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Maitre Gajjar   
Wednesday, 03 June 2009
Café Organica

The idea behind Café Organica, situated in Bryanston, Johannesburg, is to provide a mix of organic, free range and fresh foods to create healthy and delicious dishes. Mother and daughter team Brenda and Jane started Café Organica over 5 years ago after returning from the UK and building up a vast amount of knowledge spanning 20 years in the organic food and catering business.

My partner and I were graciously invited along to partake in a healthy dining experience. I for one certainly make the mistake of believing that organic and healthy eating can at times be a little bland, almost boring in a culinary sense. However this is one mistake I won’t be making in the future thanks to Café Organica's creative and delicious menu on offer.

The menu offers a wide range of healthy, nutritious breakfasts, lunches and dinners, coupled with great platter selections for large parties. The menu offers choices such as baked potatoes, pancakes, club sandwiches, toasted sandwiches, tramezzinis, burgers, wraps, and last but not least, salads. Within these choices there are at least 10-20 varieties that provide well for different dietary requirements. From tofu recipes, to gluten free choices, vegetarians and even vegans have a large selection to choose from. The meat eaters are also treated with local fresh produce and organic chicken and other meats when available.

I ordered the healthy Halloumi and Avocado Burger served with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and fries on the side. My partner went for a fish dish, Smoked Salmon Penne with Chilli, Garlic, with Cream & White Wine Sauce.

The Halloumi & Avocado burger was simply delicious and the portions provided were quite large. The food was presented on a lovely silver platter with little compartments for each side vegetable providing a very royal touch. The halloumi was fresh and full of taste, and not too salty as this particular cheese is known to be. The avocado was perfectly picked and went very well with the halloumi overall. The handmade patty was perfectly cooked and completed a great dish. All in all, a very filling and hearty fresh dish that smacks of natural and local goodness.

The Smoked Salmon dish was presented well with the hungry diner in mind. The chilli took center-stage in this dish and added to a wonderful concoction of ingredients creating the perfect lunch dish for fish lovers and pescatarians alike. The cream and white wine sauce was not too over-powering and plentiful so the salmon was marinated aplenty. The fire from the chilli seemed to grow by each mouthful judging by the water being consumed by my partner. However the delicious taste of this dish quickly masks the strength of the chilli, as she went on to say.

Both these dishes were high quality and healthy whilst being quite delicious at the same time, we would definitely recommend both dishes, however do take your time to explore the menu, I feel there are many hidden gems waiting to be discovered in-between the pages.

For drinks, I waited patiently as my partner perused, with wide eyes, the pages of amazing smoothie concoctions on offer. Some examples are the Springbok with Wheat-grass and Yoghurt, the Blueberry crush with blueberries and organic yoghurt. We eventually settled on sharing a Chai Deluxe made with Vanilla Chai, Banana, Nuts, Honey and Organic Yoghurt. Never before have I tasted a smoothie as delicious and would certainly recommend this to any seasoned smoothie lover.

For dessert Jane recommended the popular plum pie with ice cream. We were not disappointed with this deliciously subtle treat that got better with every spoonful. The pie was filled generously with fresh warm plums, not too sweet as can be the case with fruit pies, and worked very well with a scoop of ice cream. The presentation displayed a high amount of skill and creativity, which is always a nice touch when completing a well-enjoyed meal.

The atmosphere at Café Organica is very peaceful considering its location close to a busy main road, somehow the noise is filtered out and even sitting outside can be fairly quiet. Work is also under-way to provide more indoor seating area, eventually accommodating around 70 people. The style of the Café is very modern, bright, well laid out and overall quite pleasant.

With its fantastic menu and great concept Café Organica is a great franchise opportunity for anyone who has ever dreamed of owning their own healthy foods restaurant. (If you feel you could be a passionate owner of a Café Organica near you, please get in touch with Brenda or Jane 011 706 6550).

To conclude, this is great tasting food from a diverse and well thought out menu with enough smoothies to last a lifetime! The staff are friendly and helpful and the owners very down to earth and knowledgeable about the organic food industry. Thank you to Brenda and Jane for providing us with a delicious and healthy dining experience, we will certainly be back for more plum pie.

So if you’re looking for well priced healthy food then I would highly recommend a trip to Bryantson's Café Organica.

Visit www.caféorganica.co.za for more information or call 011 706 6550.
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