The Raw Garden was to be our Latvian swansong, before we headed to Lithuania the next day. And it was- for our taste buds at least. ‘Lets stay here!’ cried they. Or come to think of it that might have been me.
The thought was preposterous however given as we were staying in a two room hotel, with a would-be glamorous old lady known simply as ‘mother,’ guarding our door, (read into it what you will) and living the accidental vegan way (falafel kebabs and pom-bears) when we weren’t gallivanting in top notch raw restaurants anyway.
The food was more tasty than I could ever have imagined. The flavours were so rich and poignant. We ordered a lasagne comprised of cucumber and cashew nut cheese which I’d desperately wanted to try ever since I knew it existed, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. It did a good impression of Bechamel, though not quite as thick.
The piquant flavours of basil and tomato and oils just flowed together into a lake of tastebudly goodness, and I’m happy to report I was pleasantly full afterwards. Not grotesquely full as people are often want to get, but just enough. Which is how it should be.
The place itself was sadly a bit deserted, and quite modest in design; not boasting of its compassionate and natural approach to fine dining.
The staff didn’t seem to care about the revolution they were a part of, it was a bit like they’d stop believing in it. I on the other hand was about to burst with gratitude, but feeling like an excitable toddler at the polar opposite of McDonald’s, I felt my thanks would sound silly.
If it was a bit more open and friendly, I’d feel more at ease to just gush my honest approval and gratitude at finding somewhere to eat where I don’t feel like an outcast. To connect and be part of a collective, as opposed to feeling like I’m the only one, or that veganism is some silent elite and I need to discover the right hand shake or code word before I can guffaw openly over nut cheese.
Foodwise it was a delicious and eye opening (or mouth opening even) experience, but for me sadly, I think it will be a one time visit. After all Lithunia’s capital Vilnius has none other than 3 raw restaurants! Maybe that’s why they were sad.