Organic, Raw & Plant-based Dinner: Shoku Iku
Having followed Shoku Iku on Instagram for some time now, when we saw it was holding a three course dinner last weekend, we knew we had to go along.
Yoko, the store's owner, does things differently. Her cuisine emphasises raw and living foods, which are designed to nourish both body and soul. She combines knowledge from East-Asian tradition with modern nutrition, and uses only organic, sustainably sourced ingredients.
Take one look at her Instagram feed, and you'll see that her creations are anything but boring. Her smoothies, salads and desserts are brightly coloured, and incredibly inventive. Like this savoury raw layered cake, made with avocado, coconut, spirulina and beetroot.
Nonetheless, we were still intrigued as to how these delicious raw creations would translate into dinner items. Especially seeing it's the middle of winter here in Melbourne, and that soup and curry were on the menu!
We have to say though, we certainly weren't disappointed. In fact, we were absolutely blown away with the complexity of flavours and the deliciousness of every dish. They were all inventive, exciting and beautifully presented.
Now, onto the menu...
There were two choices for each course, so naturally we got one of everything and shared.
raw Starters: Ginger & Carrot soup w veggie nuggets + marinated brocolli w mustard mayo
The flavours in both of these dishes were absolutely incredible. The soup was warming, tumeric-y and like a big hug (yes, really). And then those little veggie nuggets.. so good! The broccoli dish was great too. It was creamy, a little bit tangy, and perfectly balanced with the crisp raw vegetable slices.
raw Mains: pumpkin alfredo fettuccine + Veg curry w pinenut & coconut rice:
SALADS: CHARDs & ZUCCINI w Almond miso + Balsamic Leafy Greens:
Well, we tried the raw curry and it was surprisingly good! The rice was really interesting too. When we read it on the menu, our first thoughts were of rice flavoured with coconut, with some pine nuts tossed through it. But instead, the rice was actually made from those ingredients. How incredible!
Our favourite main though was the pumpkin alfredo fettuccine. It was creamy and full of flavour from the pumpkin. If you didn't like raw vegetables though then this dish probably wouldn't be for you, as the 'raw' flavour really came through.
Both dishes were certainly quite different to their traditional 'cooked' version counterparts, but we quite enjoyed them for a change from the usual.
raw Desserts: Apple & Cinnamon pie w coconut sorbet + peanut butter cups, cacao cream & cheesecake cubes:
It seems like nearly every second cafe are putting out raw desserts these days (and hey, we're not complaining!) - but we were intrigued to see if Shoku Iku would stand out from the crowd. Well, safe to say it did. The apple pie was a particular favourite - full of lots of fruit and cinnamon-y goodness. The pastry was really interesting too - made out of almonds, coconut flour and sultanas.
The peanut butter cup was also nice, but was quite hard, which made it a little tricky to eat.
All in all, the evening was a fantastic experience - which left us feeling very full and nourished, without feeling overindulged. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, with very friendly service.
It certainly opened our eyes to the world of raw cuisine.. realising it can be more than just a salad or smoothie bowl. We're now eager to go back during the day to try more of Yoko's delicious creations!
PS - This was a dinner that we fully paid for ourselves. As always, all opinions are our own.