The Raw Kitchen - if you smell burning, run.

The Raw Kitchen - 181a High St, Fremantle, WA

I've been hanging out in Perth for a few days, specifically, Freemantle. It might be the area we're staying in but there is an abundance of vegetarian and vegan cafés and restaurants here. After a quick Yelp search, I had my heart set on The Raw Kitchen. And by "raw", I mean nothing is cooked. No ovens, no hot plates, all raw ingredients.

The Raw Kitchen - outside
Unassuming from the outside, there's a modest setting for two under a window filled with bustling staff making coffees and chatting about their guests. It's the sort of conversation that compels you to walk in and experience it for yourself.

Thew Raw Kitchen - outside
Inside, the huge 1920's warehouse is cleverly sectioned off using shipping containers and the type of fencing I associate with building sites. Immediately to the left of the entrance is a small retail space, sectioned off with the builders fencing. We browsed the store for a few minutes, wishing I'd brought a bigger suitcase to take home some handmade homewares and delicious vegan goodies.

Inside The Raw Kitchen - see the white shipping container
It was the Friday night before Freemantle's Cruelty Free Festival. This place might be busy every night, or the smell of patchouli oil in the air attracted a bigger than usual crowd. Either way, it was well frequented but we scored a cosy candle lit table inside a shipping container.

We were presented with brown paper menus on wooden clipboards - the type that scream sustainability. From kale chips to pad Thai, pastas, pizzas and sandwiches, it's all raw, sugar free and vegan. The list of smoothies are made with almond milk and juices freshly squeezed. Mark went for the caramel smoothie and I took our waitstaff's recommendation on the Blue Moon.

The best smoothies I've ever tasted.
Unequivocally, these are the best smoothies we've ever had. Mark's caramel smoothie was super smooth (no chunky bits of almond or date), ice cold, sweet and thick. My Blue Moon smoothie was filled with blueberries and balanced with a subtle taste of lavender - amazing. And you know those new waxed paper straws? The ones that fold flat if you're being greedy and want too much smoothie? Well, these smoothies comes with metal straws! Yes, metal!

We eventually ordered a Probiotic Plate for two as an entree.

Probiotic plate for two
From left to right; sauerkraut, cucumber mint pickle, kimchi and in the cups either side is kombucha (providing the probiotic). On their own, the sauerkraut was mild and the kimchi was intense but together, they balanced each other out. The cucumber mint pickle was delicious and definitely my favourite of the three. The Kombucha has an interesting flavour, best compared to apple cider with a hint of vinegar. This is definitely something I recommend you try and if you're feeling generous, share it with your mates.

I was keen on ordering the Pad Thai but to show the other bloggers that raw food isn't all for pot smoking hippies, I opted for the club sandwich. The sandwich part is made with flaxseed; it's not like the cracker I expected, the texture is more like bread, it's soft, pliable and delicious. The flaxseed lend it a texture similar to multigrain bread. Inside, marinated mushroom, mango salsa, vegetables, avocado and the cashew mayo worked like a team to high 5 my taste buds with every mouthful.

Raw club sandwich
We shared everything because I wanted to try as much as I could, so I swapped half my club sandwich for Mark's nachos. The corn chips were hand cut and dehydrated, the refried beans are made using walnuts and the sour cream is made using cashews. The tomatoes are delicately diced and mixed with fresh herbs, then the dish is loaded with creamy guacamole and when it's all combined, it makes your insides smile. Even Mark - the carnivore - was gushing over both these dishes.

Raw nachos
We were already full but after flicking through the dessert menu, we couldn't resist ordering a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake, and a lemon berry cheesecake. Again, both raw.

Mark made a start on the white chocolate raspberry cheesecake which was firm, sweet and tasted remarkably like white chocolate. The berry topping was thick and didn't make the chocolate layer soggy at all. The biscuit base made from nuts held together well and provided the texture you'd expect from a cheesecake base.
White chocolate raspberry cheesecake
I didn't want to give my lemon berry cheesecake up. The base was similar to the white chocolate raspberry cheesecake but the lemon berry layer was smooth, sweet and creamy. I have no idea how the chef achieved this using raw, sugar free and vegan ingredients but it is testament to his or her skills.

Lemon berry cheesecake
When we ordered our entrees and mains, they were all delivered together. I thought this was strange and was a bit put off by it. Then I realised it didn't really matter. The table was an adequate size and all the ingredients are raw - nothing will go cold! The other thing that surprised me was how quickly everything was delivered. It was all quite obviously made to order but when you remove the cooking process, you're only left with building and presenting each dish.

Our bill arrived in a Peter Rabbit book that evoked happy childhood memories. I read the book while Mark sorted out the bill. I initially thought $93 was a bit rich for what we had, then I thought about the quality of the food and the rare skills the chefs have honed to create these delicious meals filled with amazing flavours without the use of much oil and no cooking. All of a sudden, $93 seems inexpensive.

Our bill, tucked inside a Peter Rabbit story book
Unlike most cafés and restaurants of this genre, the service here is better than we've had in most high-end restaurants (think Aria, Press* and Quay). The staff are energetic, friendly and nothing was too much trouble. In my opinion, hospitality venues are like a stage and the staff are the performers. The staff here performed well, kept us entertained and put on a show we'll be back to see again.

Ambiance - 4.5/5: Its an awesome space but there was a slightly funky smell in our shipping container
Service - 5/5: This friendly and efficient bunch of staff went above and beyond.
Food: 10/10: 100% awesome.

In total, Tom gives The Raw Kitchen 19.5/20 chops on The Chopping Board.

The Raw Kitchen on Urbanspoon


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