I stumbled on Living Food Bistro & Cafe by accident as it is located in the same building as the Canadian Embassy in Menara Tan & Tan on Jalan Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur. I immediately felt compelled to look at the menu – “living food” to me is food that hasn’t been killed by over cooking and that still brims with enzymes, nutrients and, well, life! That is how I ate back in Montreal when I had a kitchen and how I strive – but not always succeed – to eat on the road. I am so glad I got to sample some of the menu at Living Food and put a little mojo back in my diet, even just for one meal.
I was seduced by the quality of the raw vegan dishes I sampled at Living Food. They also have meat, vegetarian, vegan, lactose free and gluten free options – something for everyone! The dedication of the chef behind the intricately prepared dishes is palpable and our brilliant host Stirling, a member of this passionate family-owned company (they also own Ashley’s in Bangsar, and Pick Me Up in the Twin Towers Fitness Center) has a contagious enthusiasm for real food and the importance of freshness, flavors and textures. Everything at Living Food is organic and made in house from simple ingredients containing no chemicals, no additives, no coloring and no flavoring.
Banana Almond Pancakes
We first sampled this pretty, raw vegan, dairy free, and gluten free breakfast. The “pancake” is made of chia seeds, banana and almond flour and is served with a sweet vanilla nut cream and some fresh fruit – a very dainty presentation. It was presented to us a bit like a cream puff and indeed it felt like an explosion of melted ice cream in my mouth. This nut cream is perfect: silky, smooth, vanilla-ey, and a tartness which is reminiscent of real dairy. My guest who isn’t used to raw vegan dishes just couldn’t believe his taste buds. The paper thin pancake tastes like banana bread and the dish overall feels healthy yet decadent. I love that we started our meal with something sweet.
Maybe not the best name for this dish, but the K’s we are talking about here are kale, kelp and Korean dressing, of course! It is a fresh, crunchy, flavorful and tart palate cleanser after the richness of the pancakes. The kelp and almonds have different levels of crunchiness and I am loving the mix of textures and flavors of this zingy and light little number.
This thing is so supremely fresh and full of flavor, it’s incredible. It starts with the passion sauce, a rich blend of red pepper and passion fruit, coupled with the zingy fermented silky nut cheese, fresh vegetables, jicama, and guacamole wrapped in a dehydrated corn-flax tortilla. The little side salad might not look like much, but their daily dressing is fresh and exciting and full of different flavors that I just cannot pinpoint. It’s is just a party in my mouth, really. Ole!
A mushroom and seed pattie with tomato, carrot, sprouts and guacamole served with both a quinoa and small side salad, with the same yummy daily dressing. A stark contrast from the light and fresh enchilada, this little number is deep, rich, complex and sexy – like comfort food. I could see this pairing very well with a robust red wine. The accompanying quinoa salad is a fluffy and light counter to all these strong flavors and great textures (I don’t know what they do to these almonds, but they have the best crunch factor ever). If, like me, you love mushrooms, this is an absolute must try!
Ending as we began, this raw rich fudgy chocolatey brownie topped with cashew cream and a cherry-raspberry glaze is insanely delicious. Again, difficult to believe that this is raw as the texture is so reminiscent of a real brownie: gooey, doughy, rich and chocolatey. Absolutely scrumptious.
Living Food Bistro is a gem in Kuala Lumpur. The fermented nut cheese was incredible and the expertise of the raw vegan food preparation was of the highest standard. The complimentary alkalizing Kangen water is a nice touch that proves the extent of Living Food’s dedication to healthy eating. You can buy some of their sauces and dips in to-go containers on the way out, as well as organic dried food, juices and health supplements from their small shops.
Heartfelt thanks to the Living Food Group for hosting me. Rest assured that you receive my honest opinion regardless of who is footing the bill.