Raw foods are those that have been subject to heat 48C and under to retain vital nutrients. The challenge is to make them tasty. Here’s some joints that succeeded!
RAW is nestled in the plush surroundings of the La Suite West hotel and offers vegan, dairy-free and raw dishes and is seriously high-end. Aubergine rolls, courgette and squash salads, and raw tiramisu await, all beautifully presented, a la Michelin. Definitely a step-up from mung bean cafes.
This is health food for fashionistas, and the pumpkin ‘souffle’, beetroot raviolis and ‘cheesecakes’ challenge anyone’s preconceptions about raw or uber-healthy food being unsophisticated.
Tanya’s is again a gorgeous space and also plopped into a lovely hotel, in this case the myhotel in Chelsea. Tanya’s is a superfood cocktail bar as well and run by a health food and raw expert.
The menu boasts Thai Curry kelp noodles and Lasagne made with mushroom meat and basil pesto. The dessert counter is enough to tempt even the most suspicious pudding-aholic, and there are some very grown-up cocktails, with healthy additions and sweetened by xylitol.
Notting Hill’s Nama (see HotJoint’s Rockingest Veggies) only fuels the theory that west London has all the best raw food joints. Raw almond and walnut breads, courgette noodles, cashew and macadamia crackers all transport the health food ethos.
The Wild Food café is more central, located slap bang in the healing, gong-loving centre of health and happiness that is Neal’s Yard, with super salads, some more tempting raw desserts and a wild selection of smoothies and juices containing some ingredients that, frankly, HotJoint’s never even heard of (he-shou-wou extract, anyone? Incan berries?).
Healthy eating is alive and well in London but still waiting for scale –there’s no doubt that producing tasty raw food options is a challenge but more chefs and restaurateurs need to be taking it up. New joint Rawligion, all eyes are on you.