Waste 2 Taste Buddha bowl

Tucked away in Temple Cowley behind the multi-storey car park, Waste 2 Taste has so much more going for it than sheer location.

As a Community Interest Company which saves food from landfill and helps to feed the vulnerable, it also boasts a community cafe that’s well worth a visit on the Ark T Centre site (a community arts charity).

“The Buddha bowl included miso aubergine, sesame broccoli, garlicky greens, herby couscous, and fresh fennel with a lemon dressing”

Running since 2017, the cafe’s vision is simple and commendable, to create healthy sustainable food whilst minimising waste through both packaging and food in order to fight climate change.

Waste 2 Taste

Waste 2 Taste also provides nutritious affordable meals to those experiencing food poverty, which has culminated in 16,000 meals being delivered since April 2020. While it is clear that the organisation is doing amazing things in the community, I wondered whether the standard of cafe food would be able to match its contemporaries.

on Monday February 7 between 12 and 2pm, Waste 2 Taste is hosting a ‘Pay-As-You-Feel’ lunch

A major selling point is the cafe’s affordability, prices kept low low thanks to donations and the kindness of their volunteers, which help to keep the food reasonable for everyone. Nothing on the menu was over £6.10, with soups and toasties for just £4.

The toastie at Waste 2 Taste

The menu has it’s staples (such as the all day breakfast £5.90) but the rest is largely changeable depending on the donated surplus produce available on the day. We dined on the Buddha bowl, whose salad treats included miso aubergines, sesame broccoli, garlicky greens, tomatoes stewed with basil, herby couscous, and fresh fennel with a lemon dressing. Zesty and crunchy it was perfectly seasoned, and so good we asked for a second portion!

We also chose the toastie of the day, which on our visit was brie and cranberry, arriving with a broccoli, fennel and carrot salad and some Tzatziki, dotted with pomegranate seeds. We were overwhelmed by the size of the portion and had to take the rest home in a doggy bag, not bad for £4!

The parsnip soup garnished with parsnip crisps, carried past us to another table, brought on a severe bout of food envy.

Waste 2 Taste coffee

Diving into the homemade bake/cake selection – the vegan ginger cookie complete with big chunks of delicious stem ginger, a slice of the almond and cherry loaf and a Skogen Kitchen cinnamon bun, were accompanied by some really good coffee and herbal teas. Yet the damage was still less than £10 each.

As if that wasn’t enough on Monday February 7 between 12 and 2pm Waste 2 Taste is hosting a ‘Pay-As-You-Feel’ lunch, serving up a delicious, nutritious meal where customers will be able to pay according to what they can afford, making it accessible for all. There’s no need to book you can just turn up!

Waste 2 Taste

And as we left, admiring how Waste 2 Taste successfully manages to combine the inspiring work they do for the Oxford community with delicious nutritious food, I wondered why more people aren’t following suit. So support them and spread the word.

For more info go to https://www.ark-t.org/waste2taste-cafe

Anna Seal