by Alice Mariscotti-Wyatt
Meet my Rockskipping mother, Grace. If she were to have a Rockskipper bio it would say something like:
Eternally youthful Grace divides her time between historic Winchester and the sun-soaked Algarve, but her soul originates from the Andromeda Galaxy. So early to the wellness trend, Grace pioneered veganism, organic foods and mindfulness before anyone ever imagined they would catch on. These days she only eats raw food.
What she wouldn’t mention is how her raw food diet makes her a bit tricky to cater for at the best of times, but especially challenging if you want to take her on a city break and don’t want to live off iceberg lettuce washed in the hotel bathroom.
Happily, it turns out, Copenhagen is more than up to the challenge of feeding Grace, with some truly delicious and creative raw restaurants (with some warm vegan dishes for myself and my similarly cooked-food preferring sister).
We started our exploration of Copenhagen’s raw side at the centrally located restaurant SimpleRAW. And, review spoiler alert, it’s also the best we tried. The restaurant is simply furnished but warmly lit, with greenery tumbling down from the high ceilings.
There was so much choice on there for my mum, which is always nice. We started the meal with the seed bread platter. Bread is something of a challenge for raw diets. And while the texture of these seed breads was nowhere near your average granary loaf, the mouthfeel was impressively close. It also proved impossible to pick a favourite topping between the perfectly ripe avocado and mushroom pâté that even converted my fungi-adverse sister.
Grace plumped for the zucchini noodles in the end. And from the amount of time she spent scraping the bowl clean, it’s safe to say they were good. The cooked-food eaters went for wine and a dish of vegan, gluten-free lasagne, which defied its restrictive ingredients with a rich paprika-leaden sauce which could make you forget lasagnas normally contain cheese.
The only thing to get an OK rating was the raspberry cheesecake. But that might have been in part because the lime cheesecake was smashing it (take it from the person who normally turns their nose up at raw desserts).
Hafnia was a lucky stumble across, and while it’s less raw than the others we visited they did an admirable job at feeding my mother.
They suggested their raw bowls would be the perfect thing for her. The trouble was they turned out to come on a base of rice or quinoa. That’s cooked rice or quinoa. Thankfully they were happy to think up alternatives once they realised her raw diet was a bit stricter than that. They were also incredibly patient translating their menu for us, which is good because my sister’s attempts to translate with her basic Norwegian were not really getting us anywhere.
My sister and I delved into the world of the vegan burger, and were rewarded with a flavoursome falafel burger filled with our choice of toppings. Shout out to the delicious juices too.
42°Raw is open much shorter hours than I was expecting – so don’t turn up for a late dinner (yes, like we did).
The small café specialises in healthy fast food. Everything is vegan and there is a wide range of raw options. As this was our final raw restaurant before a decidedly un-raw flight home, my mother decided to gorge herself with the raw lasagne AND a salad (and a rosemary cracker while we were waiting).
As with other raw restaurants we found they weren’t quite as strict on the raw food as we were expecting. The lasagna came with a slice of bread that tasted too good to be true. Which is because it was.
For the heat eaters, we decided it was burger time again. 42°Raw’s vegan burger option appears terrifyingly healthy. The gluten-free bread is far less fluffy than your average Maccy D’s and the protein burger is clearly full of grains. But thanks to some clever flavouring it tasted delicious – possibly even a bit meaty (well, what passes as meaty to a life-long vegetarian). And the accompanying sweet potato fries were great too.
So there you have it, no need to cook in Copenhagen. Now if someone could just tell me where it’s good to take my mother next…?
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