Thursday, 9 May 2013

Orb cafe, raw food in Edinburgh

I went here with my boyfriend and I think he was prepared to not like it, thinking that raw food would be tasteless and consist of more or less just salad.. He came out not only saying it was one of the best meals he'd ever had, but also wanting to experiment a little with raw food at home. We're both vegetarians, though I am verging on vegan. This place caters for vegans, coeliacs, and people with wheat and lactose intolerance.

It's quite tucked away, it would be quite easy to miss it if you didn't look for the signs to 'shining light', a centre which offers yoga, tarot readings etc. The corridor downstairs gives no indication about the quality of the food upstairs; up a flight of stairs, beyond shining light is a great spacious room with a stage, chill-out music and an aesthetically pleasing layout of very modern and stylish furniture, with a variety of high chairs and comfy low chairs. There were no customers when we came, it felt like we had discovered an intimate little secret.

Claire, the owner, came to greet us and showed us where we could help ourselves to herbal tea and water. The water was free, and the tea cost only £1 a cup, which was great considering how many flavours there were to choose from. Jess, a friendly waitress (who happens to go to my uni) came and brought us the menu. Before booking the table, I had spoken to Claire online about a particularly memorable meal I had in NY a few years ago: raw ravioli and pecan pie. She told me they'd be happy to try out any new recipe, so custom made a serving just for us! Though not quite the same as the meal I had in NY, this dish was delicious in its own right: Courgette pasta enclosing a walnut cheese filling, accompanied by fresh pesto and sundried tomato sauce, and a massive salad. My boyfriend and I shared this, then shared a Thai green curry with cauliflower 'rice', which was also delicious, with lots of flavours and interesting textures. 

                                                                   Raw Thai green curry with cauliflower "rice". 

                                                                   Raw Ravioli with cashew nut cheese and pesto.

For pudding we both ordered the pecan pie with coconut ice cream. I would love to have a high power food processor so I could make this at home-it was truly outstanding. I think the crust was made of ground down cashew nuts and agave syrup, whilst the filling was rich and the taste of pecans was very evident. The coconut ice cream was the perfect balance to the richness of the pie. Though I'm not about to become a raw food vegan, I truly believe that raw food puddings are much nicer than cooked ones. If you make a pecan pie, usually the eggs, flour and butter distract from the taste of the pecans. With a raw pudding, you have strong flavours and massive sugar hits. The bill came to us accompanied by a 'rocky road' chocolate bite. 

                                           Raw pecan pie with booja booja coconut ice cream.

I'd love to come back and try everything on the menu, especially the puddings! I have seen some really interesting things on the menu, including raw carrot cake, twix, lasagne and kale chips... 

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