Please donut love me, I have no fillings for you.
(For on the go food-ing, check out my Instagram: @witwhitt)
Published July 21st 2012
Finding vegetarian or vegan friendly food amongst Perth can be likened to the good old needle in the haystack, but throw in the word "raw" in front of vegan, and most of you would think that the game would be all over. However, not all is lost, as tucked away within Fremantle's Plaza Arcade, is one such raw vegan eatery that can be enjoyed by even the most insistent of carnivores. And for all the skeptics wondering how raw vegetables could ever be largely enjoyable, The Raw Kitchen could be likened to modern day magic, as it enables all their customers to enjoy familiar favourites that well and truly out flavour their traditionally cooked (and meat filled) counterparts.
Arriving at 11:30 on the dot, was essential in nabbing my place amongst the assorted quaint wooden furnishing, alfresco or indoors, the choice is yours. Saturday and near midday, Fremantle is bustling, however the cafe quickly begins to fill up with customers looking for a healthy and delicious lunch. I thank my accidental forward thinking in arriving at the cafe a little early, especially since I notice that take away orders are practically flying out of the display case. The one thing on everybody's mind seems to be, pizza.
Sold by the slice, upon arrival at the table, you are almost sucked up into a food inception of thinking that they've actually brought you a salad instead, but in actual fact you're really about to sink your teeth into one of the best pizzas in Perth. The dehydrated buckwheat base is robust, and houses the medley of fresh raw toppings brilliantly. The toppings include your usual pizza suspects of tomato and olive, with an inclusion of The Raw Kitchen's very own "nut cheese". Once again, sceptics and critics, disarm your presumptions and cravats alike because every bite packs such a fresh and flavourful punch that you'll wonder why you tortured yourself for years with stodgy take out pizza. The price is steep, especially on a piece for piece basis, but it's definitely a menu item worth paying for.
Raw Nachos - $18.50 for regular and $22.50 for large sizes
The next thing that caught my eye on the menu was the raw nachos. I consider myself a rather loyal follower to the cuisine of Mexican, and after the mind blowing pizza experience this was naturally going to be my next pick. I was not disappointed, as I was faced with a generous serving of the most delicious guacamole and tomato combination that was laden over a bed of dehydrated corn crisps. And the dairy free sour cream tasted just as delicious as the regular kind, and was nothing short of a great accompaniment to the entire dish. Don't let the way they phrase things in the menu put you off by the way, as dehydrated or dairy free is by no means a synonym for bland.
Another menu item that made me stop in my tracks is when I read the word "Pasta". Raw pasta, uncooked, and completely made of vegetables - this was going to be an interesting one. And before you know it, Mt. Raw Pasta is greeting you at your table. This is an incredibly generous serving for $15.90, and is definitely enough for two or more companions to enjoy. The noodles themselves are made from zucchini and the sauce is a delicious combination of tomato, olives and mushrooms. It's a good try if you can wrap your head around eating cold "pasta', when most of us are so use to the warm and hearty kind.
Despite this being a raw vegan eatery, they've got everything from your mains to snacks, to desserts and beverages all covered. This choc berry cheesecake was mouth watering in appearance, but even more so when eaten. The first few initial bites are strange, as in, let's not beat around the bush, but soy just tastes strange. But by midway through you're slice, you'll be wishing you can take the whole cake home, trust me. (with 24 hours notice and $60 payment though, you really can) I've also had the single most brilliant Chai Latte that I've ever laid my lips upon here, which like the cheesecake, also came with an above market price tag. The price of the food and beverages shouldn't however, deter your from experiencing The Raw Kitchen, as the price is a true reflection of what you'll receive from the fresh produce and the care taken when preparing raw food.
The best thing about the Raw Kitchen is that not only does it cater to a market of niche diners, but it also consistently serves food that is just simply good - despite the processes behind them being not quite so simple. So I'll let the sceptics be sceptics, but perhaps I can encourage the adventurous to become believers. I am no vegetarian or vegan myself by any means, but if this was on my dinner plate every night, I really couldn't say no.