Hi weirdos, I came across Prashad Café on Twitter and put it high on my list of vegan places to check out. You may or may not know that I travelled to India for a month and loved the food so much I would go back there just to eat. Not the ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ situation; just to eat until I end up in a food coma. Anyway, before I got the chance to pop by I was invited to Prashad Café. I decided to write about Prashad Café because it is vegan and it resonates with me.
Prashad Café was created by a family of compassionate vegans who love animals and good food. Theresa, the mother of Tereena and Krishan; has entrusted her children to create the vegan restaurant of her dreams. There are four branches, Rondebosch, Baxter Restaurant, Kloof Street and the most recent Prashad vegan cafe that recently opened in Woodstock. All the branches food are vegan but they can be made vegetarian with the addition of ghee; however the Woodstock branch is 100% vegan.
Prashad is derived sanskrit word “Prasada, (Sanskrit: “favour” or “grace”) in Hinduism, food and water offered to a deity during worship (puja). It is believed that the deity partakes of and then returns the offering, thereby consecrating it. The offering is then distributed and eaten by the worshippers.” Hence, Prashad café is vegan and does not serve or allow alcohol into the restaurant. Hence it is halaal aswell.
As I walked up the stairs to the bathroom at Prashad; I was reminded me of being in India when I could see the staff cooking in kadai pots on the gas stoves. It smelt of heavenly North Indian food which their menu is comprised of mostly. The owner Krishan is present and serving the staff happily. I guess that’s what stands out most for me; a humble family owned business with passion and tenacity.
The menu at Prashad cafe is mostly North Indian with some Durban Indian dishes. I love that they added a few Durban dishes that are quite popular. There is a few paneer dishes, breyani’s, wrap, korma’s; the famous Durban bunny chow and much more. There is a coffee machine at the Rondebosch branch I visited where the owner stands and makes his clients a good old cuppa. The menu has some delicious chai and other Indian drinks like Mango lassi.
We decided to order three curries, garlic naan and some roti to share. I had to order my favourite; Paneer butter masala. It was rich, creamy and flavourful. The paneer was not too soft but not rubbery either. Nikesh and I both enjoyed this best with the garlic naan.
The other curry we ordered was the Aloo Matar which was peas and potato in a tomato based gravy. I really enjoyed this as it was not rich and more tangy balancing the other two creamy curries. It had soft potatoes and a gorgeous flavour that we both enjoyed. The curries are served with rice or roti; you can choose.
Lastly, we chose the Vegetable korma made up of mixed vegetable in a creamy coconut sauce. This was the highlight for me as I love coconut flavoured food. You can taste the ground cashews and the green chilli in this dish; it’s quite different but in the best way. Korma is not too rich and usually made with coconut milk.
We had the sambles and raita which I enjoy best with Indian food. The portions are huge so we didn’t end up finishing anything but our drinks. It was so yummy we took the rest home. However, we did squeeze in desert; we opted for the Gulab Jamun which berry sized balls like donuts dunked in rose flavoured sugar syrup. It was served with ice cream; not too shabby tasting.
Chai is quite a loved Indian drink; its made with black tea and aromatic spices and herbs also known as masala tea. It has milk so I don’t drink it; just not a milk fan. Nikesh ordered it and loved it; he said it was nice and spicy without being too milky. I had a kombucha. Nikesh also had a decaf coffee at the end of the night that he enjoyed.
Prashad café seems more like a typical student kind of spot however there were many working class people there when we visited. It has a great energy and vibe; one that would draw you in.
The staff are friendly and helpful; the overall experience was great. Nikesh and I would definitely return. Prices are quite reasonable for the size of the portions. They are on the Entertainer app and UberEats. If you are looking for vegan/vegetarian Indian food- Prashad café is your best bet. If you are abstaining from meat for Purtassi currently then it’s perfect too. Check them out here: https://www.prashad.co.za/
xx Miss Dhanusha