New review: vegetarian and vegan heaven at The Pudding Shop in Parktown North

The Pudding Shop has brought a breath of fresh air to the Johannesburg food scene, taking pride in using fresh produce and good quality ingredients. You might go in craving pudding, but it’s best to get started with one of their freshly squeezed juices, such as the carrot with a touch of apple.

The menu is brief and appetising, with a strong emphasis on vegetarian and vegan dishes, and a few fish dishes added to the mix. You might want to get started with one of their intriguing tasting plates, like the Persian plate, which includes beetroot cakes with a cucumber chutney, bruschetta topped with a broad bean and sweet corn pâté, and falafel with a tahini dressing. Mains include an avocado-and-red-bean burger served with a spicy tomato lentil sauce, and baked salmon with a paprika and crème fraîche sauce.

The fish cakes, beautifully presented on a French-style platter, are delicious, coated in a light crisp batter and served with a beetroot purée and rustic mash. Also worth mentioning is the baked preserved ginger and toffee pudding, served with coconut and pineapple vegan ice cream and drizzled with a lime and raspberry coulis.

The Pudding Shop. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Pudding Shop. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

For afters, you might be won over by a carrot cake, fudge and a pretty display of meringues.

You’d be wise to follow the quote on their menu, which states: “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on this present moment”. Do just that and drink in the wonderful atmosphere and food.


There is no formal wine list even though wine is served, including white, red and bubbly. But the vegetable juices are the clear winners here.


This is a great spot to catch up for lunch with friends or just have a quietly refreshing meal on your own. The atmosphere is very relaxed, with spaciously arranged wooden tables draped with French cotton tablecloths. Rustic chandeliers, a few birdcages and touches of vintage décor lend the feel of a green house. It’s a wonderful escape from the busy Jozi buzz.

The Pudding Shop. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Pudding Shop. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.


Service is lovely: friendly and well-informed, with the manager doing the rounds to check that customers are happy.


The venue has merged with La Cucina di Ciro, so don’t get confused when you arrive. It’s just around the corner.

Have you been to The Pudding Shop? Share your experience by writing a review.

Despite conjuring up sweet sauciness with its name, The Pudding Shop is a place to drink in a peaceful atmosphere and fresh, vegetarian-focused food, says Thulisa Martins.


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