I had a fantastic vegan lunch at Greens & Vines, a restaurant specializing in raw vegan cuisine. I’m not vegan but I highly recommend it for all fellow omnivores. If you think vegan cuisine is boring and unsatsfying, you’ll discover it’s anything but! The creativity and time that goes into each unique dish was truly impressive. It’s been a while since I’ve been this intrigued by what I ate!
We started off with Sampler Dips n Chips ($9.50). “Cheesy” macadamia nut spread, tri-layer dip, spicy coconut dip.
This Living Lasagna ($15.00) is one of their signature dishes and has loyal followers from their days at the local farmers markets, even before Greens & Vines had a physical storefront. It was excellent. The “pasta” is paper thin shaved zucchini, layered with “ricotta” made with puréed cashew nuts and fresh spinach basil pesto, accented with sun dried tomato marinara. So beautiful, so intricate, so refreshing!
Kaffir Miso Pad Thai ($14.00). This was amazing too. One bite contains a medley of crunchy veggies, savory miso sauce and wonderful fragrance of lime leaves. The “noodles” are made of sea kelp, with the look of shirataki (that’s the noodle version of konnyaku) but with a wonderful crunchy texture that’s unforgettable. Where can I buy these sea kelp noodles?
Zucchini Fettucine with Cashew Alfredo, Marinated Mushrooms ($14.00). Again the use of zucchini as “pasta” and puréed nuts to create that rich creamy flavor.
I think if I (an amateur) were to prepare raw vegan cuisine at home, I’d end up with salad and veggie sticks – boring. It was eye opening to see various flavors and textures achieved through the use of techniques and ingredients to replace the usual cooking methods using heat. There was the use of salt to soften and remove moisture from veggies, pureeing soaked nuts, sun-drying, marinating, etc. This is one dining experience worth going out for.
Oh and don’t forget dessert: Coconut Truffles and Lilikoi Cheesecake.
MENU: View the menu on their website.
Greens & Vines
Ground level of NineoNine Kapiolani Condominium
(limited parking on the 1st level of NineoNine, some stalls on 2nd level – check with restaurant)
909 Kapiolani Blvd. Unit B
Honolulu, HI 96814
Mon-Sat: 11:00a-2:00p, 5:00-9:00p