Let me introduce to you the newest eatery in Exeter, Daily Bowl. Situated right next door to Central Station, it’s in the perfect spot for a sit-down lunch or a takeaway for your journey further afield.
Daily Bowl is a social enterprise concept conceived by a group of passionate individuals, brought together by husband and wife team Herman Castaneda and Annie Murdock, who saw a gap in the market for healthy, convenient but most of all, sustainable food, that supports the resilience of the region’s local producers in the process.
Annie and Herman, with creative backgrounds in art and sustainable design respectively, teamed up with vegan chef Nikita Leys from Vegan-Wise to realise their ambition. Nikita Leys has created seasonal mouth-watering dishes from Devon produce, inspired by flavours from around the world. With the help of Paddy Maynard, a long-time general manager from the London hospitality sector, the Daily Bowl team took shape. Joining the team as another core member is Daphne van Run, formerly director of ESSENCE, Exeter’s Social Enterprise Network, who ensures that the financial aspects of the business are aligned with its social and environmental mission. Alongside its welcoming space, full of plants and community-friendly tables made from upcycled scaffolding boards, the cafe offers a range of Grab & Go items such as dressings, pickles and kimchis, created by chef Lizzie Bosschaert of Envie Sustainable & Creative Catering in Topsham, alongside other Devon-based artisanal products.
The menu is simple, sustainable and seasonal. Chef Nikita told me “I have created it with gut health and our planet’s health in mind. Each bowl contains everything needed for a nutritionally balanced meal. My passion for local, fresh produce means the bowls change with the seasons. I have chosen 3 regional flavour pallets: South East Asian, Indian and South American. These regional influences remain constant throughout the year, even though the produce is in flux. We are using ancient techniques to preserve food through the year, such as pickling and fermentation, which add beautiful complex flavours, that excite the taste buds and gut biome. Expect affordable, whole foods that will open your eyes to the variety of English produce.”
When I visited I sampled one of their Indian-inspired bowls as well as a build-your-own bowl. The Indian bowl is the special of the week. Delicious wilted greens, black rice with lentils and the most warming of Dahl topped off with their homemade pickled onions. The build-your-own bowl had 5 tasters from the selection on offer that day. I used quinoa as a base and topped it with a wonderful turmeric cauliflower pickle (I could have eaten a whole bowl of that in all honesty!), tomatoes, roasted squash, mushrooms and added some additional pickled red cabbage. I’m a condiments girl and love that salty, briny tang you get from pickling. I drank locally made Kombucha from Komunitea and a seasonal pumpkin spiced latte made with pumpkins grown nearby. The flavour combinations were exceptional and I know Daily Bowl will become a regular haunt for me.
Their commitment to sustainability is something they hope to pass on to their customer base. They encourage you to bring your own container or drink flask for your takeaways, offer a deposit scheme on glass and in the last half an hour of service they reduce what’s left by up to 50% to eliminate food waste. Things that can be saved are pickled and fermented for future service.
With this knowledge they hope to offer fermentation and pickle workshops; something I have always had an interest in so look very much forward to that! They also are starting a lunch delivery service to local offices so keep your eyes peeled. With their lunchtime cafe being part of the Central Station building, Network Rail and Great Western Railway workers receive discounts as well as students from the college just across the road.
They currently open Tuesday to Friday 9am-3pm and Saturdays 10am-4pm with a Monday opening later on in November. They suggest you check their website for any special events and for updated opening hours.
Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own as always. I am 100% honest in my reviews.