Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Revisiting Fremantle and exploring the new Raw Kitchen

Ah, Fremantle. It has been featured quite a few times before on Bite-Sized Thoughts. As Perth's bohemian cousin, it sits at the ocean entrance of the Swan river and houses artistic types and those who like a laid back atmosphere with plenty of good food and drink. It is also very friendly to vegetarians.

Clockwise from top left: Fremantle markets;
casual seating outside the markets; street chess; 
 street art.

Some of you may remember my previous reviews of The Raw Kitchen, with its array of raw vegan meals and snacks. It is one of Fremantle's highlights and the original cafe overflowed with long queues at lunchtime.

This year, The Raw Kitchen moved to new premises, around the corner from the old shop but still in Fremantle. The new venue is a renovated 1920s warehouse building and must be at least 10 times bigger than the old location. Despite the increased size, it is still busy! When I showed Mr Bite the picture below, he expressed amazement that there were "so many people like you". It seems that raw food has well and truly taken off in Australia.

The new Raw Kitchen - still busy!

As you know, my interest is in vegan food more than raw food, but The Raw Kitchen highlights just how fantastic raw food can be. In this post, I am highlighting the meals and desserts I've tried thus far. I recommend sitting back and enjoying them vicariously!

An unassuming exterior

One of the biggest changes with the new premises is the new menu. The Raw Kitchen now opens for breakfast and dinner on weekends and for lunch daily. The lunch menu is extensive, and is no longer exclusively raw. This may seem at odds with the name, but I like that they are catering to a broader audience. I haven't tried any of the cooked dishes myself, but they include such delights as a roast pumpkin and aragula pizza and a Malaysian yellow coconut curry with tempeh and quinoa.

Cozy seating options

My main meal choices have largely revolved around zucchini noodles. I told myself I was seeking inspiration for home equivalents (using my vegetable spiralizer) but I think I have a way to go before I can recreate these meals...

The Live Zucchini Pasta (raw; $22) features raw tomato sauce, mushrooms, kalamata olives, avocado, basil, nutritional yeast 'parmesan' and black pepper. Beautifully presented, the dish is generously proportioned and satisfies without being heavy.

Live zucchini pasta

The olives and mushrooms were fantastic in this, and the tomato sauce was full flavoured with plenty of herbs. The avocado is included as pieces and not in the sauce, which also appealed to me given I don't much like avocado plain (I could eat around the pieces). It was a wonderful dish.

I liked the noodles so much that on my next visit, I ordered the Pesto Pasta (raw; $23), featuring zucchini noodles with pink radish, fresh basil, avocado, sundried tomatoes, capers and baby spinach. Whilst similar to the 'live zucchini' dish, the radish and sundried tomatoes changed the flavour profile. I really loved the radishes, which complemented the zucchini in texture and the basil and tomatoes in flavour. The capers added extra flavour bursts too.

Raw pesto pasta

I really want to recreate this meal at home, and am looking forward to trying to do so in coming months.

Interestingly, I was least enamored with the dish that I expected to like most. The Pad Thai (raw; $23) sounded like just my kind of thing - zucchini noodles with an almond satay sauce, kaffir lime, capsicum, tamarind, fresh herbs and mung brean sprouts. However, something about the sauce didn't quite work for me. The creamy satay was diluted by the lime juice and resulted in more liquid than I wanted, and in not quite the right consistency. I did still enjoy the meal, but I preferred the other noodle dishes overall.

Raw pad thai

Now - dessert! The Raw Kitchen has a great selection of raw vegan cakes, slices, chocolates and even ice creams. I was delighted to see lemon meringue pie on one of my visits and took a slice of that home, sharing some (not much!) with Mr B. We were both impressed at the slice, particularly the lemon component, which was near identical to a commercial equivalent. The 'meringue' layer is obviously not as light and fluffy as traditional meringue, but was enjoyable in its own right with a subtle hint of coconut.

Raw lemon meringue pie

I have also tried the caramel slice, with its generous sticky caramel layer, and the carrot cake slice.

Raw caramel slice

I was interested to compare their carrot cake to my recent raw carrot cake experiment, and am pleased to say that I like both versions. Their icing had the tart tang that mine was missing, but I may have slightly preferred my cake base. It was a close call though, and I certainly recommend their version!

Raw carrot cake

Last but not least, I have tried two of their chocolates. The flavours on offer are magical, and I picked a maca, lucuma and maqui caramel chocolate and a turmeric and black pepper chocolate.

The caramel chocolate was a grown up, less sweet, fuller-flavoured version of a standard caramel-filled truffle. The centre was reasonably thick - not likely to spill out of the chocolate and run away - and absolutely divine.

Maca, lucuma and maqui caramel chocolate

The turmeric and black pepper also won me over. The filling was gorgeously bright, thanks to the turmeric, and had flavours that popped in your mouth. Set against the dark chocolate exterior, it was fantastic.

As some of my pictures show, I have been enjoying my taste testing with a book in hand and the new premises are very conducive to that kind of leisurely eating. I have avoided peak lunch hour as they are very busy then, but if you leave your visit until 1.30 or 2pm (and work up an appetite while waiting!) then you can dine and read undisturbed.

I haven't touched on the drinks menu in this post, but there is an extensive selection of smoothies, juices and hot drinks too. To round things off, there is a small store at the front of the restaurant where you can buy raw vegan products and cookbooks, and yoga classes are held in the upstairs of the premises.

The Raw Kitchen is located at 181A High Street, Fremantle, Western Australia.
Contact details and menus are available online at http://www.therawkitchen.com.au/ and their phone number is +61 8 9433 4647.

The Raw Kitchen on Urbanspoon

What restaurants or meals have you loved lately?


  1. there is something very indulgent and enjoyable about sitting at a cafe with good food and a good book - and the lemon meringue tart looks interesting while the caramel chocolate slice looks great but my admiration is reserved for the beautiful presentation of the raw zucchini noodle dishes - I think I would like the raw pesto pasta so I look forward to you recreating it (which might be a nice reminder of The Raw Kitchen when you no longer live so close to it)

    1. It is indulgence at its best, I think :-) I hope I can pull of the flavours of the raw pesto pasta but am sure I shan't manage the presentation - there version was just stellar.

  2. Haha Mr. Bite's comment cracks me up.."so many people like you." Hmm..that sounds awfully familiar ;). I have to say, I've never tried raw food before, but I must say your descriptions of all the food sounds incredible. All the components seem really thought out and they all serve a purpose. I used to not be a caper fan, but I'm beginning to appreciate it more and more. The raw pad thai really sparked my interest even though the other dishes were better received. And that turmeric and black pepper chocolate..oh, how I would love to try it!

    1. I still recommend the raw pad thai just because the ingredient list is so wonderful - and perhaps I just got it on a sub-par day. That chocolate combination definitely deserves your attention if you ever get a chance too!

  3. The Raw Kitchen looks fantastic and I can understand why there are long queues. I really like the look of the pesto pasta however all the food is beautifully presented. I'd love to know how you make meringue without using egg whites! xx

    1. I know! It's very impressive. I think the 'meringue' was whipped coconut cream but it was very cleverly done.

  4. Who says raw is uncool?! It's good that they've expanded as a lot of people are now looking after what's good for their body. Healthy is cool - even if it means raw! Yeah!

    Gourmet Getaways

  5. I'm not even a vegetarian, but this sounds lovely. I'll have to return to Western Australia before I move back to the US.

    1. Oh, I hope you can - The Raw Kitchen is worth it :-)

  6. I am brand new in raw vegan lifestyle. Good to know some restaurants serving raw vegan foods. I am planning to travel through Europe shortly. So I will sure to check out some restaurants.

    1. I'm not sure how Europe stacks up in raw vegan food options but there do seem to be more and more places catering to that style of eating :)

  7. Oh man, it's too bad the pad thai wasn't a winner because it totally SOUNDS like it should work. And it's also making me crave thai food something fierce!

    1. I know, right?! I guess normal pad thai is so good, it's not a complete disaster - I'm happy to keep enjoying the cooked version :)

  8. Oh my oh my! All those raw noodle dishes sound gorgeous and so creative. And I would love a piece of the lemon "meringue pie".
    The cooked menu items sound right up my street too.

    1. I think you'd love all of it Emma :-) If you weren't on the other side of the world I would take you for a visit, but at least your part of England seems to have lots of vegan friendly options anyway.

  9. Wow, the servings for main are huge, and look fantastic! And being a sucker for dessert, I would gobble up the pie and the chocolates without a second thought.

    1. If you like dessert, you'd definitely like this place :-)

  10. I wanted to visit this place when I was in Perth but didn't really have the time. I must do so next time though!


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