Since discovering Roots and Fruits for the first time – during one of my ‘lunch dates’ with friends – I have been an addict. Not to their cakes, bakes or… bran flakes (had to rhyme there) but to the spiced sweet potato wedges. They are so good in fact, I’ve been madly chopping orange tatties at home, throwing fennel and cumin seeds on top like there’s no tomorrow.
To my dismay though, when I went in during the week, there were no sweet potato wedges left. Disaster. I confined myself to the Aloo Saag, half-disappointed, half-delighted to be forced into trying something new. The spinach and potato curry was steaming, spiced and starchy; little purple leaf hearts scattered round the plate’s edges.
My fellow diner took a brie, bacon and apple cider chutney panini, quintessential café fare which he assured me was very good. Washed down with a can of organic cola, of course.
The café, which parks siamese next to the vegetable shop, offers an abundance of health food, decadent organic stuffs and amazing salads to take away. On top of this (literally on top of the deli counter) are a well-researched selection of cakes and bakes. Scones have interesting twists on the classic ‘sultana’ mix; vegans are concisely catered for in the form of carrot cake; chocolate is not lacking in brownies or little tarts.
If you are able, avoid rush hour by taking away (my favourite is to go and sit in the Botanic Garden hothouse with a plastic tupperware of quinoa and veg salad). During lunchtime, the already absorbed staff tend to turn their pulses up a switch. The food will still be delicious, but you may not get the warmest welcome from either servers or fellow customers (the café only has window seats and a tall four-person table. Let the battle commence).
In saying that, it’s worth a visit. Don’t miss out on the homemade sausage rolls, falafels… oh yeah, and did I mention sweet potatoes?