A few weeks ago, we enjoyed our gastronomic trip to the world of raw vegan cuisine so much that we could not resist trying it again. Watch out, spoiler: we loved it this time too!
A raw vegan dinner itself is a special treat for most of us, but – according to our experience – it can be enhanced. Our restaurant can neither be found by wandering on the street, nor by searching the internet. In fact, this restaurant doesn’t exist except for a few days of the month. For a few days at a time, a first floor Buda apartment transforms into a pearl of the catering industry, whose offerings you can only enjoy if you’ve made a reservation.
The girls, who started the Life Kitchen – Ágnes Repka and Nóra Kassai – prepare special meals 1-2 times every month, for those who are looking for a culinary novelty, follow a healthy diet, or like to meet new people.
First, we stepped into the above mentioned Buda apartment a little awkwardly. Smiling faces led us through the place, and we immediately saw some of the dishes and the plates Nóra was decorating.
During the supper we had the chance to taste mixed flavors of East and West. On the table we found the following dishes: tarragon citrus salad, fennel soup with coriander pumpkin chips, spicy nutty pasta with lime and ginger, pumpkin tiramisu and thyme marzipan. Everything, of course, was freshly made by dehydrating, blending and grating mostly local, organic ingredients. We got a fortune cookie for the road, which was way more delicious than the oven-baked version, and the message was hand-written on recycled paper. Mine said: One day’s undisturbed rest is worth a day of feeling immortal. So true!
Since reservations are required, the girls buy the right amount of food for their guests, guaranteeing that nothing will end up in the bin. Ingredients are produced on site, grown in Nóra’s garden near Eger -, bought in organic markets, or arrive in the kitchen directly from local producers. Nóra and Ági also collect foraged food and herbs in the forests of Bükk. The meals’ main ingredients are always local and correspond to demand. The foreign products are supplemental and only used for spicing, and attention is paid to whether they’re organic and come from reliable sources.
An apartment that turns into a restaurant creates an extraordinary atmosphere, enhanced by beautiful table settings, candles and the constant service of cranberry teas. The tables are for 4-6 people; this way you can discuss the upcoming dishes and their ingredients with your new acquaintances. Some customers come back every month, some get the dinner as a present from loved ones, and some people arrive with the whole family in tow.
In the bathroom, guests find environmentally friendly cleaning products, and clean up after dinner is also done using biodegradable chemicals. Since the girls know exactly what time the guests are arriving and how many of them are going to be there, they don’t use resources in vain (in terms of ingredients or compared to other restaurants’ energy consumption). The food waste goes to the compost and recycling bins. Moreover, the food preparation is environmentally friendly too, since the highest energy consuming pieces of equipment are the food dehydrator and the blender.
Fortunately, we can reward ourselves with some raw prizes beyond this location. The girls offer event-catering services too, and their packaged products (called Sületlenségek) can be found in cafes (like in EcoCafe that we previously reviewed), organic shops or can be ordered directly from the Life Kitchen. And for those people who wish to immerse themselves in mental and physical health actualization, they look forward to seeing at their camp in June.
Huge thanks to Magdi Németh for translating the article from the original!
Originally published: March, 2012
Photos: Life Kicthen