Wednesday 24 January 2018

I Try Roots and Fruits a Vegan Cafe

Beet Poke Bowl at Roots & Fruits Cafe
I am by no means a vegan, but I often do choose vegetarian options because I do not enjoy the texture of meat very much. Roots and Fruits is a vegan cafe located at the edge of Downtown Vancouver. It is a little tricky to find as it is wedged between a Starbucks and Subway so keep that in mind when you are looking for Roots and Fruits.

First impressions, the space is narrow and white. Very chic clean, almost a sterile like feeling. I liked the old grain harvesting tools that were hanging on the wall.

I do not often attend tastings, but I was curious to visit the cafe, so I decided to go. It was quite an extensive tasting. We tried three of their bowls, a toast and one of the warm drinks.

I was greeted with a steaming hot mug of their Turmeric Ginger Winter Warmer which was a blend of organic turmeric, ginger hot apple cider and star anise. It was perfect for the winter and definitely warmed me up, but the star anise garnish completely overpowered the drink. All I could taste was anise and it kind of made my tongue numb, so I could only get through half. I think without the anise garnish, the drink could have been lovely.

The best dish of the night for me was the starter, a vegan Lox Toast. Despite it being completely fish free, the smoked carrot legitamently tasted like salmon! It was the most weird confusing moment of my life! The bread had a smear of dill cashew 'cheese' and finished with some raw onion, capers and nori. Roots and Fruits did a fantastic job on this toast!

The Beet Poke Bowl is essentially a vegan version of Vancouver's current favourite obsession, the Poke Bowl. Of course, just like the Lox, there is no fish, instead tamari golden beets is the "fish." Beets have a strong flavour and a dish that centers primarily around beet - you will only taste beet. Also in the bowl was brown rice, wasabi cashew creme, onion, avocado, pinball salsa, pickled ginger, kale and ginger. I ended up trying to eat around the beets because that is a lot of beets for me hahaha. The pickled ginger and pineapple salad did help brighten the bowl. I felt beat by beets.

I was really excited for the Southwest Bowl because I am a huge fan of Mexican cuisine as well as the more casual TexMex. The 'meat' was a blend of walnut and cauliflower and then there was a black bean chilli, guacamole, pineapple salsa, kale + cabbage, brown rice and a chipotle cream. I wish the 'meat' was shredded tofu because I find the texture to be much better. I enjoyed this bowl more than the previous one; however, it seriously needs more seasoning. More salt, more spices and maybe a little more tang.

The last bowl I tried was the Dal Curry which was a warm red and green lentil curry over brown rice and garnished with pickled vegetables and cashew cream. Dal is indian and unfortunately for them, I am an Indian who despises dal lentil curry. Needless to say, I ate everything, but the dal. The flavour was good and I overall found it to be better because dal is already a vegan dish, so Roots and Fruits was not trying to mimic a meat flavour.

Roots and Fruits was a bit of a miss for me which is a shame because there are not many vegan cafes in Vancouver. I struggle with the concept of trying to mimic animal products because why would you want to be reminded of meat when you are trying to avoid it? Vegetarian food is delicious and that is coming from someone who only eats vegetarian dishes at home because my parents are vegetarian. I have dined at delicious vegan friendly restaurants - Acorn being my favourite - and I feel they are far more successful because they focus on highlighting the vegetables. 


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