Freshly squeezed immune boosters.
One of the best ways to boost your energy is to be mindful of what you eat, something many are becoming more conscious of as summer starts knocking on the door.

While many may want to stick to healthy eating, we know time is money; and, without enough time, it may be difficult to maintain clean eating.

But you don’t need to fall off your healthy-eating wagon, as some restaurants are now offering healthy and nutritious meals that will not only leave you feeling fresh and good about yourself this spring, but will also get you in shape.

Doppio Zero is one such establishment offering health-conscious diners a variety of freshly made scrumptious vegetables, lean meats, fish, freshly squeezed juices and “power shots”.

The Fresh Campaign, that’s on until October 15, promotes healthy food options which the restaurant hopes will motivate those who have started, or are about to start, the journey of “clean eating”.

So I invited my colleagues, Nontando Mposo, Marchelle Abrahams and Sipokazi Fokazi to join me in trying the Fresh Menu at Doppio Zero at Mandela Rhodes Place in the Cape Town CBD.

Viwe's comments

The first thing we noticed as we walked in were the bright artificial flowers which gave the restaurant a spring atmosphere. Even our table place-mats that advertise the new Fresh Menu screamed “look at me”.

The waiter brought sample shots of the juice. The special of the day on that Friday was Immunity a blend of carrot, apple and ginger. I could taste it was freshly squeezed, but the ginger was a bit strong for me.

Breakfast bowls: The Acai bowl with strawberries, almonds, cranberries and an extra dose of nutrients from acai berries and chia seeds. The salmon and sweet potato bowl with poached eggs. Turmeric Scrambled eggs with chilli lamb sausage and tomato and onion smoor .

I ordered a Matcha Latte, which costs R30. This is a premium Japanese latte with steamed milk. A Matcha is a fine ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. The presentation was beautiful with an eye-catching green colour.

I had never tasted it before and one sip was enough to allow me to admire the beauty of it - but not the taste. I asked my colleagues to have a sip, but from the feedback I received, no one was eager to take a second sip.

Next, I ordered a Turmeric Scramble, which costs R60, a bit steep for a breakfast meal compared to some eateries; but, I must say, it was value for money. The scrambled eggs with chilli lamb sausage, tomato and onion smoor were delicious. The dish was appealing to the eye, delicious and filling. To top up my meal, I ordered an OGA power shot (R15), with orange, grapefruit and apple cider vinegar. Just what I needed, as I am not a fan of vitamin C and this gave me a good dose of the flu-fighting vitamin. I was not the only one who appreciated the healthy menu: my colleagues also enjoyed it.

Nontando's comments

I would like to commend Doppio Zero for designing and offering a healthy menu. For most eateries, this is the way to go as the foodie landscape is heading into a healthier direction. As consumers, we now care more about what we eat and getting value for our hard-earned money.

The menu was not only appealing, with a detailed description, but I was also impressed by the helpful waiter who seemed knowledgeable of the ingredients’ health benefits.

I ordered the Turmeric Latte. I have had this before and knew what to expect. The first sips were lovely until I was halfway down the mug where the latte suddenly became too sweet to handle. I couldn’t finish the drink, which was a pity.

Next, I had the Ginger Green juice of the day, which contained pineapple, pear, ginger and mint. This was a well-balanced and refreshing drink which I enjoyed. I was suffering from the flu and it had the right ingredients to give me an immune boost.

For lunch, I had the Salmon Poke Bowl - R90 is a stiff price to pay for lunch, but the ingredients were fresh and the dish was beautifully presented.

In the Japanese-style bowl was ginger/chilli-cured Norwegian salmon, with black rice (black food is a trend right now), avo, cucumber, carrot, pickled ginger and edamame beans. Basically, it’s a bowl full of healthy and filling goodness. The portion is enough for two and I really enjoyed the meal.

Lunch bowls: The Salmon Poke bowl with black rice and edamame beans with the ginger/chilli-cured Norwegian salmon and thin slices of pickled ginger. The Buddha bowl features chickpea fritters with kale, red pepper salsa on bulgur wheat and quinoa. The Soul Bowl appeals, too, with green Thai coconut curry chicken with wild rice, bok choy, edamame beans and toasted cashew nuts.

Marchelle's comments

It is clear that research and thought has gone into their latest offering. And, judging from the options, you won’t find any carbs here. High in protein and low in sodium, dishes are filled to the brim with bulgur wheat and quinoa goodness - if that’s your thing.

Me? I’m more of a wholesome meal person, so I opted for the Mexican Breakfast Bowl of chilli con carne, char-grilled corn, poached eggs, guacamole and cheddar for R58.

My reason for ordering it? I was intrigued that Mexican-inspired dishes could be passed off as breakfast.

Flavoursome and hearty - it’s the thing you should order before taking on a hike or trekking up a mountain. As they say: breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

To drink, I ordered a Spiced Rooibos Latte - caffeine-free rooibos with chai spice and steamed milk. Finish that off with an ABC power-shot, a fusion of apple, beetroot and carrot, and you’re good to go for the rest of the day.

Sipokazi's comments

For someone who has irritable bowel syndrome, I was sceptical when I chose the Soul Bowl (R76) as my lunch as most of the ingredients, such as broccoli, raw onion and nuts, tend to upset my stomach. But I still chose the meal because that was the only one with meat - green Thai coconut curry chicken.

The meal was presented beautifully in a bowl with fresh-looking vegetables; I was again not convinced it would taste good as the vegetables, particularly the broccoli, looked half-cooked - but they were tender and scrumptious.

I enjoyed everything and, surprisingly, my stomach was as calm as a summer sea after the meal. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a healthy and light meal, and I thought that the price was reasonable, too.I particularly enjoyed the fresh juice, Immunity, as it has a strong flavour of ginger.