My friend Manuela from Brazil was recently visiting London on her way to a retreat with her guru in India, and we finally had a chance to catch-up. We have not seen each other for ages, and after a walk down Portobello Road and through the market, we went to Nama for a raw vegan lunch. Manu is vegan and eats cooked foods, but most vegan restaurants in London, like Nama and Tanya’s also follow the raw food movement. I am far from vegan as you all know, but I was willing to give it a go. Besides, it doesn’t hurt to be healthy now and then. I had gone to spin that morning and was excited about a day of healthy eating.
There was inevitably a minor stumbling block when we walked by Fabrique, the delicious bakery specialized in Swedish buns. I had to pop in and grab one as I was feeling ravenous, but I just ate a couple of bites and saved the rest for an afternoon treat.
Nama is around the corner from one of my favourite London restaurants, The Ledbury and is an adorable little restaurant with an extensive menu of brunch and lunch dishes on the weekend. Despite the fact that we were eating at 2pm, I hadn’t eaten a proper breakfast, and since breakfast for me usually means yoghurt or porridge, I ordered their raw porridge.
That wasn’t the smartest idea as I had forgotten that it was raw and was quite sad when it wasn’t a warm porridge. It was basically a mix of activated almonds (?), apples, coconut chips, dates and spiced with cinnamon, lucuma, nutmeg and vanilla and topped with cacao nibs and a few blueberries and hulled hemp seeds. (I need to work on my vegan and seeds lexicon!) It was served with freshly pressed and delicious almond milk. I ate it all but I would guess that it had more calories than a burger… but hey ho, it must have been good for me, right? I should have gone for the pancakes, they looked tasty (were they cooked?????)!
Manu had the kale salad and I ended up having loads of bites of hers, as it was much better than mine. The kale was chopped into small pieces and tossed with sliced cucumbers, sun dried tomatoes, hemp seeds and super sprouts, (whatever that means) and tossed in a pumpkin seed dressing. It was actually very tasty and I would definitely eat it again.
Manu also ordered the mature cheddar cashew cheese and pickle sandwich on raw almond and walnut bread, but she ate is so quickly that I didn’t get the opportunity to try a bit, plus I also felt bad that I was already stealing a lot of her kale salad.
We both got matcha lattes made with hazelnut milk which were delicious.
She also ordered the blueberry cheesecake, made with cashew cheese which was actually very good.
In sum: adorable place with tasty food. Low calories? Nah but who cares, it was good for us! The service was very choppy, but our waitress was fresh off the boat and new to London and seemed shy and slightly linguistically challenged. I would still go back, even without Manu, and I liked the food better than at Tanya’s in Chelsea.
My food rating relates to vegan meals I’ve had before and what Nama does with vegan and raw is great! Would their food rating (wish I could give half points and rate 8.5 but damn system won’t allow it) compare to other non vegan equally rated meals? No way – but anything tastes better with real cheese and bacon……