By Tana Kosiyabong
I love meat. It’s a staple in my diet as far as I could remember. Veggies, however, aren’t always my buddies. As a kid, I was a picky eater. I had all the patience in the world to pick out even the tiny pieces of veggies on the plate. Fortunately (or unfortunately?), my perseverance had diminished gradually as I grew older. I’m now too lazy to pick through my food. I’ll eat almost anything even if I don’t like them.
I first heard about raw food diet from a foodie on Foodbuzz. It was intriguing enough to make me further research on the topic. According to Wikipedia, “Raw foodism can include any diet of primarily unheated food, or food warmed to a temperature less than 40 °C (104 °F) to 46 °C (115 °F). The most popular raw food diet is a raw vegan diet, but other forms include animal products and/or meat.” Well… no chance in hell I’d be able to stick with this diet for the rest of my life.
However, since I have eaten naughtily lately, it wouldn’t hurt to treat myself with Mother Nature’s goodness—raw vegan food. Although one healthy meal wasn’t enough to reverse the harmful effects caused by years of bad diets, I would at least feel better mentally.
I knew exactly where to go for a raw vegan meal. In fact, Gorilla Food was the only place I knew in downtown Vancouver. Up until last week, I had only read about this restaurant from various local food blogs. This Cheap Appetite mission would be my first raw vegan experience ever. Wish me luck.
Gorilla Food is on the lower ground floor (basement) of a building on Richards Street. Although the restaurant gets some natural light through the ground window and the dug out entrance, it is still pretty dark inside. The lavender/potpourri scent greeted me as I stepped through the door. And since I am a sucker for any food labeled as “Thai,” I opted for the Thai Fresh Wrap ($5). One great thing about Gorilla food is that all the prices have already included the five percent GST. But I’m not sure what’s going to happen after the Canadian government enforces the new twelve percent Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on restaurant meals. Yikes!
The Thai Fresh Wraps are made of sprouted sunflower seeds, veggie pâté and sesame seasoned coleslaw, then wrapped with fresh collard green leaves. The dish came with ginger raisin chutney. The collard green was crisp and fresh. Its bitterness, however, overpowered the sesame flavor. The sweet chutney masked the bitter flavor well. However, the dry lavender scent began to bother me. It was almost impossible to enjoy food that smelled like dry flowers. Towards the end, the wraps started to grow on me. Perhaps by the fifth visit, they would be delicious.
After finished all three wraps, I still couldn’t tell why Gorilla Food named this dish “Thai Fresh Wraps.” I didn’t recognize any distinct Thai flavor on them. Just because the dish has ginger and sesame doesn’t mean it’s Thai. Many other countries use these ingredients in their food too. It was so annoying, especially to a Thai like me. Seriously!
Gorilla Food was a very tough Mission. I wasn’t a big fan of raw veggies before. And I’m not a big fan of them now. However, I had to admit that the dish tasted better than I expected. It took great creativity to come up with raw vegan recipes. It is definitely an acquired taste for a meat lover like me. If I were a veggie lover, however, I would probably like it more.
Gorilla Food (Thai) Fresh Wrap (for meat lovers): © 1/2*
Gorilla Food (Thai) Fresh Wrap (for veggie lovers): ©©©*
*NOTE: I decided to deduct 1/2 cheapo from the ratings because the dish name was totally misleading. And it annoyed the heck out of me.
The restaurant opens daily from 11 am to 5 pm. Other menu items include pizza, veggie burger, cookies, smoothies and more. Click here to view their full menu.
Gorilla Food is located at 101-436 Richards Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (T) 604.684.3663 (Website) www.gorillafood.com
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