Juice Garden Launches New Menu

Juice Garden Byres Road
Juice Garden
Juice Garden first opened in Glasgow city centre in July 2014 and then came to Byres Road in the west end in November 2014. Now, after one and a half years on our mean streets, they are releasing a raw foods menu. They very nicely invited me along to try some of their new food, and of course I said, 'yes please'. I headed there straight from work, solo, and was invited to sit down with lovely new bloggers Nikki and Tash from Rabbit Food- thank you for being so friendly girls! We each ordered a juice to begin (Supreme Greens please- my usual), and then got to know one another over apricot chips.

Love the window planters.
 

The night started with a short informal presentation from the owner, Manny; head raw chef, Sarah; and the store manager. Like many others, I had assumed that Juice Garden was initiated by a large company, or was part of a London-type national chain. However, it is actually co-owned by friends from Glasgow! Manny the owner told us all about his background- he only got into veganism and health food on a bet from a teammate on his football squad, now he is deeply immersed in the healthy life. He doesn't personally eat meat but he sells meat dishes because for a restaurant in Glasgow that's survival. However, he'd now like to add more vegan and plant-based foods to the menu. That's where Sarah comes in.

Sarah is a Swedish-born raw food chef. She explained that raw food can only be heated up to 42 degrees, and is largely prepared completely cold. Because of that she spends 90% of her time wearing protective gloves! Sarah is also vegan, and eats mostly raw. However, like all the folk in this store, she isn't prescriptive about it and happily admits to loving off-days too. The smiling manager Gavin is an ex-professional Judo player and cheerfully reminisced about how he used to hate vegetables. That was before he joined Juice Garden and found out how they could taste. He was our server for the night.


We started off with a breakfast option- the banana crepe with raisin bread. The bread was warm and spicy, with a flapjack texture. The topping is a jam and coconut creme combo. The star for me here was the banana crepe. Although hard to cut (it 'rips' apart easier than cutting), it's really tasty. People all around us kept reiterating how... 'banana-y' it was. Mainly because it is entirely dehydrated banana and flaxseed.

I didn't take a photo of the second dish but it was my second favourite of the night- a quinoa and chia seed porridge. Creamy, cinnamony, warm, nutmeggy deliciousness. This dish was of course not a 'raw' food. Perfect for grey days in Glasgow. I imagine it being a huge hit with yogis coming out of the early morning bikram classes down the street.

My absolute favourite dish was next up. Teriyaki activated almonds, with carrot and pumpkin falafel. HELLO. The almonds tasted like a filthy American dive bar snack (I mean that in the best possible way- those drunken snacks you love). But you get to eat these whilst knowing that they are guilt-free (not that I believe in feeling guilty about food). The falafel was moist, crumbly, rich goodness. I'll be back for that for sure. Head over to my instagram for a picture of the falafel.


Already getting a bit full, we moved on to raw 'pizza' with a sunflower seed or sun dried tomato base. The pizzas were topped off with cashew nut 'cheese' and are raw and vegan. I was amazed that veggies weren't roasted- they're dehydrated and they taste exactly the same as roast veg, although the red peppers seemed richer in flavour than roast red peppers. That said, I did miss the snappy 'crunch' of a real baked pizza base. 


Our final main dish was a raw lasagne and cannelloni plate. Now I have to admit that tasty as they were the canneloni just didnt have the same texture as real canneloni pasta. Without heating, there isn't much you could do about that. The lasagne was a bigger hit- strong garlicky pesto, with rich sundried tomato sauce. It was undoubtedly one of the most popular dishes among the attendees. 


Well hello lovers. This was the course that everyone was waiting for. A set of (not that) mini desserts. There was an almond-topped raw 'Mars Bar', a raw 'Bounty', orange and chocolate cheesecake, and finally crunchy mint cheesecake. These cakes, like all the cakes on Sarah's instagram, are visually stunning. I preferred the mains, but I was really impressed by the strong flavours in these desserts too- the mint cheesecake tasted exceptionally like mint Vienetta, only without the E numbers. It took me right back to eating at my grandparents house as a child.



Finally, the friendly folks from Almighty Foods popped over to hand out some raw chocolate bar samples. I wasn't sure about the idea at first, but the Candied Reishi Mushroom was gorgeous- really intense dark chocolate. They trialed a new milk chocolate on us and it was my favourite of the bars on offer- really rounded and sweet and melt in the mouth. It's still a secret, but I imagine it will be popular upon its release! 

I loved the Juice Garden's approach -it's very in line with my own philosophy on food. They don't believe in being preachy about health. Manny put it simply, saying that he wants people to come to Juice Garden primarily because it is tasty. Not just because it is healthy. That is an aim I can get behind 100%.

The raw menu, along with a few other new options, will be available from early 2016.

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Have you ever been to Juice Garden? 


Have you ever tried 'raw' food?

PS: I've added this review to my list of healthy places to eat in Glasgow. Check out the map for more options!

14 Comments:

  1. This sounds compleatly up my alley! Next time in in Glasgow I'll have to have a peek at it.

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    1. Definitely check it out! Very tasty.

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  2. How did you fit in all that food?! Actually making my mouth water! hahaha! Will have to add this place and Glasgow to my list of places to visit! :) x

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    1. Each of these was split between a table! So 1/3 of that food hahaha. It's great food, and DEFINITELY come visit us in Glasgow x

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  3. The food looks and sounds amazing! I haven't had a ton of experience with raw foods, but this post definitely makes me want to!

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    1. You should try it! Its amazing just for the sheer wizardy of creating some of the textures.

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  4. That all looks absolutely delicious! I've never tried raw food - as far as i'm aware there is nowhere in Aberdeen that does it. I must remember this place the next time I'm in Glasgow.

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    1. Come hang out for lunch when you're in Glasgow Rhona :-)! I know Aberdeen has Nature's Larder which sells raw food ingredients, but as far as I know of, no places selling complete raw dishes!

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  5. Those desserts look AMAZING!

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    1. They were good! I was impressed at how bad for you the mint one tasted!

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  6. Everything looks really good. I started from meat lover to pescetarian, then vegetarian and now I'm making baby steps to vegan. And I love the fact that restaurants and cafes are adapting to the new "wave" as well and trying to have options for everyone.

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    1. I love that there are so many options now- not just the tomato pasta!

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  7. I've never tried raw food, one time I did vegan and it was was really good and I was impressed! Also, thank you for explaining the charging/wifi situation! That was freaking awesome!

    The Adored Life

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    1. Haha I'm glad it helped! Its amazing how tasty some of the foods are now :)

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