Kauai opens in the Bay

Justin and Nerissa Walton. Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Justin and Nerissa Walton. Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Nerissa and Justin Walton, the vivacious young couple who head the Fig Tree Spar in Port Elizabeth, recently opened the city’s very first Kauai outlet. The new eatery at Walmer Park is already proving popular for its health-conscious meals and drinks, with vegetarians in particular grateful to have finally found a nosh spot where they are sufficiently catered for. 
1) Why did you decide to open a Kauai in Port Elizabeth?
We’d always been fans of the brand and regularly visited Kauais around the country.  Last August we were travelling back from our annual Spar conference and were enjoying a meal at the Kauai at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo airport. Being a healthy vegetarian, I remarked that we definitely needed a Kauai back home. Justin agreed and that weekend we decided to send off an email to Kauai’s head office. Timing is everything – a site had just become available at Walmer Park and the rest is history! 
2) Why did you identify with the brand?
Because of our hectic lifestyle we like to eat food that is healthy, will provide us with energy and keep us going until the next meal-time. We liked the concept of being able to eat at a place where you can sit and relax for an hour or two and have a meal, or alternatively just have a quick meal before setting off to the next meeting.  There are plug points on the walls so business people can also use their laptops. 
3) What has the response been like since opening at the beginning of April?
We’ve received so much positive feedback about the store and how much a health option was needed in PE.  We’ve also received wonderful feedback from parents who are trying to get their children to steer away from fried foods – we have a kiddies menu with dishes like a “spider burger” and  “breakfast face” scrambled eggs for the kids.
4) What are the most popular choices on the menu, and do you have your own personal favourites?
The Princess Wrap is very popular – it’s filled with avocado, chicken mayo and feta – while the most popular smoothie is the Strawberry Stinger.
My (Nerissa’s ) favourite is the Veggie burger wrap, which is filled with avocado, veggie burger and peppadew relish. My favourite smoothie is the Energiser which contains ginseng, gotu-kola, guarana and ginko biloba. 
Justin’s favourite dish is a close tie between the breakfast burrito and the magma wrap – the magma wrap contains chicken breast, brown rice, beans, mozzarella, cheddar, sweet chilli sauce and salsa. His favourite smoothie is the Go-goji Berry Power Smoothie, goji berries being the superfood of the world and an excellent antioxidant. We always end our meals with a skinny cappuccino for me and an espresso for Justin.
5) Why is Kauai a good health choice?
You can eat a delicious meal with great combinations of food that compliment each other, and not have to worry about cholesterol, fat content and so on. Our food is prepared in the most nutritional manner possible – our relishes are made on site, there is no MSG, tartrazine or preservatives in our food and the oiliest thing in our kitchen is an avocado.  Lactose-intolerant customers are able to substitute dairy with GM-free soya milk. 
6) Do you consider yourselves to be a ‘foodie’ couple?
We don’t get  around to doing much cooking, especially because of time constraints, but we are a foodie couple in that we love eating, and eating out! Having lived in Greece until I (Nerissa) was 11, I love eating – it must come from all the Greek aunties forcing food down my throat! My family has been involved in the food business for many years. 
We moved to PE when my parents joined the Steers group and from there joined the Spar family, so I’ve always been exposed to the combination of food and business. I qualified as an attorney in 2002 and I joined the family business at the Atrium Kwikspar in 2002. In 2003 Fig Tree Spar was born and I jumped at the opportunity; Justin, a professional quantity surveyor, joined me there in 2005. We’ve decided to broaden our horizons in business and venture into the fast-food industry with Kauai.
7) When cooking for your own family, at home, what style of cooking do you most enjoy?
We don’t have kids yet, just two beautiful kitties that command meals of their own! Cooking in our home can be a dilemma as I’m a vegetarian and Justin is a meat lover.  This results in three different meals being made – my dinner, Justin’s dinner and the kitties’ dinner! I’m very fond of the Mediterranean style of cooking while Justin loves Asian cooking – he makes a fabulous prawn Thai curry. 
 8) What is your favourite way of entertaining?
Seeing that cooking is not one of my (Nerissa’s) talents – I’ve been known to burn things! – we tend to stick to good old-fashioned braais with close friends. We don’t entertain much but definitely need to put entertaining on our New Year’s resolution list for 2010. While we might not go for elaborate courses for our guests, we could always provide them with fabulous snacks from our catering menu at Kauai!
9) Which one of you does most of the day-to-day cooking at home?
We tend to make our dinners together but Justin is in charge of cooking his meat! We get home quite late and tend to make quick and easy (but healthy) meals, usually consisting of fresh salads and grilled meat or fish. 
10) What five ingredients do you always stock up on at home?
Feta cheese, vine-ripe tomatoes, red onions, champagne and Sweetie Pies!

Kauai recipe 1: Princess wrap

Picture: Supplied

Picture: Supplied

(Serves 2)
2 wraps or tortillas; 1 handful of chopped lettuce; 4 slices of ripe red tomato, ½ an avocado, sliced; 1 carrot, peeled and grated; 50g feta cheese.

Ingredients for the chicken mayo: 2 skinless chicken fillets, grilled and chilled; 75ml low-fat mayo; salt & freshly-ground black pepper to taste.

Method for the chicken mayo: Cut the chicken into small cubes; mix in the mayo, salt and pepper and set aside.

To assemble:

Warm up the wrap and add the sliced avocado across the middle, dividing the amount between the two wraps. Add the chicken mayo across the top.

Add the lettuce, then the tomato, grated carrot and crumbled feta. 

Roll up the wrap and devour!

Recipe 2: Fat-free yoga berry smoothie

Picture: Supplied

(Serves 2)
Ingredients and method
Place 100g strawberries (fresh or frozen); 100g raspberries; 100g blueberries and 1 banana in a blender. Add 350ml apple juice – or else just fill up the blender with the juice until the fruits are covered. Blend until smooth (or it won’t be a smoothie!).
This entry was posted in 10 Questions to a foodie personality, Foodie personalities' recipes, Other recipes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Kauai opens in the Bay

  1. Gill says:

    Where is the resturant?

  2. globaltable says:

    It’s in Walmer Park where Steers used to be.

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