Apr 5 2013

Raw Garden

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My friend Guna is a vegetarian (that eats fish) and she wanted to meet me in a vegan restaurant “Raw Garden” for a late lunch. There are not that many vegetarians in Latvia and the whole concept can seem a bit strange to some Latvians as we are a meat eating nation which sees meat as a status symbol that richer people eat more, but recently more vegetarians are springing up in Riga and so to accommodate these “Raw Garden” has opened up. Raw Garden is located on Skolas street which is a small street and if you are not trying to look for this place and go there, there is a very small chance you will wonder up on this street and walk by this restaurant. It is located in the basement of a dark black building and the green and lively sign outside the front door is very welcoming. 

 

The inside of the restaurant is very bright and the place has a flower pot on every table and you can also buy various seeds, nuts and other vegan things by the till as they are placed nicely on a large shelf. You can also see some cakes next to the till in the fridge so you can chose the one you want, and a lot of people think this place makes great deserts and cakes. I was feeling a bit hungry and I ordered a salad and a soup which each were a bit over LVL3, so I was expecting small portions and hence I ordered both. We had to wait a long time, around 30 minutes for the food to be delivered but when it was the portions were quite big, definitely more than what the price would suggest about which I was a bit surprised. I ordered a tomato soup which was served warm with ”raw garden bread” and my friend Guna ordered a cold green soup. What I did not like about both soups was the consistency, they were both extremely thick, it felt like eating a puree or something similar to baby food in a soup plate and I would have much rather preferred if it was a bit thinner. I did not really like Guna’s green soup and I did prefer my soup but not enough to finish it, so I left some. The soup badly needed salt and pepper which I was too scared to ask for in such a place as this is supposed to be healthy and vegan and without any additives and it did feel like it only had pureed vegetables in it. Yes it was healthy but I am sure even vegans like tasty food and I think they should find a way to make their food more delicious. 

 

After yet another long period of waiting my salad of “seasonal vegetables with nut sauce” arrived together with Guna’s cake. I was once again disappointed with my salad, which consisted of a lot of spinach, tomatoes and avocado (I think it is very funny how they think avocado there as a seasonal vegetable, as it does not grow in Latvia and also was quite hard and not ripe enough, so using “seasonal” is a bit funny), the portion was very big, much bigger than I expected and I did like the sauce, but there was so little sauce that after a few bites I had finished all the sauce and was left with a pile of spinach on my plate and as much as I love spinach and want to be strong like Popeye I can’t eat them uncooked, raw like this without even salt. Guna’s cake was tasty and very cute, but it was extremely filling as it was nut based and I have no idea how one person can finish the thing, I would feel like I don’t need to eat for a day if I finished that on my own. 

 

I am not against vegan and vegetarian food, I am a huge fan of a vegetarian and vegan restaurant “Food for Thought” in London as they cook such delicious food I am always very happy to eat it, but unfortunately Raw Garden fails to create that. If I feel like I need detox and just vegetables without anything added to it, maybe I will go there, but then again I just think I could even create tastier food at home using vegetables. I like the cool concept and Latvia definitely needed a restaurant like this, but it could do with a few improvements. 

 

Date: 05/04/13

Price for 2 people, no alcohol, no service charge: LVL 14.30 (and I left 1LVL service charge)

Location: Riga

Maija rated: 

2.00

Location: 

Raw Garden
Skolas str. 12
Riga
Latvia
LV
Raw Garden Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 2