All Reviews by mik
109, rue du Faubourg Poissonniere, Paris, France
Don't (quite) believe the hype
23 Jul 2015
Well, I have to say that, in my view, raw food restaurants tend to fall short. I was here about a year ago, and had a set menu that consisted of three dishes: the starter didn´t look that appealing, but I appreciated the time put into its filling. I think it tasted sage in particular, which I enjoyed. The main course was a portobello burger and felt so-so. Nothing new, I think the Gentle Gourmet's is better though it may not be fully raw. As for dessert, it was some pear-based combination which not only didn´t do the trick, but actually felt more like a joke. All in all, while I think they deserve kudos for doing a 100% organic vegan thing, I wouldn't say you get so much value for your money.
Rataskaevu 8, Harju, Tallinn, Estonia
01 Nov 2015
I got a delicious three-course meal at a more than fair price. Everything was perfectly cooked, including the gorgeous orsotto with super tasty fried mushrooms. Friendly staff. I would give this place 5 cows if I could.
Veenkade 19, The Hague, Netherlands
15 Aug 2015
About half of the menu was, sadly, not suitable for vegans. I ordered a pastry filled with beetroot and nut-based cheese, which was fine... especially given the fact that it came with a side salad I was offered.
I also had a cake with orange zest and not sure what else, which was superb! All the while the waiter (owner?) was keen to joke around: he said I was too shy because I chose not to sit next to the guy who was outside using the only table available, and remained inside instead... He also promised to sack the chef if I weren't pleased with the food, good one!
These 2-3 items turned out to be some 13 euros, so obviously (and predictably) the salad wasn´t for free, as the pastry was under 5 euros. Call me fussy, but I would have liked, not only more vegan options, but also a little bit more transparency... not sure it said how much the cakes were either.
Luis de Vargas 4, Seville, Sevilla, Spain
21 Aug 2011
Despite the promising starters, a brilliant gazpacho and salmorejo made of redbeet, the main courses were a bit of a letdown: basmati rice with some tofu and curry stir-fry. I'm glad I changed my mind and chose chocolate cake for desser instead of natillas, since these are apparently not homemade but come straight from a Sojade tetra brik.
Av. Almirante Reis 152 R/C esq, Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
21 Aug 2011
They may not open when they are supposed to, but once they finally did... well, I enjoyed a quick visit. I hade some lime cheesecake of sorts, which she assured me was vegan. They seem to care about pleasing their customers, since when she asked me if it was good and I said it was slightly too creamy she got a bit bummed..
Boxhagener Strasse 83, Friedrichshain, Berlin, Germany
02 Mar 2016
Their website says they open until 11 PM. When I turned up at 9:40 PM and asked if I could still order I felt I was being a little ridiculous, but hey, I´d rather be too polite than take things for granted. "We close in 5 minutes", staff said, unapologetically. Ok, there´s no shortage of vegan food in Berlin!
It could be added that there were only 2 other guests when I arrived, as far as I could see, and they appeared to be finished with their meal... so staff must have had a great time doing nothing but hanging around for a whopping 80 minutes...
Mustamäe tee 17, Tallinn, Estonia
Fine and disappointing at the same time
01 Nov 2015
I really like the fact that, with the exception of desserts, there are so many vegan items to choose from, but it´s not cheap... and there were a couple of signs missing, or they wouldn´t say whether the dish in question was vegan or not. By the time I asked staff and they were able to find out, other dishes on my plate were getting cold, or almost.
There were also a couple of annoying kids running around back and forth, and neither their parents nor staff told them anything.
Another thing that surprised me was the fact that they offer free parking space... in a city where public transport is for free?! (for residents anyway). I came to the conclusion that Bliss' focus seems to be upper middle class and rather posh folks, and not exactly tree-hugging anarchists.
Calle Sant Feliu, 7, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain
14 Jul 2014
For starters we had three kinds of hummus and roasted pimientos. Nothing otherworldly, but fair enough. As main courses we ordered some sort of pasta ravioli style with pumpkin, yummy but could have been larger, and a spinach quiche with a plum sauce that could have been more prominent. For dessert we had a delicious carrot cake and a strawberry-based tiramisu which was truly something magnificent.
A couple of anecdotes from our dinner: they didn't open until a couple of minutes after the official time, so we were already thinking about what to do with ourselves. Our waiter was new and, while decidedly polite and friendly, really needed to ask before being able to answer questions. Last but certainly not least, the tiramisu was so great that I had to order one, after having eaten my carrot cake.
All in all, this place is clearly above average, especially thanks to the desserts. The fact that the entire dinner menu is vegan is obviously a plus too.
General Castillo 3, Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain
21 Jun 2014
Well, the man who runs this place is not particulary tactful, as he ignored my friend's verdict on the food due to the fact that he was not "fussy" (which I was, apparently he equates vegan with fussy)
Furthermore, last time I was there he served a dessert that was not on the menu, which was appreciated... yet he assured me that it was vegan, as it contained "huevina" and not "huevo" (egg). I ate it as I assumed he knew what he was doing, and I wasn't quite sure what huevina was. Turns out it's pasteurised egg. Sorry but that is inexcusable for a vegan-friendly restaurant.
Calle Santa Isabel 5, Madrid, Spain
Interesting in a few respects
19 Jun 2015
It was a bit off-putting to realise that despite their fancy website this isn´t exactly a restaurant, but more of a bar inside the local market. In addition, it feels like it´s in the way, as it´s right by the stairs instead of in a more "isolated" area. Even though it´s on the first floor, you may get second-hand smoke in your face if smokers outside don´t take a few steps out of the premises, that's how close it is.
In terms of the food, I tried all three tapas, which I enjoyed, especially the lettuce wrapped in some dried strawberry with a great sauce. I also tried the raw food pasta, a bit insipid and nothing special in my view, and would have benefitted from more pesto. I was still hungry and above all curious, so I gave the selection of raw cheeses a try. Glad I did, because they were nothing short of a remarkable creation, with fresh figs and all. The dessert was ok, but by then I felt that having strawberry and orange again (these were present in my previous dish) was kind of repetitive, especially since the menu itself is quite limited. On the whole I thought I got a meal that was up to my standards, not dirt-cheap but reasonable considering they were organic products... only they are not! As I was leaving Botanique I had a look at the window and I could see a few items, which didn´t appear to be organic at all.. plus some sort of chocolate brought to you by a death corporation such as Nestlé.. definitely not what I thought I was getting.. It feels especially deceptive given that they really market themselves as organic, for crying out loud it's even painted on their wall...
Interesting, creative cuisine... but leaves a sour-ish taste.
9 Rue Jacques Coeur, Paris, France
21 Dec 2014
I've attempted to eat here twice, and failed on both occasions. The first time I was starving after having travelled by train for a few days. When I finally found the place there were a couple of people idly chattering, yet they said they were closed and had nothing to offer. I believe I asked for other options such as take away, but they showed zero flexibility or empathy. I also think I e-mailed them beforehand to confirm opening hours, but in that case I never heard anything back from them.
The second attempt took place just the other day. I read a review below that stressed the importance of booking in advance, so I tried to send them an e-mail. I found no addresses on either their regular or facebook websites. When I finally turned up the cafe was closed, but I don´t think that was mentioned anywhere?! Note that I speak no French but I can make out written French quite well, but I doubt there was any information in regard to a change of opening hours. Due to all of this, chances are I'll never try this place.
Lai 44, Tallinn, Estonia
Sorry, not that inspired
01 Nov 2015
I wanted to give this place a few chances before drawing hasty conclusions. Unfortunately Inspiration didn´t fully deliver. I had a raw cake which was not quite stable, and in fact I saw that other desserts, though probably tasty, didn´t look entirely presentable.
Another day I tried their specialty burger, which was all right, but slightly burned and not that meaty. I´m not saying it should be, it´s just that I often ask myself the question: would this item win over a carnivore? I don´t think that burger would. Fine coleslaw as a side to it.
I also ate the Estonian pie with hummus, which was nothing to write home about, and the other Estonian cake, a sweet one, which was... ok.
But hey, it´s all vegan and staff were friendly.
Via Savona 10, Milan, Italy
Open for two hours a day?
12 Apr 2015
We travelled from the other side of the city and managed to arrive 15 min before closing time. Alas, I was welcomed by two furious dogs (apparently oblivious to the fact that I´m animal-friendly) and a "sorry, we're closed" (phew!). Four mouths were left hungry, however the burger joint round the corner showed more flexibility.
Alameda de Hercules 85, Sevilla, Spain
All right but not impressive
21 Aug 2011
We found the restaurant to be alive and kicking, however they seem to be struggling financially, as they said it's hard to be an all-veg restaurant in Seville. Well, maybe it would help if they paid more attention to the atmosphere they create: not only did we find some spider web, which I didn't care about, the lighting was inexistent during most of our dinner.
The food was nicely presented, not fabulous but it did the trick for me, with the exception of the desserts, none of them suitable for vegans. My girlfriend warns that the hamburger was plain and tasteless.
Rua de Sao Jose 23, Lisbon, Portugal
Plain but handy
21 Aug 2011
The assortment is not really that impressive, since there was no cheesecake or any sophisticated creations. However, I doubt you can find this variety of vegan biscuits elsewhere in the city.
Raina Bulvaris 15, Riga, Latvia
No value for the money
01 Nov 2015
I was excited to try this veggie restaurant with a fair deal of clearly indicated vegan options. Nowhere is it stated that it is an Indian restaurant, but given their name, plus a number of relevant words (papadam, dhal, koftas, etc) it´s hard not to assume that is the case. As a starter I took a seasonal pumpkin, apple and avocado soup. It felt healthy and perhaps misplaced in the menu, but I had no objections up until that point. My main course was those lentil pancakes that I had read good things about, both here and elsewhere. They looked elaborated but more like falafel to me, but they had very little taste.. not even the "chutney". I began to wonder: is this an Indian restaurant that uses no spices?! Disappointed, but still wanting to give the desserts a try, I opted for the pumpkin truffles with rowan sauce. Unfortunately, they looked like those raw food balls that you have come to know and... eh, get sick and tired of, and the sauce was so bitter, I couldn´t even finish it. Serving this desert without warning about the rowan is like offering veggies soaked in habanero sauce and not mentioning the word spicy. I paid 26 euros for this, which felt, if not grossly overpriced, at least overpriced. I had a cold but they would still not serve tap water. On the plus side of things, at least they weren´t as slow as I thought they would, judging from previous reviews.
Rozengracht 217, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Results may vary
18 Aug 2015
I tried both outlets (De Vegetarische Traiteur in Amsterdam and De Vegetarische Slager in The Hague) during the brief trip I just did to the Netherlands. My experiences were quite different: I really liked the chicken with I believe satay sauce I had in The Hague. In addition, I saw a number of interesting products that, while not organic, were not particularly easy to get, such as butter beans grown in Greece. The Traiteur (formerly Slager) in Amsterdam, on the other hand, seems to prefer well-known brands, even if they are from corporations that don´t exactly have the best record in terms of human rights, for instance. Besides, the Muhummara I ordered was tasty, but the chicken that accompanied it had not been marinated at all, so it was just a good texture with no taste. Clearly, I prefer the Slager to the Traiteur.
Calle Esperanza 20, Bilbao, Spain
Thanks, but no thanks
24 Jun 2014
This is a nice little shop with mostly veggie items, but sadly a number of fish products too. Virtually nothing has a price tag, so I can´t help but wonder how regulars have the energy to always ask how much everything costs.
The worst thing is the service though. The young woman who runs this business is petty to say the least, she will have you move around your bags as they somehow always happen to be in the way, or it is for your own security, you never know... and all this hassle without any other folks in the store! If the reasoning behind it all is questioned then she will be quick to point out that a little shop deserves "respect". Excuse me?!?! Sorry but I won't put myself through this ordeal again.