In A Word
‘High class’ vegans & vegetarians looking for raw dishes both hot and cold – a very stylish setting for reasonable central London prices
Hi my name is Jason and…
This marks my first review for 2015, and the first time reviewing a vegan / vegetarian restaurant with Tasting Britain. I actually have some ‘experience’ in veganism, having dined at a few vegan restaurants around London over the years, and having dated a vegan some years ago.
So yeah, though I am not a vegan, I’d say half / most of my diet consists of vegetables, fruits, herbs etc, and my day (almost) always starts with a greens supplement! I’m just a lover of good food and what works for me :).
Which meant I was quite interested to see how RAW compared with what I already knew.
And I was not disappointed.
I had no idea what to expect, as I had only glanced at the website between teaching Kung Fu students. The first thing to do though, was find the place from the station.
This is not hard. The restaurant is across the road from Bayswater tube station. As we (Jack and I) got there at 7pm on a cold January evening, it was hard to appreciate the beautiful terrace outside the hotel – yes it’s part of the La Suite Hotel, but seems to hold it’s own as a restaurant due to it’s quality, more on this in a moment.
Arriving at the entrance… the only problem was we weren’t sure if it was the actually the entrance. It’s a tall and narrow white corridor with lit candles going down one side, and could be mistaken as a side-entrance to the hotel, or a museum or something *Is this where the illuminati live??*.
Once you get to the door which is tucked a few metres down, it opens up into a very stylish décor, smooth black & white modern Japanese minimalism. Then our waiter escorted us to the main dining area.
We were really impressed with the layout of this place.
It turns out that it’s an interior designer named Anouska Hempel responsible for this, so kudos to her!
It’s menu time…
Starter: Spiced pumpkin & coconut soup
Rich in smell and colour, though tasting a little watered down in comparison. There was a subtle flavour, and ever so slight bitterness from the coconut milk. It was ok, but didn’t really want anymore half way through.
Throw something in to sweeten it, like blended dates, and I may have preferred it…
Main: Thai red vegetable curry, coconut & lime rice w/ thin cut fries
In a word: delicious! Rich in flavour, perfectly hot, not as creamy as I’d have liked but it’s hardly noticeable. The vegetable slices work well enough to make any hungry carnivore forget that this is meat-free dish.
A side of white rice (as standard) with a quarter lime, thin cut chips slightly salted. Simple stuff, just what you need. The main course was my favourite part of the menu!
Dessert: Sharing platter for two: Cranberry & orange cheesecake, warm chocolate fudge cake w/ coconut sorbet and tiramisu
Firstly, some very nice presentation! The chocolate fudge cake tasted like most other vegan chocolate cakes I’ve had, possessing a distinct sweetness from the raisins/currents, though not too dense. Very rich, very tasty.
Ah, coconut sorbet you can’t go wrong with. The cranberry & orange cheesecake was also very fruity, all soft and no biscuit base, a great raw dish. The tiramisu came in tall shot glasses, a complex layer of various delicious flavours and textures.
Tea: Jasmine & green tea
The best way to wind down after a good meal, high grade quality tea leaves, and a lot of leaves for an extra strong brew!! Fortunately just the way we like it :). Being quite caffeine intolerant I started to tweak by the end of it… it made the journey home a bit more lively.
[Ed: que SANIC theme]
I’m happy to say that RAW is somewhere I would like to come back to, perhaps to try out their courtyard area for some afternoon tea…
A simple menu in a setting that appeals to me, I look forward to some more of their Thai curry in particular!
La Suite West
41-51 Inverness Terrace