Yum, yum, how I love Crudessence. This unique, fantastic raw vegan restaurant has just opened a new branch, which, conveniently, is two blocks away from our apartment. I expect to spend lots of time there. Fortunately, the prices are just enough to deter me from daily visits.

I’ve now been there three times (once to the old location, twice to the new), and I loved it each time. Many of the dishes, understandably are variations on a theme. Nearly everything is indeed raw, although one or two cooked—or at least heated—items are on the menu. I didn’t take pictures on the first two trips, but third time’s the charm.

goji mushroom miso soup

Yusuke and I started with the soup pictured above. This was one of the warm items, but I don’t know to what extent it’s cooked. The broth was described as “miso,” though it was rather clearer than Japanese miso soup. I think Yusuke had different expectations for a miso soup, but I quite like it. It includes mushrooms, wakame seaweed, green onions, some other type of leafy-sprouty thing, and a very interesting component: goji berries. I had never encountered these before, but apparently they’re one of those trendy “superfoods” with all kinds of health benefits. They’re also known as Wolfberries and are often sold dried.

raw tacos

Yusuke selected the “tacos” shown above:

Deux délicats tacos de maïs, lin et tomates séchées, garnis de pâté Chipotle, tomates, germinations, avocat et oignon rouge. Servis avec sauce piquante, crème sûre et nos salades du jour.

For some reason, this isn’t listed on the English menu online [pdf], but here’s my rough translation: “two delicate tacos of corn, flaxseed, and dried tomatoes, filled with a Chipotle pâté, tomatoes, bean sprouts, avocados, and red onions. Served with a spicy sauce, sour “cream,” and our salads of the day.

I chose the Photon sandwich:

Tuna paté (walnuts, celery and seaweed), tomato, lettuce, veggie butter and sprouts.

The bread is made from sprouts (not sure how). I also had a lettuce salad and a beautiful beet and pumpkin seed salad on the side. The latter was particularly delicious.

In previous visits, I had a “burger” and sushi-like rolls, both of which riffed on the theme of ground-up nuts and seeds with interesting spices and combined with vegetables, particularly sprouts, carrots, and tomatoes. Next time, I want to try the zucchini “spaghetti.”

Blueberry un-cheesecake

Last time, I shared a chocolate mousse made from raw cacao, cacao butter, and coconut milk (very rich indeed). This time, Yusuke and I split a truly delicious blueberry un-cheesecake. I was shocked that it did in fact taste like cheesecake. It was made from fermented cashews (hence the cheese taste), coconut oil, and blueberries. The crust was made from Brazil nuts and figs.

Other desserts include variations on ice cream, chocolate, and an avocado pie. I’m also excited to try out their many smoothies with all manner of vegetables, fruits, and nut or seed milks. (Examples: Spinach, banana, mint, cayenne & almond milk; Kale, parsley, pineapple, banana & hemp seed milk; Carob, mesquite, banana, Brazil nut milk, agave, star anis & mint.)

It’s hard to explain the fabulous taste of Crudessence’s food. With the exception of the cheesecake, it doesn’t really mimic other types of food. It’s very unique. So try it out when you’re in Montreal!


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