Dear Me: Vegetarian and vegan friendly 06/26/11
Tessa Purdon heads to Dear Me on Longmarket street, Cape Town and sees why it's already gaining a cult following.
Am I the only one getting tired of receiving the same blank stares when ordering my cappuccino with soy milk?
Or being treated rudely when asking the waiter if there is any possibility that the mayonnaise can be left out of the sandwich?
When it comes to eating out, these are some of the difficulties that vegans and vegetarians are faced with.
At Dear Me in Longmarket Street, the emphasis weighs heavily on special dietary requirements and food preferences /intolerances.
This busy brasserie has only been serving customers for 3 months and has already gained a solid cult following. The reason? Other than the beautifully earthy-chic decor that runs throughout the restaurant (and herbs growing on the roof… no, really there are!), one would be hard-pressed to find an establishment that offers the same sophisticated, yet heart-warming and modest cuisine.
The focus is on sustainability and knowing where food comes from. Chef, Vanessa Marx is passionate about sourcing ethically-farmed ingredients that reflect her intention: “staying true to the integrity of the ingredients and allowing them to be expressed in their natural and most honest form”.
With a menu that changes every day, one is guaranteed of seeing dishes that are well-balanced and seasonal as well as vegan, vegetarian, gluten and lactose-free options.
Being a type 1 diabetic for most of her life, Vanessa is tremendously aware of challenges that people with food intolerances face when eating out, which is why her menu is constructed to cater for individual’s needs.
A popular dish off the lunch menu promises Haloumi, mizuna, roasted cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and tapenade – and there is also a vegan or lactose-free option.
Dessert options are just as delicious, with sucrose-free options for those who steer clear of sugar. The restaurant uses Fair Trade Valrhona chocolate which, as any true chocoholic will know, has the reputation of being just about the best chocolate in the world.
All menu items are paired with suggested wines, making the decision of what to sip, just that little bit easier. And if you don’t drink alcohol, the freshly made juices are a must! My favourite is the “Ginger Ninja” – carrots, celery, ginger and apple. An energy boost that no Red Bull will ever give you.
Eating out should be an enjoyable (if not wonderful) experience, and at Dear Me, the staff ensures that this is always the case. Service is friendly and welcoming while being informative and pleasantly personal (how often does the Barista come to your table and tell you about how he’s going to make your coffee?!)
As I said, the restaurant has been open for 3 months and the critics have come and gone, and come again… and again…and again.
I would even go so far as to say that a trip to Dear Me is almost like visiting a spa – you always leave feeling rejuvenated, healthy and happy.
What more could one ask for?
Get in touch:
165 Longmarket Street, Cape Town
Breakfast (from 7am) & Lunch every day Monday to Friday
Thursday nights: food and wine pairing
The venue is ideal for private events and functions.
For bookings or enquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Menu – check updated menus on their website.