Thanks to the recent onslaught of model-turned-chef twenty somethings preaching Team Vegan, there now seems to be a mainstream market for it. RAW, a vegan/veggie and booze free restaurant in West London’s La Suite West, is far removed from the veggie joints of Soho in that it’s a little fancier and a lot less likely to attract the Eco-warriors. Looking at the crowd – Japanese businessmen, hot Italian couple arguing – it’s obvious that the patrons here are meat and alcohol free in a quest to look good.
While the main room is elegant, slick and vaguely oriental in design, dates here should only be spent in the gorgeous front garden where delicate trees form a canopy and you get a little fresh air with your side of purée .
After a dismal flirtation with the vegan section of Planet Organic I can attest that the food here, from Nik Hartland, is incomparable – punchy flavours, inventive combos, well presented and pretty damn rich. In fact, what with the fact that you kick things off with a smoothie, I’d opt for just one course: Spiralized Courgette Pasta with Red Pepper Sauce, Cashew Nut Cheese & Summer Herb Pesto. Two courses and, I’ll be frank, you won’t feel sexy.
Your date is a health nut, the options are limited, you pick the nicest place. Then you walk it off in Hyde Park, grab a boat, paddle away and read them Keats. Good option for West London breakfast or brunch dates too; we all like to be a little virtuous from time to time.
Where the booze at yo?
1. You’re just being considerate.