themselves to my palate…mostly due to my waist.

At my recent find, The Conscious Kitchen, I was pleasantly surprised to find that despite a lack of meat, you are near guaranteed a meal unburdened by blandness; Take the Beyond Meat Hotdog I’ve tried, or the Vegan Boerieroll for example.

Modelled after the South African favourite “Boerewors Roll”, though with a Vegan sausage (or choose a beyond meat hot Italian sausage) in this instance, the roll is an activated charcoal bun, and your vegan sausage lies topped with mustard, and caramelized onions, greens and baby spinach, and their signature TCK relish.

Sounds a bit “hisptery”, weird and unnecessary in ingredient assemblage, and like it should be priced high, right?

It’s frankly utterly ridiculous – from the price of less than R100, to the generous portion (for a Cape Town eatery, if we’re being real), as well as the outstanding flavours and mouth-feel that are both unexpected but so satisfying.

From the plating to the first bite I took of my meal, I was genuinely surprised to be introduced to a:

  • Saturation of colours
  • Pungency of flavors
  • Diversity of textures
  • Permiation of spices

And all so reminiscent of the vibrant, flavoursome cuisine of actual India – arguably a top contender for nations with the finest culinary offerings in human history.

The Conscious Kitchen‘s clean boho aesthetic may draw people in from the streets, but their edible offerings are what will keep them coming back.

They aren’t limited to the Boerieroll.

The Conscious Kitchen offers everything a plant-based food lover could want, from Rainbow Boa Buns to almond milk Smoothies. There’s tofu scramble, Acai bowls, and burgers too.

You could keep it simple with loaded toast, or dine your heart out on an “Anti Cruelty Platter” complete with seasonal vegan snacks, tapas and dips too.

As someone who’s made religion of bagels (and been subsequently dubbed a bonafide “Bagelfluencer”) I’m sure to go to the Kloof Street branch, to give their Vegan Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Charcoal Bagel a try.

I’d really like to know which plant they used to invoke the Salmon.

Plant-based food can be imaginative, and tasty, and oh so fulfilling – without the expected comparison to carnivorous menus and their delivery even!

Honestly, at The Conscious Kitchen, along with vegan junk food spot Lekker Vegan, I learned that vegetarian and vegan food need not be joyless.

The Conscious Kitchen‘s brand of grub comes as demographics, means, and tastes once again fluctuate – not just with the pandemics greater conditions, but with peoples own individual culinary journeys.

Lockdowns have given people perspective. We are more globalized without having moved and engaged much.

People have started to ruminate on memories and nostalgia, as well as salivate on the future, with food playing a pivotal role in contextualizing who they are, where they’ve been, and where they want to be.

Vegan lifestyles have garnered far more prominence than ever!

Food is sustanace and conversation now more than ever, and the quality of what this plant-based food restaurant is churning out, is worth checking out.

One of the better choices the owner (Dana Korstenbroek) of The Conscious Kitchen made – for anyone seeking out the physical establishment – was situating their current 2 stores in places they’d be unique and sought after, alongside their dining competitions.

They get as many stop-ins for their juice bar, as they get hoards of folks for full meals, light refreshments, or to dig into the available Raw Peanut Butter and Banana Cheesecake.

For the longest time, Cape Town was lauded for having quite a robust dining scene for its neck of the woods.

It wasn’t just media and “foodie” monikered diners who gave the Cape its dues. One need only have walked down one of the streets of the city, to find a cafe, gastropub, bistro, restaurant, or nook, permeating with tempting fragrances from singular dishes.

But our food scene has flagged in recent months (or years, really), and there are but only 2 handfuls of truly consistently fantastic stop-ins for varying palates.

I’m glad to count The Conscious Kitchen among them.

I’ve visited more than once, on my dime, and even Uber’d an order too.

The food passes muster – what more could you want?

The Conscious Kitchen

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