Prashad café may be in the most unassuming location but it is everything but your everyday restaurant. Not only is the menu a mix of authentic Indian cuisine, it has a distinct Durban edge to it, which makes for bursts of flavour. If the rich, aromatic smells drifting across the room are anything to go by, you know that it will be a satisfying experience.
The room is painted a warm fuschia and is decorated with simple tables and chairs that still somehow speak of the rich opulence of east. The owner/manager, Krishan Peters stands proudly by the counter, ready to be involved with every aspect of service. It is clear that he is deeply invested in the restaurant. Prashad café is his first self-owned place, and he has the privilege on partnering with his mom, Theresa, who happens to also be the brilliant chef behind the flavours.
The restaurant’s lineage is impressive, with Krishan and his mother owning a restaurant in the Baxter Theatre as well the Maharaja Vegetarian restaurant in Rondebosch. They also have family ties to the age-old Maharajah restaurant located in Tamboerskloof.
All of the restaurants aside from the original boast strictly vegetarian menus. Krishan proudly shares that of the dishes on the menu, about 70% are vegan and they are continually trying to move towards that mark of a fully vegan menu. “Because of our spiritual beliefs, we don’t sell meat, and even though we initially experienced a drop in sales, it is so much more rewarding than making a profit off of meat.”
Added to this is the fact that veganism is significantly on the rise, especially in Cape town. More and more people are realising the affect that excessive meat consumption has on your body as well as the environment. Krishan is going to make it much easier to say no to animal products by slowly incorporating more vegan desserts (such as vegan chocolate cake= yum) and experimenting with the regular Prashad recipes to create a vegan friendly option.
Eventually he would like to open another Indian restaurant that uses no animal products whatsoever, even finding a delicious alternative to the well-loved naan bread. “You won’t find our naan breads anywhere else, we will be the only place that sells vegan naan bread.”
All that said, what other delicious options are on the menu? The most popular is their vegetarian butter chicken, which one customer claimed was “even better than traditional chicken curry”. Wow – what a claim. When we asked what the most underestimated dish was, Krishan claimed it was the chickpea Chana Masala. It is definitely going on our list of dishes to try. Did we mention that Prashad café also serves Origin coffee? That’s right, Indian food and good coffee, the peak of happiness.
If you work in the city and need a nutritious lunch, take a stroll to the center on the corner of Kloof and Weltevreden street (where the Checkers is) and treat yourself to something spicy and satisfying. Look out for future R50 lunch specials and vegan delectables on their social media pages.
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/maharajah_vegetarian/