When the owner of Plant Gallery, David Ortega, first heard of raw veganism from a friend in Peru, he was sceptical. But his friend explained it was more complex than just serving fresh fruit and vegetables. That friend, Juan Carlos Miranda, is Plant Gallery's chef.
There's pizza, ceviche, curries, stews and Peruvian dishes such as arroz chaufa, a fried-rice dish. None of these contain any animal products, anything processed and nothing is cooked at over 45 degrees. The arroz chaufa, for instance, isn’t fried at all, nor does it have any rice in it. Instead there’s parsnip, cauliflower and sesame seeds held together with sweet tamari to make granular clumps. The carpaccio uses beetroot instead of beef. The vegetables are thinly sliced and topped with avocado, house-dried tomato and a dressing of aniseed myrtle oil, mustard and olive oil.
For breakfast there’s a faux big breakfast containing cold-smoked eggplant “bacon” or a raw “pancake” stack with chewy wafers, banana, strawberries, and a drizzling of agave, chocolate and a lime and Thai basil syrup.
There’s a lot of creativity in the drinks as well. The mocktail list includes a Black Citrus, with lime, sparking water, agave, charcoal and zing from a dusting of fresh chilli and cayenne pepper. Fittingly, these experimental dishes are served in the site of an old art gallery. The restaurant, just two long tables with a front lounge, is encased in white gallery walls adorned with works from local artists.