Eating Out in London – Nama – Artisan Raw Foods, 110 Talbot Road, W11 1JR
In a city as large as London I still struggle to find fully raw restaurants. There are plenty of raw-centric places; InSpiral Lounge in Camden, that place in Neal’s street Covent garden amongst them but a fully raw restaurant is a rarity according to my Google search.
My intention at the beginning of the year was to make a list and dine out once a month and experience gourmet raw ‘cooking’ and a reprieve from the daily grind, and blending and chopping but as with most of my best laid plans…
It’s July and I have visited precisely one restaurant; Nama.
I went a few weeks ago in mid May. It was a HOT Sunday afternoon. I was in the South Kensington area visiting the Dollshouse Festival at the town hall. I was hungry so I decided to take a stroll and visit Nama in its new West London location.
Even with my Samsung Galaxy and an updated Google street app I managed to over walk Portobello Road and a 20 min walk became a 45 minute walk.
I arrived over heated, very hungry and more humourless than usual. I took a seat and got my order in quickly: Thai coconut curry and fermented blueberry cheesecake. I didn’t order a drink. I knew from experience (I visited Nama in Queen’s Park) that you get precisely 3 gulps of smoothie for £5.
I sat back, waited and took in the scenery.
And I waited. It was perplexing. I was one of 3 customers and the only one ordering food but yet it took more than half an hour for the food to come out. The chef must have been preparing the Thai curry to order, for the first time; reading the recipe whilst watching a Youtube instructional video all before learning how to use the Vitamix. The old shop assembled your meal from various refrigerated Tupperware containing pre-prepared single ingredients. I suppose it was a necessity borne out of the limitation of space in the old shop (two stools and a bar against the smallest of galley kitchens) but it sped up the service.
The food was excellent when it arrived. Obviously I’m writing this weeks later so I can only remember the global taste experience. I can’t offer any illuminating commentary on the intricate blending of flavours of the lightness of the sauce or any useful culinary reflection. I just remember that it was awesome. Restorative. Filling. And heartening.
The bill was £21 (including the optional service charge).
Even though you get less for your buck compared with the old shop (£19.50 bought me a smoothie, crackers, lasagne, and blueberry cheesecake last December) it is very reasonably priced and I will be back. I wanted to try everything on the mains list (apart from the courgette pasta which I could definitely make at home so I have no interest ordering it in a restaurant for 4 times the cost price) so that’s at least 4 more visits.