Tag Archives: raw food

The Allergy and Free From Show in London

Allergy-Show

Last Friday, I went to The Allergy & Free From Show in Olympia, London, and it was brilliant. Definitely the best it’s ever been. Also on was the V-Delicious Show. The shows were PACKED with stalls – and there were so many exciting, vibrant food producers showing their products. A couple of years’ ago, my overriding memory of the show was one of chocolate brownies wherever you went. But this year, there was a fantastic variety of foods and producers. Whether it was vegan kale chips, gluten-free pizza, dairy-free ice cream or sugar-free chocolate – it was all there, and more.

For most of the show, we went round tasting freebies. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! Here were my favourites –

Saf-Crackers

Saf Crackers. These are awesome. All of them – and especially the Kale & Spirulina Crackers.

Rawlicious-Foods

The Rawlicious Crackers were lovely, too. Especially the fiery Tomato Pizza Crackers.

Ugg-Foods

Ugg Foods Muffins, especially the Coconut Chia ones. These are all paleo, so they’re completely grain-free. And, as well as having the usual coconut flour (full of nutrients), they’re also packed with chia, too. These are seriously healthy indulgences!

Inspiral-Foods

And I love Inspiral products. They’re the original gurus in the raw food area and they have a lovely cafe/bar/event space in Camden. Their kale chips are really, really good.

Conscious-chocolate

And there was a huge variety of chocolate on offer at the show. Dairy-free, vegan, sugar-free – all types. My favourite, hands down, was the Conscious chocolate – the Love Potion no.9. Unbelievable aromas and flavours from the raw cacao powder, essential oil of rose, cinnamon and Himalayan salt – and all sweetened without refined sugar, but with maca and agave nectar.

On my way out, I stopped at the Udi’s stall. Just to see what they were like (but not because they’re normally my sort of thing), I tried their gluten-free and dairy-free Oreo-style biscuits, and they were great! Now I just need an excuse to make a birthday cake in the shape of a train – complete with these biscuits for the wheels – and I’ll be sorted! (Very unlikely to happen with a 5-yr old daughter, though…)

Saf Restaurant


I’ve wanted to try restaurant raw food for a while, so I went to Saf Restaurant in Old Street on Friday. Billing itself as a “Botanical Fine-Dining Restaurant”, Saf promises “a delicious combination of flavours” – an ambitious promise for a vegan restaurant that cooks most of its dishes under 48°C to preserve nutrition. But, from the moment we stepped into the light, chic restaurant, the whole experience was wonderful. It’s a whole universe away from the usual worthy feel of a wholesome restaurant, with funky lighting and a super-stylish steel bar where you can sit and drink divine organic cocktails.

The menus are a great mix of international dishes. I had Pesto au Poivre followed by Pad Thai and then Coconut Cheese Cake. The Pesto au Poivre featured cashew nut cheese (a triumph of techniques in itself), flavoured with a sage pesto inside and a crust of pink peppercorns, and came with a rocket salad (with a beautiful balsamic reduction) and dehydrated flaxseed crackers and tomato. I’d have liked a little more sage pesto filling as I thought it was delicious and also, I must admit, I found the cashew cheese very slightly bland. But the fact that I was eating an exciting dairy-free cheese, with dairy-free pesto, in a beautifully-constructed dish was brilliant.

Then onto the Pad Thai (although, after a long, long wait.) The noodles were made out of courgettes and carrots, and the knife work was stunning. Biting into the strips of veggies you felt that the chef was showing real admiration for the raw ingredients. Mixed with enoki mushrooms, mung shoots, chipotle chillies and nori triangles, and covered with a smooth almond dressing, this was a real alternative to the traditional Pad Thai. It was at this point that I realised just how much work and skill goes into creating these dishes.

I finished with a Coconut Cheese Cake which confirmed everything I was thinking about Saf. The combination of the sweet, chunky base, the fruit layer, the coconut cheese and the berry coulis was truly heavenly. And the coconut shavings and nasturtium leaf finished the gorgeous dish. This really is fine dining – and I can’t wait to go back!

Saf is at 152-154 Curtain Road in Shoreditch and has just opened in Whole Foods Kensington, too.