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Published April 8th 2016
Tucked away in West Croydon, but not too far from Port Road, is this little gem of an eatery. Having planned a lunch date with a friend I arrive with a hungry stomach ready to indulge. As we step through the door, we are greeted by eclectic furniture (reminiscent of nanna's kitchen) in a bright airy space with pleasant decor. There are teapots with cosies, succulents in mugs, a number of charming vintage electronics dotted around and beautiful wall hangings which give us plenty to talk about.
The gorgeous woman behind the counter greets us with a big smile and genuine happiness. She gives us menus, describes the specials of the day and lets us settle in, bringing water for the table. There's a decent variety to choose from, all sounding delicious, and a number of interesting concoctions of which I'd love to try every one! I'm considering going once a week to try a different drink - golden milk latte, ginger latte, choc mushroom latte? Not to mention all the juices, smoothies and apothecary shots.
My friend orders a Matcha latte with almond milk ($7.50) which she described as having a pleasant cleansing taste, fitting for a green tea beverage. It wasn't as bright green as some matcha lattes I have seen but perhaps it was more natural. Matcha is made by grinding the entire tea leaf into a powder which has around 10x more nutrients than regular green tea. I go for the Green King smoothie ($8.50) which comes with a metal straw! I really like this touch because those plastic straws are unnecessary land fill. My smoothie is a beautiful leafy green colour thanks to the kale, spinach and spirulina. It tastes fresh, clean and sweet.
Green King Smoothie
To eat we ordered the Vegan Burger and the Vegan Reuben Club. They were both $16, which can seem like a lot for essentially a sandwich, but the quality of ingredients and care of preparation is well worth the money. My Reuben Club had some deliciously marinated tempeh, nicely toasted homemade sourdough slices and a zesty sauerkraut. Little pops of fennel seeds were a nice touch. My friend opted to try the raw bread with her Vegan burger which we both thought was a good texture and had a pleasant seed/nutty flavour. She felt on the whole the burger was a bit bland, it needed more texture and a punch of something, perhaps a sweet chutney. The crispy kale chips on the side were amazing though!
The Vegan Reuben Club
It was a Friday afternoon and the vibe was calm and cosy. There was another couple of girls on a lunch date as well but the set out of the cafe allowed us to have a more intimate experience rather than a being in a loud, distracting environment. It truly felt we were having a yarn in Grandma's kitchen. The music was playing at a good volume, we were able to decode what was playing but still able to hold a conversation.
After a short break we jump up to have a nosey at the cabinet full of decadent raw treats, ranging from bliss balls to carrot cake to snickers slice. We settle on a Raw Caramel Tart and a Raw Magnum Cake which were both so darn tasty. The perfect end to a guilt free meal.
I enjoyed every aspect of Nettle Raw: the food, the atmosphere, the staff, the satisfaction I felt when we departed. There are so many new things to try on their menu I can guarantee everyone will find something to delight in, even if it's just a smooth rich coffee.