Royale approach is sustainable
Plant-based food is sustaining the world and Cafe Royale owner Robert Winters wants to play his part by providing the very best dishes from local free-range and organic producers.
Robert firmly believes that, for our globe to have a sustainable future, we must maximise the food that’s grown from crops. It’s the only way a 50 per cent increase in the world’s population by 2050 can be fed.
Robert is doing his bit by offering a comprehensive menu of plant-based dishes at Cafe Royale, which is now well established in The Square Edge Arts Centre. His point of difference is his commitment to local producers, whether they’re suppliers of free range eggs, organic wheat, heritage breed sausages and chorizo from Horowhenua, sauces from Feilding or milk from Manawatu organic farms.
Robert uses quality ingredients to make his own bread, pizza dough and pastries without unnecessary additives. He even makes his own peanut butter.
‘‘We make everything from scratch and the meticulous care we give to our dishes and blackboard food, provides the distinctive taste,’’ he says. ‘‘We make our food absolutely delectable through our preparation and the use of natural sauces, herbs and spices.’’
Two popular dishes are a walnut and mushroom pizza and jackfruit burgers. Robert explains that jackfruit is a small tropical, tasty fruit which absorbs and enhances other flavours such as barbecue and Jamaican jerk.
In wanting the world to be sustainable, Robert is encouraging his suppliers to embrace the same philosophy and be more sustainable themselves.
Three years ago Robert came home after winning the Scottish Eatery of the Year in 2012 for his organic bakery business. He’s now established the same reputation for distinctive, quality food in Palmerston North.
Every day Robert tries to achieve a delicate balance. A third of his food is vegetarian, a third is vegan and the other third are meals that feature locally sourced meat and fish.
‘‘We don’t do commodity stuff. We make a greater effort in producing food that is different, delicious and healthy.’’
His commitment to quality is enjoyed by a great loyal bunch of regulars.
And Robert has a 104-year-old asset up his sleeve or at his fingertips. He’s restored a 1913 vintage Whitmee flame coffee roaster that he brought back from Scotland. The coffee beans, which he imports, are tumbled directly through a flame which gives them a distinctive toasty character. Robert believes his machine is the only one of its kind working in the world and promises that the taste of his ethnically sourced coffee is different from anything else his customers have tried.
With New Zealand Music Month approaching in May, Cafe Royale is seeking local musicians willing to perform. They can either contact Robert or Rachel in the cafe. Ex-Palmy vocalist Laura Collins, who’s performed for the Pope, is a blues and honky tonk singer, backed by the Back Porch Blues Band. Laura performs at a special ticketed event on May 19.
Cafe Royale is fully licensed and open seven days a week for breakfasts and lunches and on Thursday to Saturday evenings too.
Robert Winters is so committed to fresh, organic food that he grows hisown vegetables and herbs in a plot at the back of Cafe Royale.