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I never seem to stop raving about this place, especially the raw desserts, so this time I brought my conventional-diet cousins along too to check out the food. I was convinced they would, like me, swoon over the desserts regardless of our differences in tastes and eating habits.

There were some major changes to the interior compared to the one month ago visit when I brought my sis there. Namely, the tables near the once supplement-stocked shelves have been cleared, now replaced by a rather swanky looking pub-inspired bar area. The shelves behind are now used for wine glasses so imagine my surprise when I found what I thought to be a neighbourhood health food vegan-friendly cafe undergoing an image change to become more… pub-goer friendly?

The counter wasn’t staffed when we were there. Rather seemed like an area customers can help themselves to salt and pepper condiments as well as the water jugs.

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We had the Guacamole and Flaxseed Chips to start. Everyone liked them, except the vege sis who is prejudiced against anything with tiny seeds (like sesame). The crackers were actually more pliable than crisp but had a nice savory but clean taste to them. If discerning enough, you could feel a bit of that mucilagenous texture as you chew on them. The cumin-scented guacamole had a really soft consistency and wasn’t too tart.

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They seemed to be in the midst of some major project as the menu was drastically shortened to 3 pages that day. Gone were the sushi rolls so we settled for what seemed like most of the mains: a grilled salmon sandwich, chicken and brown rice bowl and zucchini pesto pasta.

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I wasn’t interested in the limited main options so ordered the Sports Replenisher consisting of coconut water, goji berries and Vitamineral green. Vitamineral green is a well known green superfood powder by the company Healthforce Nutritionals whose creator has been vegan for close to three decades. Due to its high standards and integrity to delivering quality supplements to aid especially the raw vegan/vegan community, I’ve been considering investing in a bottle of it myself.

I quite liked its taste in this green juice. The Vitamineral green gave it a particular seaweedy-cum-matcha accent (not sure where the matcha taste came from!) since the supplement itself contains the nutrient packed blue-green algaes Spirulina and Chlorella as well as a variety of seaweeds. Coconut water and lemon juice balanced out the strong green flavor with sweetness and tartness so was very refreshing to drink. I only wished it were more substantial, as a blended green juice with vegetable and fruit fibres rather than a juice because I tend to slurp down liquids like a camel.

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I had a mouthful of my sis’ Raw Zucchini Pesto Pasta which didn’t wow either me or her. The presentation was lovely, however, the zucchini noodles were sorely lacking in any flavor of pesto. Instead they seemed more to be coated in a liberal amount of olive oil, which made us disppointed for the lack of basil flavor.

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What’s a trip to a raw food cafe without their desserts?!

There weren’t many options today to our dismay. So we had to order the German Chocolate Cake which I’ve already tried, as well as the Raw Raspberry Cheesecake which is new to me.

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To my surprise, my cousins didn’t take to the raw desserts. I don’t know why but many Singaporeans I know seem to be aversed to the aroma of coconut and since raw desserts tend to rely quite a lot on coconut products for their natural rich, creaminess as well as gelling ability they didn’t take to the overall flavor.

Of course I thought they were beyond weirdos for being prejudiced over something so darn healthy, delicious and absolutely luscious.

The Raw Raspberry Cheesecake tasted light despite its nut-richness and I especially liked the base which seemed to be flavored as well. The middle raspberry layer was icy though, which I guess was kind of like a raspberry sorbet, though I wished it would be less cold and brain-freeze inducing. The freeze dried raspberry topping over the top makes for a visually stunning presentation especially against the white cheesecake layer.

Upon comparison with my previous pictures, both these cakes seem to be somewhat lacking in components – the raspberry cheesecake missing its top raspberry layer, and the coconut flakes topping only the circumference of the chocolate cake rather than the entire layer as compared to my first visit. Makes me doubt the staff’s attention to detail, or integrity to properly making the cakes, or even if these were made by inexperienced staff. Regardless, these raw cakes tasted good nonetheless.

I don’t know if I would prefer the raspberry cheesecake over the Raw Blueberry Cheesecake I tried the last time. Both have different textures and subtle flavor differences (apart from the different berries used). Then again, I think I would go for the blueberry instead because I’m not keen in the icy raspberry layer.

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I had the German Chocolate Cake the last time, but since the cousins couldn’t stomach the coconut taste I helped polished off this one as well. Like the last time, it was chunky and quite a mouthful for one person’s portion. Probably this would more than satisfy two palates with its fibre-rich nature. Still the flavors of cacao and coconut were gratifying making this trip absolutely worthwhile. The sweet honey topping absolutely worked well to balance the dark taste of the cacao powder and nibs. I would probably try to mimic this example (with vegan-friendly alternatives) when the time comes to make raw cakes of my own!

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This visit to TLC turned out to be a slightly lackluster experience with many options unavailable this time round but I still like this place for its healthy options and definitely the raw desserts. Hopefully the place will have settled back down into its normal routine the next time as I am curious to try out some of their raw mains as well as any new raw cakes on their menu.

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