New? It opened in June 2016 with aims to expand next year.

Where? 3 Tottenham Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 2AF www.rawligion.co.uk

On the menu: The menu is plant-based offering a selection of juices/smoothies and raw dishes, not completely vegan as the venue doesn’t carry the same ethos that goes with a vegan diet – honey is used in some of their raw chocolates for example.

First Impressions: It was quiet when we arrived but curiosity and the lure of free juice samples slowly got people in and by the time we left there was a steady stream of people although they seemed more interested in the drinks served at the counter right by the entrance than the food in the chilled fridge the other side of it.

The Look: There is an informal dining area at the back which is more of a cubby hole with a long bench running around the edge and few mini table areas protruding from the wall to rest your food on, I noticed each one was equipped with a plug and USB – perfect for laptop/phone charging while enjoying your food.
Pad Thai (corgette noodles with pad thai veggies)What We Ate: We had a little sharing platter to work through with winners being raw sushi made with seasoned cauliflower rice and veg caviar, and crunchy kelp noodles in a pesto sauce. Sushi and pesto are two of my favourite food items anyway so they had an unfair advantage but the raw versions held their own and offered something a little different. The spicy Thai slaw and the seasonal salad with creamy dill cashew dressing were both a little acidic for my taste but still pleasant. The maitake marinara (courgette noodles in a rich, tangy, tomato sauce) were like a vegan take on spaghetti bolognese turned into little meatballs – I would have preferred a stronger flavour from them.

Those with a sweet tooth should pay attention now as the desserts at Rawligion are pretty impressive for a plant-based restaurant. The key lime pie is a pretty green colour and has a refreshing tang of lime; an extra squeeze of lime would have pleased my taste buds better. The millionaires shortbread is topped with a wedge of chocolate, very similar to the real thing – a tad hard to bite on though so let it thaw a little from the fridge before enjoying.

JOS2016032D00010What We Drank: Drink options are vast here from juices and smoothies to (healthy) shots, lattes and London’s first Oji Cold Drip Coffee Tower – think of it as the Rolls Royce of cold drip towers, with artisan coffee served both hot and cold with special milks. They are happy to let you sample the juices before you buy which is a good idea because some of them are acquired tastes like the black coloured John Dee (grapefruit, lime, ginger volcanic salt, charcoal and a black magic extract comprising of weird and wonderful ingredients) but there is sure to be one that tantalises your taste buds. My favourite was the Brain Boosting Milk, a smooth and creamy mix of walnuts, vanilla paste, salt, medjool dates, myco extract (brahmi and centella extract) and alkaline triple filtered water pH 8.5 that tasted exactly like a vanilla milkshake. All of the water used here has been triple-filtered through ceramic plates and nano filters removing unsavoury items like hormones and hundreds of chemicals.

Buckwheat porridge

Go With: Someone interested in healthy food choices or a plant-based diet, anyone with dietary requirements would do well here due to their dairy and gluten free menu. The layout of its dining space means it isn’t group friendly but given its fast-casual style you could easily just pop in alone to grab lunch or a drink – takeaway is also encouraged.

Final Word: They are currently working on their menu so feedback is appreciated, constructive of course, with praise being even more welcome. Owner and manager, John is very friendly and passionate about the products they’re serving. There is minimal seating here and no toilet so you get the impression that the food is more to takeaway but that’s no problem.


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