A winning lunch at the Wise Cicada

Wise Cicada saladsSunday lunches are often busy times and this popular vegan cafe in Newmarket on a warm autumn afternoon was no exception. We were lucky to find three seats at one of the long polished wooden tables.

We were briefly tempted by the hot food in the brunch bar but settled on the hot dish of the day, a roast pumpkin, chickpea and tempeh dhal ($12.50). It was delicious. The spiced ginger and coconut cream sauce also contained kumara, onion, garlic, kale and carrot, and was served with red quinoa infused with lemon and orange zest. The quinoa provided a light, fresh balance that offset the creamy main nicely.

We shared a slice of the Vegan Raw Cheesecake ($9). The crust is made with cashew, almond, coconut and date paste, and the filling with coconut oil, cashew, vanilla, lemon juice and the flavour of the day, which happened to be berry. It was sufficiently rich for a third share each to be entirely satisfying.

The coffee was a disappointment, bitter and not warm, but the cheerful, willing staff seemed hard pressed to keep up with the orders. We left feeling quite satisfied with our choice overall.

As an encore I was able to choose two salads from their colourful salad bar ($3.95/100 grams) – kale with apple, walnut, sprouted mung beans, ginger and mustard, and a cauliflower salad with tahini, carrots, sprouted mung beans, and almonds in a satay sauce – to take away.

www.wisecicada.co.nz

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