Living in London it is a sad truism that there is an increasing array of over-priced restaurants, peddling poorly constructed (aka lazy) menus, using lack-lustre ingredients in an unimaginative way. The abundance of seasonal, local produce means that there really is no excuse for this kind of daylight robbery and nothing (well very few) things make me happier than finding a place that bucks this trend: step forward Nama Foods.
Nama is a raw food (and vegan) restaurant in Queens Park, which is happily open all day (roll up pancakes for breakfast). The food is out of this world, prepared using incredible ingredients, with each dish freshly made in front of you. That’s right, no wilting salad that was chopped five hours ago. One of the reasons I like raw food is because to do it well, the chef has to be passionate and REALLY know his/her stuff: you can’t simply rely on a béarnaise sauce and be done with it. In this regard, Nama certainly fits the bill.
For our first (I suspect not the last… ) Nama visit, we opted for lunch and enjoyed their pizza (incredible sun dried tomato topping) and falafel wrap together with the wakame salad (a particular favourite) and the kale salad. The flavours were so clean yet intense, beautifully presented (sometimes a rarity for vegan food) and perfect for a midday meal, where you can eat your fill without feeling sluggish afterwards. Nama is obviously a popular local haunt as the walk-in seats were full throughout our meal.
Moreover, for such great food Nama is very reasonably priced – £32 for two starters, salads and desserts. Oh, I didn’t mention the cheesecake and fudge slice…?
The unique flavours and carefully constructed menu make Nama well worth a visit. Whilst you are there, take the opportunity to speak to the chef whose knowledge of all things culinary (we left with a number of European recommendations) is second to none.
The facts: Nama is open Tuesday-Sunday from 9-6pm and located at 19 Lonsdale Road, Queen’s Park, London NW6 6RA. Website: www.namafoods.com