Sunday, March 3, 2013

Indigo Raw Food Cafe: Four Course Ukrainian Dinner

The sous chef and I were generously gifted with a 4 course dining package for 2 gift  from one of our favourite families as a Christmas gift. Neither of us had heard of Indigo Raw Food Cafe before but visions of vegan perogies started to dance in my head. We decided to use the package for a belated Valentine's dinner date and managed to get a reservation for 7:30 on a Saturday.
I'm glad we made a reservation rather than just showing up because this place is TINY. There is probably seating for 10-12 and they use antique Singer sewing machine tables. You can definitely tell that behind this small business, is a passion for health, wellness, and a raw foot diet. The fundamental principle behind raw foodism, also called rawism, is that plant foods in their most natural state – uncooked and unprocessed – are the most wholesome for the body. The raw food diet is a lifestyle choice and I imagine that most raw foodists spend a lot of time in the kitchen peeling, chopping, straining, blending, processing, and dehydrating. 
We didn't really understand how our meal package worked and our friendly server didn't really explain.  She asked us each for our tea choice and then gave a choice of two appetizers. We got one of each to try both. She brought out our tea (which was served lukewarm....maybe something to do with raw food- I don't know?) and Stuffed Mushrooms- which weren't mentioned but were a welcome start since we were both quite famished.

Stuffed Mushrooms (regular $9) Cashews, garlic, lemon juice, red star nutritional yeast. This was quite basic but tasty- essentially raw mushroom caps stuffed with a rich creamy cashew sauce that tasted a bit like hummus.
Then our appetizers arrived-

Caesar Salad (regular $9) With Alfredo sauce: cashews, lemon, garlic, red star nutritional yeast, apple cider vingear, pine nuts. This was delicious- fresh and healthy tasting. I'm not a HUGE caesar salad fan because I usually find it too heavy but this was much lighter and refreshing, but I kind of missed the salty kick that comes from the anchovies in regular caesar salads. I also am not typically a fan of croutons but I loved their dehydrated crumbled cracker croutons which were lighter and crispier than your typical bland, chunky crouton.

Russian Borscht (regular $8) Carrot, cabbage, beets, tomatoes, dill, parsley, ginger, garlic, lemon. This was served warm but definitely not hot like a typical borscht. This so bursting with freshness. Great flavour.

Our server then asked us to choose between potato and sauerkraut perogies. Again, we decided to get both.

Ukranian Perogies (regular $12 -cooked and not gluten free) with mash potatoes- organic potatoes, olive oil with sauerkraut, cabbage, onion, olive oil. These were the best perogies I've ever eaten. I'm no perogy expert- I've only ever had the frozen variety- so these were a completely different experience. You could taste the love and care that went into the creamy filling and light dough. Our plates were drizzled with the delicious cashew cream sauce and garnished with green onion and chopped mushroom. Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought some perogies would be stuffed with sauerkraut and some would be potato- they also tasted like potato to me.
We were given more of a variety of desserts to choose from and we chose two different options with our server's recommendation.

Coconut Cream Pie (regular $6) Raw whole coconut, dates, vanilla, salt, lemon.

Lemon-Goji Bars (regular $5) Raw almonds, lemon, coconut, dates, vanilla, salt, goji berries.
Again, these desserts were just bursting with healthy flavour and actually felt healthy and light. 

We really enjoyed our meal package here and left feeling satisfied but not overstuffed.
I don't necessarily think that this experience is for everyone. This place has a more quaint and rustic feel and feels like you are dining in a small living room. We were very close to our neighbouring tables. Some people may be put off my lukewarm tea and cold borscht. The food was top quality, every dish was full of fresh flavour and I found the presentation of the dishes to be quite impressive. 
Indigo Food Cafe on Urbanspoon

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