Despite having walked past Loving Hut more than a dozen times, I tried it for the first time on a cloudy Tuesday afternoon. Loving Hut is of course known for its extensive range of Asian dishes including laksa, tom yum, satay. There are also a lot of mock meat dishes such as mapo tofu, sweet and sour, and Sichuan. Items on the menu are reasonably priced with an average of NZD12 dollars each, while desserts are around NZD5. A huge plus for me is the presence of raw vegan cheesecakes on display, as well as the raw chocolate mousse.
Since I myself prefer vegetables (preferably raw) over mock meats and white rice, I opted for the Thai Salad. It certainly did not disappoint. It was one of the better Thai salads I've had; fresh tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, and radish mixed with beets, roasted peanuts, some tofu, coriander and a sweet chili dressing. The vegetables were crisp, the dressing just spicy enough but not overpowering, and the coriander delightfully refreshing. Unfortunately the raw cakes have ran out just as I was about to order, but I am sure like all raw cakes they taste fabulous.
As for the staff and the mise en place, the staff were absolutely lovely and welcoming. The woman who took my order was more than happy to accommodate my gluten free requests, and informed me that most dishes could be made gluten free. She also happily recommended some dishes, and kept a smile on her face at all times. The restaurant was clean, well kept, and very simply decorated. Perhaps it would be good for a casual group get together or a weekday lunch, but not for formal gatherings.
I would definitely return to a Loving Hut restaurant later on, especially knowing that they can cater to a mostly raw vegan like me. Although that said, good food is good food, and that can be hard to resist. ;)Pros: Reasonable prices, Friendly staff, Caters for other dietary needs
Cons: Good for casual dining, but not formal, A lot of mock meats