Noel Kanyemba, Head Chef at Big Easy Durban, said the restaurant designed a menu for their vegan customers. The new menu offers a choice of starters, salads and main-course dishes.
We sample some of their new offerings:
Description: Mixed pepper ragu, pine nuts, raisins and rocket served on toasted ciabatta.
Clinton Moodley (CM): Trust Chef Noel to take a simple bruschetta and elevate it into something extraordinary. I loved the crisp clean flavours and textures. Most of the guests went for a second, and third, helping.
Lutho Pasiya (LP): I liked the veg bruschetta. It was delicious, crunchy, and full of flavour. I had to ask for more.
Description: Hummus options include smoked red pepper hummus, roast carrot and cumin and avocado dhania accompanied by melba toast.
CM: What could be more delicious than a silky-smooth hummus with a toasted melba? My favourite was the smoked red pepper variant. It offered lots of flavours and went well when mixed with other starters.
Description: Roasted butternut, spinach, cranberries, maple and tahini dressing.
CM: I had never been a fan of bulgur salad. When the salad arrived, I had my reservations. I tried it nevertheless, and I am glad I did. I enjoyed every bite. The crispiness of the spinach complement the sweet tones of the cranberry and maple. The tahini was not overpowering, and the butternut had just the right crunch.
Roasted beetroot salad
Description: Red top apple, fennel, baby green salad, a lemon dressing and crunchy nut.
CM: The roasted beetroot salad is a summer salad with lots of texture. Chef Noel elevated the flavours with the beetroot, fennel and lemon dressing. If I had to choose between the two salads, I would choose the Bulgur salad.
LP: I liked how the beetroot gave the salad an intense, and sweet flavour. I found this dish very tasty and nutritious.
Butternut and coconut curry
Description: Rich spicy coconut curry sauce with poppadom, roti and toasted cashew nuts.
CM: The butternut was cooked to perfection, although the meal was quite spicy.
LP: This dish was incredibly flavourful, but a bit too spicy so I could not finish it all. But overall it makes for a perfect weeknight dinner.
Description: Eggplant, lentil and mushroom meatballs, courgette spaghetti, gremolata and a Neapolitan sauce.
CM: Lentils and mushrooms as a meatball substitute? What a fantastic combo. I savoured each bite and craved another serving. I resisted the urge, but I will order that again in a heartbeat.
LP:This was very lovely. As a meat lover, I did not miss the meat in this dish, and the Neapolitan sauce was one of the best things I ate.
Kung Pao Sweet Sour Soya Chicken Burger
Description: A soya chicken burger served with coriander coleslaw and cashew nut mayonnaise.
CM: The burger was my favourite dish of the day. It went well with the cashew nut mayonnaise.
LP: I loved how authentic and crispy this burger was. It was full of flavour and texture.
Spiced harissa rubbed tofu steaks
Description: Harissa rubbed Tofu steaks, cucumber spaghetti with chickpea and fresh mint.
CM: I do not like tofu, so I did not enjoy the meal. Other guests enjoyed the flavour of the tofu, however judging by the full plates at the end of the meal, it was not the most popular dish of the day.
LP: I hear tofu has become such a huge part of a vegan diet because it is such a great way to get your protein, but it did not do it for me. It lacked flavour.