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Leafy Greens Café

Leafy Greens Café
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Cost
R80
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Bakery fare

Critic's review

Hennie Fisher

Food
The menu offers an a la carte section as well as individual desserts. But it is ‘le Buffet’ that one wants to experience here, and the only thing served after 11am. They maintain 90% of their dishes are gluten-free; all dishes are 100% dairy-free and they use no refined sugars. Choose a portion of avocado toast from the a la carte, made with home-baked sourdough toast, avocado, tomato, rocket, balsamic reduction and herbs, or a baked pizza with a spelt or gluten-free base. The vegan burger features a quinoa and vegetable patty and sweet potato fries or salad. The buffet includes amazing bowls of tricolour rice, spinach cottage pie, magic wands (best described like a vegetable dried sausage), hummus, dehydrated salad, uncooked falafel with Bao Mayo, tapenade, vegetarian lasagne, vegetarian wraps with a delicious dipping sauce, mock egg mayo and mock tuna mayo (both delicious, to the horror of some of the guests at the table). Other options include vegetable curry, chickpea salad, guacamole and so forth – the buffet offers an average of 30 dishes.

Drinks
Wines are extremely well priced. Avondale Armilla Brut NV (organic) and Waverley Hills Sparkling MCC 2010 are good bubbly choices, offered without fuss among the other whites. These include La Motte Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (also organic), a whole array of Protea wines, Stellar White Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay (both organic) and a few more wines from Waverley Hills. The red section has slightly more options such as Avondale Samsara Syrah 20016 (organic), Die Waghuis Syrah 2013, Laibach Ladybird Red Blend 2011 (organic), Le Piquet Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2012 (organic) and Org de Rac Reserve Merlot 2011 (organic) at R199.

Service
On a busy day one should make a point of asking where they will put you when you make the booking. The main restaurant, which is where the buffet is stationed, can become slightly crowded because people move in and out all the time, also to get into the store selling all sorts of food stuffs and the like. The outside terrace is not big, so that fills up quickly and has some of the same concerns as inside. On busy days tables spill out all over the property but one should be able to find a secluded spot under a tree. Service is attentive, and questions about the food (of which there are bound to be quite a few if you are not a seasoned veggie) are answered with great patience and friendliness. If lots of people is not your thing, rather go on a less busy day. Even on busy days, the kitchen is adept at keeping the Harvest Table full and stocked, and one can see them buzzing about in the open-plan kitchen.

Ambience
Arrive through a lovely tree canopied walkway, past the little chapel, past the coffee roastery with the most amazing aromas wafting out. Leafy Greens would steal the heart of anyone vaguely interested in kitchen gardening. There is a massive vegetable/herb/fruit garden inter-planted with dahlias and roses, which are used profusely as table flowers all over the restaurant and even in the bathrooms. Be sure to amble through the garden among fig trees, rhubarb bushes, cascades of nasturtiums, peppadews, and pecan trees. This establishment does not attempt to be Gauteng’s answer to Babylonstoren, but manages to convey a sense of honesty and a natural ethos about the food that it serves. The restaurant feels a little like an old style French kitchen with the massive built-in food buffet dominating the room, and the shop to one side sells a huge selection of high quality health, vegetarian and other ‘green’ food products. They share the same property as Casalinga, so there is a massive car parking area just on the inside of the property gates.

And…
If wine or alcohol is not your thing, somebody would gladly open and present you with a whole coconut, island-style. There is also a fantastic array of smoothies, lassis, and juices to quench even the severest thirsts. Opt for a refreshing smoothie made with organic greens from the garden, almonds, dates, banana, Moringa, Maca, aloe vera, pineapple and coriander, or one of the best apple sherbets with lemon zest.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Hennie Fisher

    Looking for sugar-, dairy- or gluten-free food in Joburg? Reviewer Hennie Fisher finds an impressive range at this Muldersdrift restaurant.

    Food

    The menu does offer an à la carte section and desserts, but it’s the buffet that you should experience here – and it’s the only thing served after 11am. They maintain that 90% of their dishes are gluten-free, all dishes are 100% dairy-free, and they use no refined sugars.

    Off the à la carte, start with avocado on home-baked sourdough toast with tomato, rocket, balsamic reduction and herbs, or order a baked pizza with a spelt or gluten-free base. The vegan burger features a quinoa and vegetable patty and sweet potato fries or salad.

    The buffet includes amazing bowls of tricolour rice, spinach cottage pie, magic wands (best described like a dried vegetable ‘sausage’), hummus, dehydrated salad, raw falafel with bao mayo, tapenade, vegetarian lasagne, wraps with a delicious dipping sauce, mock egg mayo and mock tuna mayo (both delicious, to the horror of some of the guests at the table). Other options include vegetable curry, chickpea salad, guacamole and so forth. The buffet offers an impressive average of 30 dishes.

    Drinks 

    Wines are extremely well priced. Avondale Armilla Brut NV (organic) and Waverley Hills Sparkling MCC 2010 are good bubbly choices, offered without fuss amongst the other organic whites, such as La Motte Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Stellar White Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and a few more from Waverley Hills. The red section has slightly more options such as Avondale Samsara Syrah 2016, Die Waghuis Syrah 2013 and Org de Rac Reserve Merlot 2011 (organic) at R199.

    Service

    The main restaurant, which is where the buffet is stationed, can become slightly crowded, with people constantly moving and out and going through to the store to buy food stuffs. The small outside terrace fills up quickly and on busy days the tables spill out all over the property, so it’s best to find a secluded spot under a tree. Service is attentive, and questions about the food (of which there are bound to be a few if you’re not a seasoned veggie) are answered with great patience and friendliness. Even on busy days, the harvest table is kept full, and you can see staff buzzing about in the open-plan kitchen.

    Ambience 

    The establishment conveys a sense of honesty and a natural ethos about the food that it serves. As you arrive, you move through a lovely tree-canopied walkway past the little chapel and the coffee roastery with its wafting aromas.

    The restaurant itself feels a little like an old-style French kitchen with the massive buffet dominating the room, and the shop to one side sells a huge selection of health, vegetarian and green food products.

    Leafy Greens would steal the heart of anyone vaguely interested in kitchen gardening. There’s a massive vegetable, herb and fruit garden inter-planted with dahlias and roses, which are used as decorations all over the restaurant and even in the bathrooms. Be sure to amble among fig trees, rhubarb bushes, cascades of nasturtiums, sweet piquant peppers and pecan trees. It shares the same property as Casalinga Ristorante, both of which can be reached from the large parking area.

    And…

    If alcohol isn’t your thing, somebody will gladly open and present you with a whole coconut, island-style. There is also a fantastic array of smoothies, lassis and juices to quench the thirst. Opt for a refreshing smoothie made with organic greens from the garden and almonds, dates, banana, moringa, maca, aloe vera, pineapple and coriander, or one of the best apple sherbets with lemon zest.

User reviews

  • I am so on the fence about Leafy Greens! I love the setting and the concept. I have only ever been able to eat from the buffet because I find the hours rather restricting and this restaurant is not open all that often. I am never totally sure what I am eating (despite the fact that the food is usually labelled on the buffet table), so I usually judge by my eye. Some of the dishes are totally divine, like the curry and the bread (oh my oh my that bread!) while others are a miss for me. Granted it could be because my brain and stomach are not used to a completely 'raw' dish. I have not been blown away by the drinks or desserts. The cheesecakes are so sweet and a tad difficult to stomach all by yourself. I wish they would not only use agave nectar as their sweetener because it can be so overpowering. I also find the buffet to be a little bit on the pricey side however I usually leave there with a serious food baby! I recommend it is a place you try at least once or twice.
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  • What a lovely setting in a garden. You feel like you're out in the country, its such a peaceful setting. The first time, I was a total 'piggie' and ordered 2 'raw' cheesecakes. The berry cheesecake and the Chocolate & Orange cheesecake. I had most of these 2 slices, but boy, they are super-rich. The filling is made mostly of ground cashews and although both cheesecakes were really good, just too rich for me. Share a slice with 3 friends. If you want a novelty drink, order the Fresh Mozambique Coconut - a whole coconut with hole in the top - you sip the 'water' through the straw and then eat the coconut flesh (or take it home). On another day, I had a raw pizza slice. Buckwheat & spelt crust, topped with artichokes, 'nut cheeses', avocado and dehydrated onion slices. OH MY GOSH! I practically inhaled that pizza slice. The onions were out of this world!!!!! At another table they ordered the whole pizza - it's a sight for sore eyes!!! If you don't order anything else, order the pizza. And make sure it has the onions!!! Although the pizza slice is not big, with the salad topped with a creamy dressing its a nice portion - and for R45 a must to order!!! My friend ordered the Gourmet Sandwich - oh my word! It was quite a generous portion!! 2 Slices of amazing gluten-free bread, topped with veggies and with a side salad. Absolutely amazing!!!!!
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  • What a lovely experience. The food is divine!
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  • A beautiful and tranquil place to connect with nature and the food it has to offer. Lovely staff and delicious dishes and drinks!
    Can't wait to go back!

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  • Service was terrible. Overpriced. Really wont' bother going back.

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Facilities

  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Vegetarian

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