If Cilma Pretorius’ radiant complexion and sparkling eyes are anything to go by, you should be eating at Wellness Warehouse every day of your life. Why? Because this effervescent Group Food Operations Manager is the superbrain behind the new Winter Menu that kicked off on the 6th of July. ‘I’ve never launched a menu before, so I’m a little anxious that it works,’ she quips with a laugh. ‘This is just the food that I eat and enjoy every day, so I’m hoping it appeals to others too.’
It does, Cilma, it does. I took my two children for my daughter’s 15th birthday brunch at our nearest Wellness Warehouse in Kloof Street today. We hadn’t eaten there in a long time, usually getting our Wellness fixes at the cafe in the V&A Waterfront. A minor hiccup there recently led to WW inviting us to try out their new Winter Menu, and after seeing some photos of the new dishes, I leapt at the opportunity.
Apart from the ready meals, grain bowls and salads in the fridges, WW Kloof Street has a large dining space with a daily buffet and wickedly tempting cakes and sweet treats. Looking for paleo, banting, vegan and gluten-free cakes and bakes? Wellness Warehouse has it. And they are delicious. Tahini fudge, banting cheesecake, gluten-free carrot cake, vegan choc cake slice with rich choc icing, almond and orange low carb cake. Yeah, that’s solid gold.
It’s no mean feat to make vegan, paleo and banting meals irresistibly, can’t-stop-eating delicious, and this WW does extraordinarily well. It’s not just where you go to eat healthy food; it’s where you go to eat fantastic, super yummy food made with love and care. There’s more on the menu than superfoods and vegan dishes: healthy proteins feature too. Low carb and banting-friendly egg wraps come with fillings of salmon, ricotta, bacon, avocado, chicken and cream cheese; there’s an ostrich burger, chicken wraps and tempeh, while the daily buffet is 100% vegetarian. The menu is cleverly constructed so you can add-on your own choice of proteins, like ostrich burger patty, grilled chicken breast, falafel balls with beetroot hummus, smoked Norwegian salmon, poached egg or tempeh. Or choose a cheese – ricotta, goats’ milk or feta are available in portion sizes. 4 different dressings can be ordered to pimp your bowls and salad to your own liking.
4 Wraps are on offer at R49, either whole wheat or gluten-free:
- chicken, hummus, spinach, coriander pesto & pomegranate
- chicken, kale, turmeric kraut and chilli dressing
- roasted butternut, tempeh, kimchi and eggplant
- falafel tabbouleh classic
Five mains are served in hearty portions and are extremely well priced. They include:
- ostrich burger with tomato, brie, beetroot chutney, tzatziki and honey dressing (well that got my mouth watering, and yours?) R60
- falafel burger with hummus, rocket and salsa R50
- vegetarian lasagna with seasonal vegetables R40
- frittata with seasonal vegetables R40
- Barley, edamame and green beans bowl with roasted beetroot, toasted pumpkin seeds, chilli and micro greens R45
- Millet veg bowl with millet, roasted butternut, spinach, kimchi, cumin, pumpkin seeds and fresh coriander R45
- Buckwheat risotto with buckwheat, kale, leeks, roasted cherry tomatoes, turmeric and a dash of coconut cream, topped with chia seeds and pea shoots R50
- Lentils and wakame (I had this today and just couldn’t stop eating) with lentils, wakame seaweed, roasted beetroot, topped with coconut shavings, cranberries and turmeric. R48 Note: the vegan bowls are made with coconut oil.
My son chose the Heavenly French Toast (R45) and divinely delicious they turned out to be. After one bite he declared ‘This is sublime’ and a taste convinced the rest of us that it might very well be the best French Toast in Cape Town. Absolutely incredible, a gigantic portion with a double stack of banana bread, dates, honey, bacon, flaked almonds, yoghurt and almond butter. Top that, I say!
My daughter chose the chicken and pomegranate wrap, relishing every bite with oohs and aahs. My lentil and wakame bowl instantly turned me into a future weekly customer: a bowl of crunchy, savoury, sweet ‘n’ salty, tangy, nutty wonderfulness. Curiosity made me order the falafel with beetroot hummus and the Chilli Moondust Pie. I mean, who can resist a breakfast bowl with a name like that, right? It was insanely good. Think rich, creamy chocolate pudding with added supernutrition goodness and crunchy cashews. Think complete gluttony and total abandon…Take comfort that it’s made from Wazoogles mixed superfood powders, banana, avocado for the creaminess, sugar-free peanut butter, raw cacao powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and dates topped with salted cashews and cayenne. It should be a food group of its own, I reckon.
Wellness Warehouse raw juice cocktails have a dedicated fan club of their own, and whoever devised them has the palate of an angel. Example: Good Stuff Green Juice has carrot, broccoli, apple, red pepper, tomato, kale and watercress(R35). Super Duper Green Juice features Moringa, apple, broccoli, cucumber, celery, spinach, kale, watercress, cos and parsley (R39). The raw juices cost between R35 and R39 for 350ml, which is excellent value compared to other juice outlets. I went for my usual Cleansing Greens Green Juice, a refreshing, salty-tart blend of cucumber, parsley, spinach, apple and lemon (R35) and my son chose a Zinger – carrot, orange, apple and ginger (R35). Three shots can be had at R15-R25: Ginger Shot, The Powerhouse with watercress, wheatgrass and spinach, and The Invincible with ginger, turmeric, lemon and cayenne pepper.
There are no fewer than 10 fantastic 500ml smoothies, priced between R35 and R49. All contain an array of super nutritious supplements, and they are pretty much a meal in themselves. Just the ticket pre- or post-workout, for breakfast or a meal on the run, or a general nourishing treat.
So if you’re still thinking Healthy Eating=Blah, first check out Wellness Warehouse Winter Menu for the fully hey wow whole food experience. Right? Right.