After indulging in too many Valentine’s Day chocolates and candy, many people (especially us singles!) seek to cleanse their systems and shed a couple of pounds, much like after Christmas-New Year’s. This week our trusted lunch monitor reviews a handful of the best vegetarian, vegan and raw-food restaurants in her neighbourhood of the Plateau Mont-Royal.
What better way to detox than at Crudescence (105 Rachel St. O. 514-510-9299), a vegan organic raw food restaurant that also offers a catering service and cooking classes. Food in its rawest form is the best way to get your daily vitamins and minerals. It is also good for those with food sensitivities. www.crudescence.com
Open daily, Aux Vivres (4631 St-Laurent, 514-842-3479) is Montreal’s first full-service vegan restaurant. Everything here is made without dairy, including eggs. Besides salads and sandwiches − the latter which are huge and come wrapped in chapatti − Aux Vivres is popular for its bowls including the dragon bowl composed of shredded veggies, lettuce, sprouts, toasted sesame and dulse with its famous dragon sauce. The chapatti with nut butter is also delicious and a nice accompaniment to their soup. They also offer a wide assortment of juices, smoothies and teas. Of their desserts, the carrot cake is probably the best, as it is the moistest and does not feel like it is lacking something, namely an egg! www.auxvivres.com
Faim du Monde (4110 St-Denis, 514-510-4244) is a vegetarian restaurant that was co-founded by Pushap vegetarian Indian restaurant. Faim du Monde offers a more international menu incorporating Asian and Mexican dishes. There is even a menu for kids. Note that the restaurant is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays for lunch for the rest of the winter. www.faimdumonde.com
Chu Chai (4088 St-Denis) and Chuch (4094 St-Denis) are actually one and the same but the first is a more an upscale restaurant and the second is its more casual dining space serving takeout. Both offer vegetarian Thai food that can also pass as vegan, except for certain rice and noodle dishes traditionally made with eggs. The mock shrimp, chicken, beef and duck taste so real, you won’t believe it’s not butter! Among their most popular dishes are their red curry duck, panang beef, yellow curry beef, chicken in peanut sauce with crispy spinach, and their tom kha gai (spicy coconut soup with lemongrass) is heavenly! www.chuchai.com
Located on the corner of Sherbrooke and St-Denis streets, Yuan (400 Sherbrooke E., 514-848-0513) is another Asian vegetarian restaurant serving Taiwanese-inspired dishes for only $7.99 at lunch. Their fake meat and seafood is made from veggie meats and soy protein. www.yuanvegetarian .com