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The banting list: where to get LCHF meals in restaurants

The price of cauliflower is soaring, coconut oil is becoming a store-cupboard staple and the surname of a tubby London undertaker has become as much a part of today’s food-speak as ‘latte’. Whether you’re a sceptic or an evangelist, there’s no doubt that the banting revolution is having an impact on South Africa’s culinary culture.

Italian restaurants have been feeling the pinch especially, with several enterprising restaurateurs adapting their menus to make allowances for the wave of eaters. The folk at Cape Royale Hotel have gone as far as to rebrand their restaurant ‘The Banting Kitchen’, and if a chilly Tuesday night is any indication, they’re being rewarded with a flood of banting dieters and curious locals.

If you’re a LCHF devotee, read on for our guide to eating out without breaking your diet.

(Please note that while every effort is made to ensure the below offers are correct, we cannot confirm whether or not Tim Noakes himself would approve of all the menu items!)

Nationwide

Col’cacchio
The key on the menu is a handy guide to low-carb options like beef carpaccio with rocket, Italian parmesan, black pepper and home-made dressing (R75), as well as antipasto platters and a host of salad meals. Try the ‘Avellino’ salad with lettuce, rocket, cucumber, chicken, mushroom, emmenthal cheese, pumpkin seeds, avo and sundried tomato, or the ‘Broccolo’ with rocket, broccoli, feta, avo, spring onion, sunflower seeds poppy seeds and oriental dressing with the option to add chicken or bacon.

Kauai
The first fast food chain to offer low-carb menus, Kauai has joined forces with Professor Noakes to create its Original Eating menu. Try breakfasts like scrambled eggs (with pesto rosa tomatoes instead of eggs), Thai green curry with cauli-rice, and biltong snack packs.

Spur
Yes, even steakhouses have taken heed. Spur has introduced the carb-conscious breakfast (R34.90) with three rashers of bacon, three fried eggs, 125g of boerewors or two pork sausages, and invites banting followers to swap out their chips and onion rings for garden salad at no extra cost when they order rump, sirloin, chicken breasts or 160g beef burger patty.

Johannesburg

Belle’s Patisserie (Birnham)
Yes, it may seem strange to include a patisserie in a roundup of restaurants offering sugar- and carb-free meals, but Belle’s has just launched a special health menu. Spoil yourself with the almond-base cheesecake (R30), or opt for raw almond and coconut energy bites (R14 each). There’s a great range of salads, too.

The interior at Cheese Gourmet. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Cheese Gourmet (Linden)
One of the first spots to begin offering banting options, Cheese Gourmet bakes their own breads, crisp breads and buns and also hosts a monthly banting support group on the first Wednesday of each month. Banting options are marked with a ‘B’ on the menu, and include breakfasts (served all day) like frittata with chives, peppers, gruyere and mozzarella (R42); scrambled eggs with oak-smoked Machado salmon trout with chive crème fraîche (R58); and a banting-friendly muffin with rosemary ham, poached eggs, herbed crème fraîche or a traditional hollandaise sauce. (R52/R65). The restaurant also offers five banting-friendly burgers – we love the sound of the gourmet cheeseburger with creamy gorgonzola or smoked cheddar, greens and jalapeno chilli (R68) – as well as cheese and tapas platters and light bites.

The Country House at Hertford Hotel (Lanseria)
99% of the main course dishes can be ordered as banting or Paleo-friendly, so let your waiter know, and select your choice of cauliflower mash or cauliflower rice and crisp garden veggies. Try the fillet steak with creamy gorgonzola, bacon and avocado, or the Thai chicken and prawn curry in a Thai red curry and coconut cream sauce for mains. Starters options include grilled halloumi with courgette and tomato, smoked salmon salad and grilled calamari with a micro green salad and garlic aioli. All accompanying sauces are made with cream and never thickened with corn-four.

Gingko (Randburg)
Supporting banting, paleo, raw and a host of other diets, the folk at Ginko are also poised to launch a new online brand called Primal Chow, which will sell readymade banting and paleo meals for delivery. The restaurant itself also offers a host of banting-friendly dishes like Moroccan chicken tagine with cauliflower and turnip rice. (Now closed)

Park Café (Parkwood)
Although LCHF items aren’t marked on the menu, you’ll still find plenty to stop your stomach from rumbling. For breakfast, there’s poached eggs with creamy seasonal mushrooms (R40) or creamed eggs with hot smoked Norwegian salmon (R70). The lunch menu offers a variety of salads, from fillet of beef served with baby spinach, avo, parmesan and pine nuts to chicken mayo with parmesan, avo and almonds (R80 – R120).

Paputzi’s (Linden)
With its roaring fireplace for chilly mornings, and the shady garden (mind the chickens) for warmer days, Paputzi’s caters to all tastes – especially with the introduction of its new Tim Noakes-inspired breakfast menu, which includes streaky bacon with rosa tomatoes, bocconcini cheese and basil, or a salmon, cream cheese and avo omelette with rocket.

Voodoo Lily Café (Illovo)
Voodoo Lilly boasts a special ‘bant apetit’ section of their menu with 13 options, including a bunless burger with avo, tomato and sweet potato wedges (R82), chicken and halloumi salad (R82), and a raw vegan chocolate with coconut ice cream (R28). Items marked with a ‘B’ on their main menu can also be converted into banting-friendly dishes.

The outside of the Voodoo Lily Cafe. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Pretoria

Black Bamboo (Ashlea Gardens)
Fancy a bit of fine dining? The Black Bamboo has just introduced a new menu, featuring seared scallops on cauliflower purée (R80) and deconstructed fillet rossini cooked in red wine and marrow (R160).

Knead (Hazelwood)
Low-carb bread and pizza bases are available for banting devotees.

KwaZulu-Natal

Artisan (Hilton)
At this pizza restaurant, banting fans are catered for with cauli bases with toppings such as feta, bacon, avo, chicken, sundried tomato and cheese. Make sure you pre-order your cauli pizza base.

Ciao Bella (Durban Waterfront)
Get your pizza craving sorted here: choose any pizza on a cauliflower and psyllium husk base for an additional R15. Or, go for the mussel pot – fresh mussels steamed in tomato broth (R110) – or banting salad with mixed leaves, boiled eggs, artichokes and parmesan.

Jaxx (Hilton)
The banting menu at Jaxx includes dishes such as stir-fried pork fillet, nut granola, cauli rice and spinach, and chorizo and egg frittata.

The Mad Italian (Umhlanga)
Given that most Italian menus seem to centre on pizza and pasta, you’ll be delighted to know that this Durban North eatery has designed a LCHF menu. Highlights include carpaccio served with salsa verde and parmesan shavings (R58.95) and chicken breasts served with a creamy shrimp, prawn and garlic sauce (R91.95).

Mundo Vida (Umdloti)
This seaside restaurant offers a banting-friendly menu boasting eight options for LCHF devotees. Some of the options are a prawn and mushroom gratinée with mushrooms, parmesan and a green salad (R85); lamb ribs with tomato and cumin suace, minted yoghurt and fresh veggies (R155); and a Thai green chicken curry. There is also a banting-friendly dessert in the shape for a yoghurt and honey panna cotta with yoghurt, cream, a touch of honey and macerated berries (R45). In addition, many of their standard menu items – such as carpaccio and prawns in roquefort – are suitable for people on a LCHF diet, and others can be adapted to be banting friendly. All sauces are made using pure butter and cream and there are no hidden forbidden ingredients.

Banting food from Mundo Vida. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

My Chef (Durban)
Add special LCHF meals to your online shopping basket and have them delivered fresh to your door on your chosen delivery date. The menu changes frequently and features everything from cauliflower-base pizzas to bakes, curries and desserts.

Olive & Oil (Pietermaritzburg)
Banting-friendly options on the menu include grilled kingklip with creamy wine sauce, Tuscan chicken, and avo, feta and Dijon sirloin.

Oscar’s Café (Hillcrest)
You can alter any main course to suit your needs at Oscar’s – just ask your waiter – or you can go for one of the special egg breakfasts, like frittata with chorizo, spinach, mozzarella and tomato (R69).

Cape Town

65 on Main (Green Point)
With chef Whitney punting what she calls the ‘65-o-lution’, banting lovers will certainly not go hungry here. Order your breakfast favourites (like eggs Benedict) with a carb-free muffin, or try a cauli-base breakfast pizza with tomato and mozzarella. For lunch, try a cauli-wrap crammed with mince, avo, caramelised onion and rocket; and if you can’t quite quell that sweet tooth, try the banting brownies or cheesecake, teamed with a banting cocktail and flavoured coffee. The menu changes weekly, so you’re sure to find something new each time. Psst: watch out for 65 On Main’s soon-to-be-introduced banting high tea.

Arugula Bistro and Bread (Belville)
There’s a special menu for banters, which includes grass-fed beef rib-eye with pan-fried veggies and smoked paprika butter (R149); slow-roasted pork belly with cauliflower puree, baby marrow ribbons and garlic butter (R139); pan-fried hake with pan-fried veggies, banting tartar sauce and fresh lemon (R82); or smoked chicken salad with bacon, parmesan and banting mayo (R82).

Bamboo Garden Restaurant (Joostenbergevlakte)
Served all day, banting meals include the likes of scrambled eggs with salmon, avo, cottage cheese and pumpkin seeds; chicken mayo with bacon and cheddar cheese; and 120g beef patty with bacon, avo and cheddar cheese.

The Banting Kitchen (Green Point)
With the whole menu structured to suit banting diets, you’ll be in no danger of straying here. Guests are greeted with complimentary low-carb bread and butter and starters include crustless goat’s cheese and baby marrow quiche (R65), spiced chicken roulade (R65), and home-smoked salmon with roasted sweet potato crème fraiche salad (R62). The main menu offers tempting options such as Granny’s banting lasagna (R105); wild mushroom caulisotto with parmesan, crispy shiitake and truffle oil (R95); and a host of meatier options, such as grilled lamb loin with sweet potato fondant (R158) and grilled venison with cauliflower and leek purée, sweet potato rösti, and a rich mushroom and roasted garlic jus (R158). Those with a sweet tooth will be relieved to see five banting-friendly puds, from red wine-poached pear with lemon curd mascarpone and red wine syrup (R49) to baked cheesecake with a wonderfully chocolatey brownie crust and berry coulis (R59).

A banting dish from The Banting Kitchen. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Chalk and Cork (City Bowl)
This brand new Kloof Street restaurant is serving a banting pizza made with a cauliflower base. Order it with toppings like parma ham, salami, feta, rocket, tomatoes and courgettes.

Chez Gourmet (Claremont)
As a cooking school and caterer offering short courses and tailor-made food for events, Chez Gourmet has hopped onto the banting band-wagon and now offers banting catering, lessons and demonstrations, as well as meals for corporate companies and events.

Dear Me (City Bowl)
Particularly attuned to special dietary requirements, the staff at Dear Me will be happy to alter dishes to accommodate banting dieters; just let your waiter know. They also make banting-friendly chocolate brownies (but only to order).

Den Anker (V&A Waterfront)
Den Anker offers three banting-friendly dishes, all marked with #LCHF on the menu. Choose between Norwegian salmon beurre blanc with cauli mash (R165), seared tuna with wasabi banting-friendly mayo (R80) and Wagyu steak tartare (R155).

Ellie’s Deli at the Noordhoek Garden Emporium (Noordhoek)
Feed your family banting-friendly meals with the likes of pre-packed chicken/beef and Thai curries, beef lasagna, cottage pie and chicken a la king. You can also indulge in banting-friendly savoury muffins, cheesecake and chocolate cake.

Four & Twenty (Wynberg)
If there’s bread on any of the dishes on the menu, banters can substitute it for the low-carb bread supplied by Knead.

Frère’s Bistro (City Bowl)
This cosy bistro on the foreshore offers French comfort food, and generally has a couple of banting-friendly options on the menu, marked with a ‘B’. The new spring menu (starting Tuesday 2 September) will include banting-adapted options like pea and mint cheesecake with herb salad; a rabbit rillette with pickled cucumber, mustard créme fraîche and almonds; and a marinated tomato salad with goat’s cheese and candied walnuts. On the mains menu, banters can look forward to beer-braised rabbit and spring veggie pot; a roast lamb with braised peas and leeks, goat’s cheese purée and thyme tomato sauce; and a white asparagus, artichoke and mushroom cream au gratin. Some of the other non-banting dishes can also adapted to be made low-carb, so ask your waiter. The restaurant tries to accommodate any dietary requirements, so if you have any additional special requests – such as lactose-free or similar – let the restaurant know two days in advance.

Food at The Foodbarn. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Foodbarn (Noordhoek)
While The Foodbarn doesn’t offer a special banting-friendly menu, they do offer to alter dishes to suit the needs of those following an LCHF diet. For instance, the lamb rack can be made without the crumbs, the linefish can be served without its crust and with veggies, and the prawn tian can be made without tempera and with basil salsa instead of red chilli syrup.

Knead (Sea Point, Wembley Square, Kloof St, Palmyra, Dean St, Muizenberg)
Low-carb bread and low-carb pizza bases are available at all the Knead branches.

La Cuccina (Hout Bay)
Around 50% of the options on the buffet table are banting friendly, and the new menu will have LCHF options marked on it. For now, look out for dishes like the carb-free health bowl made with quinoa (R58), poached eggs on low-carb toasted coconut bread (R68)’ and shakshouka with fennel and pepper. All breakfasts are also available with special low-carb bread.

Papinos Restaurant (Hout Bay)
With a recipe taken from The Real Meal Revolution, Papino’s started serving cauli pizza bases from August.

Pulp Kitchen (Durbanville)
Pick up some banting sweeties like cheesecake with berry coulis, red velvet cheesecake brownies, strawberry and cream cupcakes, cookies and puddings.

Rcaffe (City Bowl)
With five banting-friendly breakfast options and three banting-friendly options for lunch, this Long Street restaurant is a great option for banters. Tuck into low carb bread with sun-dried tomato pesto with smoked salmon or bacon, scrambled eggs, avocado and rocket (R85 with salmon or R79 with bacon); poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce, bacon, goat’s milk cheese, roasted cherry tomatoes and pumpkin seeds on fresh rocket (R89) for breakfast. Lunch options include sirloin in rosemary and garlic with a cauliflower, parmesan and truffle oil mash (R115); and winter lamb in rosemary and garlic, served with grilled brinjal, broccoli, butternut, red onion, garlic, cherry tomatoes, fresh coriander and double cream tzatziki for R120. The low-carb seed bread is baked on the premises and is also gluten, yeast, dairy and soya free, and is available in three flavours.

Food at the Rcaffe. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Rococoa (Woodstock)
Banters can indulge in high-protein, low-carb meals such as beef curry with green beans and mange tout served with cauli rice; aubergine salami pizza; trinchado on sautéed veggies; and even sugar-free hot chocolate.

Soet Bistro (Durbanville)
On their banting menu launched in July, low-carb options include Norwegian salmon, avo and cucumber in a cabbage wrap; boerewors and cauli mash; rump steak with a bed of grilled green veg; and a banting burger.

Starlings (Claremont)
This southern suburbs gem has several low-carb options marked on its menu. Try the breakfast frittata muffin (two biodynamic eggs, bacon, spinach and Healy’s cheddar cheese for R40) or the free-range chicken thighs with a side salad of baby leaves, cauliflower mash, organic coconut oil and parmesan (R85). Other LCHF options include the aubergine bake and rocket salad; the chicken curry with cauliflower mash; and bacon, avocado and tomato sandwiches on low-carb bread.

 

The Vineyard Deli (Durbanville)
Enjoy a range of gluten-, wheat- and sugar-free products.

Beyond Cape Town

Cold Gold Ice Cream (Stellenbosch)
Ice cream whizz Janine van Zyl makes both a dairy and dairy free version of banting-friendly ice cream. The dairy version is made with cream, egg yolks, and sweetened with xylitol or erythritol, and is available in Tahitan vanilla, Vahlrhona chocolate and Bean There coffee flavor. The dairy-free version is made with nut milk, and sweetened with a tiny amount of dates, and is available in chocolate and vanilla flavor. Cold Gold also sells banting cookies made with nut milk, some of which can be incorporated into the ice cream for a banting cookies and cream flavor. All of Cold Gold’s ice creams are 100% natural, free of preservatives, chemicals and artificial additives. Find Cold Gold at the store in Stellenbosch, or at the Blaauwklippen Family Market.

Mama Cucina (Riebeek Kasteel)
Proving that Riebeek Kasteel hasn’t been left out of the craze, Mama Cucina has introduced a banting burger: a lamb patty, stuffed with feta and spinach, pesto and avo, served on a brown mushroom (R89), as well as steak served with courgette spaghetti and cauli-mash (130).

The Pavilion at The Marine (Hermanus)
The Pavilion is offering a banting breakfast for R155. It includes a meat and cheese platter, a hot breakfast option that changes weekly (this week it’s calve’s liver) and an almond and strawberry smoothie. Other dishes on the main menu can also be ordered in a low-carb version on request.

The Plettenberg (Plettenberg Bay)
Be sure to mention your special banting requirements when you make your booking, and the staff will happily adjust your meal accompaniments. We hear tales of banting bread, low-carb picnics and LCHF brekkie.

Pyjamas and Jam Eatery (Strand)
The menu at this quirky restaurant slash vintage treasure trove changes daily, but you can look out for treats like butter-fried bacon served with poached eggs, fior di latte mozzarella, avo and a drizzle of Hollandaise sauce on a bed of rocket (R65). The banting burger – with crisp fries and a creamy cheese sauce – is another firm favourite.

Taste Eatery (Somerset West)
Craving bread? Try Taste Eatery’s linseed loaf (add R8 as a substitute for carbs on the menu). Other options include a tastebud-tingling green curry with cauliflower rice, hearty bobotie and meatballs with ratatouille butternut mash, as well as coronation chicken salad (from R75).

Twist Some More (Wellington)
Try the banting burger with a wild boar, apple and sage patty (160g) served on a cauliflower and cheese ‘bun’ topped with onion marmalade and gorgonzola cheese, and served with courgette ‘fries’ and a coriander mayonnaise.

Stores and suppliers

#LCHFSA at Bay Harbour Market
Stock up on stallholder Jonathan Skorpen’s range of banting-friendly products that are all sugar, wheat, grain and gluten-free. They include roasted nut granola with full fat yoghurt and berries, two low-carb bread options (one of which is suitable for people who are lactose intolerant), crispy seed crackers for snacking and dipping, ‘breakfast lasagna’, banting cottage pie, egg loaves with a variety of fillings (such as Farmer Angus boerewors or a vegetarian option with broccoli, asparagus and avo) or one of the three banting-friendly cake options: chocolate, carrot and a cheesecake. Jonathan also sells his granola at the Hout Bay Spar.

CauliQueen
This online store sells banting-friendly wraps, pizza bases, mash, rice, mayonnaise, bread, rolls and granola made according to the Real Meal Revolution recipes. Delivery is R60 in the Southern suburbs and R100 in the Northern suburbs.

Life Bake
Life Bake is a proudly South African company specialising in grain-free baked goods. Life Bake offers you a choice of wholesome, healthy foods created to cater for those food allergies. The range includes 100% grain-free granola, bread and toast, which is made without any wheat, gluten, dairy, nuts or egg. The nourishing foods and snacks from Life Bake are suitable for slimmers, vegans and diabetics – also for those sticking to the Paleo/ Tim Noakes diet. You’ll find no sugars, preservatives or additives in these pure natural baked goods. For a full stockist listing, visit www.lifebake.com/stock. For more info, contact Bronwyn Adir on 079 224 9555.

Sweet Like Candi
Pop into the City Bowl Market on a Thursday from 4.30pm – 8.30pm and Saturday morning from 9am – 2pm, or the Range Market in Tokai on Friday from 4.30pm – 9pm, and you’ll find a host of sweet treats such as banting-friendly truffle squares made with chocolate and sweetened with xylitol; low-carb cupcakes made with almond flour; cheesecake made with ground almonds, coconut, cinnamon and sweetened with xylitol; and chocolate mousse made with 95% cocoa chocolate and xylitol. Chief baker Leaine Brebner will also start serving hot banting meals at The Range from Friday. You can also place an order for quiches, bread, cauliflower pizza bases and heat at home meals for collection from Sea Point or delivery.

Have we missed your favourite restaurant that’s offering banting menu items? Please let us know in the comments below.

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