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I’m on a business trip to Johannesburg this week.
One of my clients accepted my dinner invitation and as I do not know the city, I asked them to book a table somewhere nice for dinner.
They booked “The Butchers Shop” a famous restaurant that features the best of South Africa’s meat, poultry and fish. The menu even says if the steaks aren’t big enough they’ll cut one to size for you.
I shared my dilemma on Facebook. Should I tell them that I’m plant-based. I didn’t. It was their choice.
The dinner was this evening. We had a great time. I really enjoyed their company and the conversation flowed as did a delicious South African Red Wine.
The menu although heavy on meat had lots of choice which either worked for me as is or with slight modification. I had a starter of a tomato and onion salad. So straight forward but with some balsamic vinegar it was divinely simple. The tomatoes fresh and delicious. It could have served 3 people so I ate less than half.
For main, I asked about the “vegetable platter”. The server said no one had asked for it or about it, in all the time he had worked there. With the exception of the grilled halloumi, I had it.
I have to say that this was probably one of the absolute best veggie meals I have had. It comprised of: slow roasted pumpkin, dusted with cinnamon, asparagus, squash, peppers, spinach cooked with onion lemon and garlic, a proper crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside baked potato, crisp fried onion strings and a medley of other veggies all cooked to perfection. It was a whopping plateful that I devoured as one of my guests ate chicken and the other a delicious looking sole.
A fabulous plate of food, beautifully cooked, and shared in great company. That’s what food should be about.
They asked me about my food choices and I explained what I am doing. The conversation ranged from that to SA Politics, banking, schooling and everything in between.
I came away feeling healthy and “clean” and whilst this is not a diet and I could have eaten fish or meat, I was delighted that such a restaurant provided such an excellent plant based choice.
As Frank Sinatra (almost) sang in New York, New York: “if you can get plant based food here , you can get it anywhere…”