Review: Tashas Updates Classic Menu with New Vegetarian Meal Options

Tashas Hyde Park

Great news for Tashas fans who enjoy the lighter side of life; the much-loved restaurant group has just added exciting new additions to the Classic Menu. The new additions to the menu answers the call from regular customers for even more light, healthy, and plant-based menu options. Six new, handcrafted dishes have been added to the menu, bringing a renewed splash of freshness and options for even the most loyal Tashas fan.

For those who aren’t too familiar with Tashas, each store has two menus — the Classic Menu, which is available at every location, and the Inspired Menu, which is particular to each specific location and the theme of that restaurant. With two menus diners get both the comfort of what they are used to and an opportunity to try something different at every Tashas branch they visit.

Tashas Barley & Brocolli Salad
Tashas Barley & Brocolli Salad.

“The new dishes on our Classic Menu reflect feedback from our customers – a continuing shift to healthier eating, vegan options or a flexitarian approach to vegetarianism –the option to add in protein,” Tashas owner, Natasha Sideris explains. “The Inspired Menus will remain the same for now.”

The new additions are all vegetarian, with the option to add a protein; like egg, salmon, bacon, quinoa, brown rice, etc. They embody the Tashas philosophy of using the best ingredients and are made to order. Nothing is pre-made or pre-cut so that the taste, vibrancy and freshness of every ingredient is retained. After getting an opportunity to taste each dish on the new menu, it’s easy to see the difference this approach can make to a dish.

Tashas Hyde Park

Combining seasonal flavours and textures, each dish is bursting with flavour and every bite is exciting. There’s something to surprise and delight in every dish; like a hint of sweetness and a satisfying crunch from the sesame seed brittle sprinkled into the Barley & Broccoli Salad or the hint of sweet-tangy flavour from the paw paw curd in the Little Miss Sunshine granola breakfast.

The additions to the Classic Menu are:

  • Butternut Zucchini Rosti (R98)
    Butternut & zucchini rostis, labneh, lime, grilled onions, rocket, red onion, chives, roasted butternut, pickled red onion, coriander, sunflower & pumpkin seeds.
  • Little Miss Sunshine (R88)
    Homemade granola, caramelised fruits, yoghurt, berries, paw paw curd, coconut flakes & mint.
  • Tashas Comfort Quinoa Bowl (R104)
    Red & white quinoa, roasted cherry tomatoes, sauteed brown mushrooms, Napoletana, chives, spring onion, egg & crispy chilli mushrooms.
  • Sicilian Panini (R92)
    ciabatta, olive tapenade, Napoletana, sautéed brown mushrooms, capers, olives, roasted cherry tomatoes, basil & mozzarella.
  • Barley & Broccoli Salad (R126)
    Barley, charred long stem broccoli, rocket, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, grilled onions, pumpkin seeds, lemon basil dressing, feta yoghurt, sunflower seed brittle & preserved lemon.
  • Zucchini Rosa (R98)
    Zucchini spaghetti, roasted cherry tomatoes, olives, red onion, capers, baby spinach, Napoletana & crispy chilli mushrooms.

A taste of the new menu

My favourites from the new options are the Little Miss Sunshine, Tashas Comfort Quinoa Bowl, and Zucchini Rosa pasta. I loved all the new dishes, but these three really stood out to me as something I would come back and order time and time again.

Tashas Little Miss Sunshine
Tashas Little Miss Sunshine.

Every casual-dining restaurant seems to offer some unimaginative version of a granola and yoghurt breakfast but this version from Tashas is beyond exciting. It elevates the idea of a basic granola, fruit, and yoghurt bowl to taste bud tingling heights. The caramelised fruits with the addition of berries, and paw paw curd brings an exciting combination of sweet, tangy, and sour flavours into every bite. And, don’t even get me started on the homemade granola. It needs to be packaged and sold for at-home enjoyment, immediately.

The Comfort Quinoa Bowl is like a warm hug you never want to end. It’s healthy comfort food at its best. Packed with flavour, this dish is a testament to the fact that vegetarian food doesn’t need to be boring. The perfectly poached egg with Napoletana and crispy chilli mushrooms are a divine combination that will have your heart singing in winter. If you’re looking for a light lunch to enjoy in winter, this is it.

See Also
Tetley Elaichi Chai

Tashas Zucchini Rosa
Tashas Zucchini Rosa.

Speaking of warm hugs you never want to end; the Zucchini Rosa is another comfort food dish that will blow your little vegetarian mind. As a lover of carbs and pasta, this dish truly surprised me. I’ve always scoffed at the idea of vegetable pasta (because life’s too short not to eat freshly made pasta) but no one ever told me vegetable pasta could taste like this! The pasta sauce in this dish makes the Zucchini spaghetti shine and the result is a dish you’ll want to eat every day… and it’s so healthy you can!

The menu also includes a brand-new hot drink, a delicious homemade honeybush chai for R33, and four new smoothies to try including the Peanut Protein smoothie (R68 – peanut butter, banana, almond milk, chia seeds, spiced agave syrup & cinnamon), Berry açaí smoothie (R68 – banana, berries, coconut milk, dates, açaí, cranberry & honey), Golden Mango Rooibos (R68 – mango, yoghurt, honey, orange, chia, turmeric & a rooibos shot), and Green Goddess smoothie (R68 – banana, pineapple, kale, apple, honey, mint, cucumber & lemon).

Tashas smoothies
Tashas Green Goddess and Golden Mango Rooibos smoothies.

After sampling the new additions to the menu it’s clear that this is indeed food well worth waiting for. “We live in a world where everything is automated and instant – but we believe it is important to slow down and celebrate the handmade – even if that means waiting 20 minutes for a dish that is prepared with care. It might be old-fashioned, but we want our customers to have a complete dining experience – service, décor and food,” Natasha concludes.

Find a Tashas near you:

South African-born entrepreneur, Natasha Sideris, affectionately known as Tasha, has grown Tashas from a single store in Atholl in 2005, to a burgeoning group of 21 bespoke locations in South Africa and Dubai. Tashas Group now encompasses four brands: Tashas, Flamingo Room by Tashas, Avli by Tashas and Galaxy Bar. Each of these brands is guided by the three core principles of beautiful food, stunning environments and engaging service.

Tashas has branches across South Africa in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban. I paid a visit to Tashas Constantia, which has a lovely French countryside feel about it and is a definite must-visit if you’re in the area. Click here to find a branch near you.

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