Sweetbeet, Canal Walk’s new gourmet health spot, opened with the aim to shake up the healthy grab-and-go game. Lindsay September’s happy to report that even with health-food behemoth Kauai just around the corner, Sweetbeet really does blow its competition out of the water.
Food type: Health food, café
Cost: R70 average main meal
Best for: An exceptional yet fuss-free brunch, a meet-up with friends or to enjoy a guilt-free meal while you work
Star ratings: Food and drinks: 4; Service: 5; Ambience: 5
There are almost too many options, especially since many seem relatively similar. The apparent duplication is because the breakfast part of the menu is available all day, while the lunch menu is only available from 11am. Breakfast comprises burritos, toast with toppings, French toast, and breakfast or smoothie bowls. Then there are lunch salads, burritos and warm bowls.
The perfectly cooked coffee French toast is a must-try dish. Two large slices of sourdough rye are dipped in egg then fried in coffee. It’s fantastic, the coffee adding a subtle dimension of flavour to the egg mixture. The French toast comes served with syrup and coffee cream, the latter of which will please any coffee-lover. The breakfast burritos, stuffed to capacity, are definitely also worth ordering. Gluten-free bread and vegan cheese are available for minimal additional costs.
Choose one of the lunch options in the form of an Insta-worthy salad or burrito. The vegetarian Veggies Go Viral looks delicious, featuring roasted vegetables, mozzarella, a beetroot-and-carrot slaw, toasted sunflower seeds, hummus and olive oil. There are also three chicken options (honey and mustard, sticky plum or Caesar) and a tuna one. Else opt for one of the four warm bowls. The Mexican one features chilli con carne, corn, cheddar, guacamole, nachos and crème fraîche. You can also build your own salad from the wide range of fresh ingredients available.
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There’s no dessert menu, but beneath the breakfast bowls you’ll find some worthy sweet contenders. Try the filling chia-and-pineapple sundae – filled with coconut cream, yoghurt and luxurious granola – or, if in stock, try the honey cake or the cinnamon swirl breakfast cake.
Don’t be put off by the obnoxious names of the drinks. The Katy Berry, for example, is the dairy-free smoothie option and it’s fantastic. Made with just mixed berries, apple juice and berry sorbet, it seems like it should be a runny letdown, but instead it’s gloriously thick and packed with flavour. There’s also the Robin Thick, John Legendairy and the Tropics at the Disco. There are three freshly squeezed juices (The Beetles, Ludacrisp and Miley Cytrus) that are enjoyable but might not convert the unconverted. Super shakes are filled with ingredients like frozen cauliflower, organic coconut, turmeric, chaga powder and avos.
Service is nothing short of excellent. Everyone is there to help you and will do it with huge smiles on their faces. This isn’t the sort of spot where you need to feel ashamed about dietary requirements – if something isn’t vegan or lactose-free, they’re happy to make it so for you, if possible.
Serving as a welcome haven from the buzzing mall, Sweetbeet is all about the environment and it shows. There’s lots of blond wood – most prominently on the bleachers-style seating at the far end of the restaurant – and light green. Visible behind the huge counter is an array of fresh ingredients that make you feel even more virtuous about your meal, and the build-your-own salad bar is clean and appealing. There are various seating options, with most accompanied by a plug point, making it perfectly suited for all mealtimes and ages.
Take-aways come in sustainable packaging, paper straws included, and there’s even a recycling bin available in-store. You’re guaranteed to leave feeling good about yourself.