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Ethos Organic Café & Restaurant: Nairobi Restaurant That Doesn’t Serve Meat, Animal Products

Ethos Organic Café & Restaurant is a vegan restaurant located at Harmony Centre on General Mathenge Road. The restaurant has a stylish design with high ceilings, large windows and a classic school-chair-and-desk concept.

The restaurant was opened less than five months ago by Marcus Fanenbruck and his partner. Being a vegan himself, the enterprenuer was motivated to open a vegan restaurant when he moved to Kenya in 2015.

For the German, his decision to be vegan was courtesy to information he had gathered throughout his life working as a geography teacher back home and here. A vegan diet is exclusively plant-based. It excludes all animal products and their by-products; milk, meat, eggs, honey, poultry and fish, among others.

The restaurant website reads in part:

“We care about the animals of the earth, we believe that, like us, they have rights and deserve to have their best interests taken into consideration, regardless of whether they are useful to humans or not.”

His goal is to cement sustainability into the hospitality industry by making plant-based food in his restaurant.

Other than the food prepped in his restaurant, Marcus has also adopted other ways of being environmental-friendly. As part of his commitment to conserve the environment, all the café’s tables center pieces are recycled wine bottles designed by a local pro-sustainability artist.

Speaking in an interview with Business Daily, Mr. Fanenbruck had this to say about the vegan lifestyle, “If you went to a restaurant as a vegan six years ago, your meal choices were meat dishes without the meat. A Caesar chicken salad without the chicken was one of the few options available.”

His journey of seeking out plant-based foods culminated into the opening of Ethos Organic Café and Restaurant.

“We supply customers with organic and plant-based dishes at a fair price. So far, we find ourselves catering to those with special diets. Vegans, gluten-free consumers and people with food allergies,” he said.

One can also enjoy a glass of organic wine and beer at the restaurant.

“Our milk alternatives for coffee are soy, almond and oat milk,” he explains, noting that they don’t charge extra for this. In the future, we should charge extra for cow’s milk.”

About three and a half years ago, Mr. Fanenbruck and his business partner developed and started selling a handmade, plant-based and organic tofu, calling it Mtofu. The response was incredible, with many people embracing and subscribing to it.

The success of Mtofu encouraged them to develop more foods that imitate cheese and meat products.

The Ethos menu includes some of them including the ‘Like-Cheese’, ‘Kama Kuku’ and ‘Kama Nyama’ burgers and the ‘Kama Kuku’ nuggets. They look and taste like meat but are plant-based.

The pizzas at the restaurant are also prepared using homemade vegan mozzarella cheese. Gluten-free options are available too.

In case you are wondering where Mr. Fanenbruck sources his raw materials, you will be impressed to learn that they are all sourced locally. “All our ingredients are carefully selected or manufactured by us to ensure their quality and integrity. We don’t use artificial ingredients,” he said during the interview with BD.

In terms of customers, most of Ethos clients are Kenyan-Indians who lead a vegan lifestyle, health-conscious expats and locals, and young Kenyan foodies who are curious about the vegan lifestyle.