Our quick lunch at raw mantra
Driving from Como (Italy) to Nice (France) made a little detour through Milan to not to miss out on a new raw food experience. The restaurant seemed pretty amazing on social media. We sent just about an hour at the restaurant and count try everything by any means, but we tried a few dishes from the lunch menu. It was around noon and we did get just the lunch menu and the drinks menu, we also saw the dessert in the fridge on our way to the table, so I’m not sure if there was anything else available at that moment other than what we’ve ordered. The lunch menu consists of 2 or 3 mini portions, we ordered all the 6 choices on the lunch menu. 3 dishes were 16€, 2 would have been 12€. Above, you can see all the 6 dishes we’ve had. We also got 2 shots of tasty juices as a welcome aperitif. And guys, sorry for the bad pics, there was very little daylight from the window, lots of artificial light, and too cold for me to take the pics outside.
Keep in mind, here, I can only write about my own experience, the food at the restaurant is not made particularly to meet my needs or please my taste buts, it’s very likely others will love the dishes I didn’t like and hate the ones I loved. My experience is biased by my mood, time pressure, my high demands and expectations. The most important shortcoming of my review is probably my inability to look behind the curtains. A lot of work, money and sweat goes into releasing a vegan business which we and all the animals who don#t get eaten are endlessly grateful for.
Let’s start with the favs:
Bread with Nut Cheese
We got the bread twice, no idea why, probably as a replacement of an option that was not available, but it was the best possible outcome. This bread with nut cheese, marinated mushrooms, onions and a purple sauce was our fav. The bread was soft and delicious, with a hint of coriander. The cheese rich and crumbly, the marinated veggies flavorful. Only the oil on top of the salad leaves and around the bread was not necessary.
Pumpkin ravioli, pine nut and spinach fondue, cilantro and pumpkin seed pesto, sweet and sour apple.
The ravioli were another gem, beautifully crafted, filled with amazing cheese, on a bed of tasty pumpkin pesto.
Tomato fondue, herb oil
The soup was tasty, tomatoey, herby, but with a dominant olive oil flavor. We asked for no extra oil for the soup, there might have been more oil on to otherwise. The soup was not overly salty which we really appreciated.
Hemp seed tabbouleh, beet and pomegranate hummus, cumin crisp, mint oil
The beet hummus was very tasty and the little cummi chip amazing. Otherwise, the veggies in the middle were drowned in olive oil. We should have ordered some extra crackers.
Mantra’s rainbow salad with seeds and vinaigrette
Basically a handful of salad leaves, couple of cucumber cubes drowned in olive oil. I also disliked the edible flowers in all the dished. The are tasty and healthy if organic. But conventional flowers are chemically treated and usually (as at Mantra Raw) don’t get washes as they loose their appearance. The flowers didn’t not add any value to our dishes.
Great raw food recipes you can make at home
Overall thoughts on raw mantra
The Raw Mantra is amazing and the food very special, colorful, thought thorough. Raw Mantra had this clean healthy-chick charm with an italian twist. We loved the raw bread with the cheese, mushrooms and onions a lot, would love to try the pizza and other toast options an other time.
The ordering process was super inflexible because of the restriction of the lunch menu, we ended up ordering dishes we knew we are not gonna like because of the oil like the salad. Some dishes were switched out without a notice, the waiting time at Raw Mantra was a little too long (45 minutes including waiting for the order to be taken), only after the food came, we realised how little it was. Considering the price, it wasn’t too little, but considering the name “lunch menu” getting 2-3 appetisers is not the choice we would knowingly do. Would the food have come faster, we definitely would have ordered more food or had a dessert.
We are excited to try more of their dishes in the future leaning towards bread, pizza, cheese and cakes, but only if the restaurant switches to organic ingredients, which is from our point necessary when offering raw food and worthy a higher price as the ingredients are expensive.
Why you should give raw mantra a try
Every raw restaurant experience is unique and every chef has his unique style and tricks. So Alberto, the owner and head chef of Mantra Raw has some unique and tasty dishes to offer you should not miss out on, especially considering that 100% raw restaurant are pretty rare in Europe.
A good blender doesn't have to be expensive. This one does a great job and comes with a great food processor.
Dehydrator turns raw food into something so similar to cooked food that no one is going to mis cooked food ever again.
If you want to make lots of veggie noodles fast, get a spiralizer.