Dear Me…What a find!

Ethical Rating – [rating:4]

Address: 165 Longmarket Street, Cape Town.

Tel: 021 422 4920

What a find, and in the centre of Cape Town to boot!

Dear Me is an all day brasserie, deli and event space in the CBD over 3 floors.

The restaurant is on the ground floor, a function space on the 1st floor and a wonderfully warm and quirky bar on the top floor which has a lovely outside rooftop area.

This relatively new restaurant (open for 3 months) in Longmarket Street prides itself on sourcing only ethical ingredients, according to Vanessa Marx, the head chef of this unique establishment.

Vanessa, who trained under Peter Goffe-Wood and has worked at establishments in London and France, says that the philosophy of the restaurant is about creating an awareness of what you are eating, how it was produced and where it all comes from.

They only use local and often smaller suppliers who share their vision of creating and maintaining sustainable and ethical food production practices.

Their herbs, fruit and vegetables are largely sourced from Magic Herbs, a 1 hectare organic farm in Porterville.

All their meat choices are sourced directly from farms who pride themselves on their environmental friendliness and chemical free practices (if you would like a list of these places feel free to contact us)

Encouragingly, they serve only Greenfields beef, arguably the most eco-friendly beef producer in the country – free range, grain fed and free of all growth hormones and antibiotics – slightly more expensive, but oh so worth it!

Also, only fish from the green SASSI list will be served in the restaurant – hence prawns and kinglip (orange list these days) are out.

The menu changes daily and all items on the menu are served in either starter or main portions – a great idea for those not so hungry. Click here for a copy of the menu

All bread and similar items are baked onsite.

Unfortunately no organic coffee is served as yet.

Chocolate lovers note that they use Valhrona organic, fairtrade chocolate in their desserts – the royalty of chocolate…a sight to behold and heaven on a plate!


They are one of the few places I have encountered to stock a variety of organic wines on the winelist, including those from the Reyneke Estate.

Celiac, diabetic, lactose- or wheat intolerant, vegetarian or vegan? – this restaurant caters for all of the above.

An indication as to the lengths that the people involved in this wonderful restaurant are prepared to go to operate as ethically as possible is the fact that they do not serve any bottled water on the premises owing to the fact that it takes between 5-8 litres of water to make 1 litre of bottled water.

Instead they have built in a water filtration system onsite which produces still and sparkling water and is served free of charge to all patrons.

We know that sustainability also means that one should tread lightly on the earth and Dear Me are conscious of their carbon footprint and broader environmental impact as well, hence they  reduce, re-use and recycle their waste as much as possible.

Due to the space constraints in the centre of Cape Town Dear Me are investigating the use of an organic Bokashi system onsite.

Great to see them using organic hand soaps in the bathrooms as well.

As regards cleaning products for the kitchens etc they have someone who collects their used cooking oil to make bio-diesel. One of the bi-products of this process is…a soap which is usable in the kitchen.

Essentially they will be swopping their used cooking oil for this soap, one of the most novel and eco-friendly initiatives I have come across at any restaurant thus far!

Their opening hours are breakfast and lunch, Monday to Friday as well as dinner every Thursday. Booking is essential. The bar is open from 4pm Monday to Friday.

Overall I heartily recommend this establishment to everyone who has a conscience and prefers to eat mouth watering food as healthily as possible.

Well done Dear Me!

Please see Rossouws Restaurants for an independant review of Dear Me.

All photographs courtesy of Bellananda

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