Sitting in the cafe of Afterglow, I am intrigued and a little nervous about my first encounter with raw food. What will it taste like? How is it prepared? Thousands of thoughts run through my mind as the first dish is placed in front of me and Anna Sorokina. A strange looking pair of crackers and dip stare back at me, begging me to try them. At first bite, I am immediately welcomed by an unfamiliar but delicious taste. My first taste of raw food will be an experience to remember.
Looking for a change of scenery and an edible adventure on your next lunch date with friends? Step inside the cozy cafe Afterglow. Located among the buzzing streets of Chinatown, Afterglow specializes in “farm to table” vegetarian food where dishes are created through all-natural ingredients. Along with the variety of vegetarian options, there is also a selection of raw, vegan foods which are a rarity in Singapore. Dishes range from simple dips to spicy sushi, and we can guarantee that nothing will disappoint.
Although Afterglow has limited space inside, its small size contributes to the comfortable atmosphere. Furniture and decorations of rustic wood are a common theme seen through restaurant’s decor. Several cozy, wooden tables line the walls of Afterglow, welcoming guests to sit down for a casual meal. The edgy wall decorations – a wooden deer head and antique bicycle – create undertones of a hipster hang out.
The first dish we tried was the Raw Vegan Nut ‘Cheese’ Platter with Crackers. Interestingly, the dip was not made of real cheese, but of blended-up cashew nuts. The flavorful appetizer was accompanied by dehydrated beetroot and spinach crackers.
“I much preferred the spinach cracker because of the distinct, earthy taste,” Sorokina said. However, both the beetroot and spinach were a great alternative to a normal salty cracker.
Next we tried Kimchi Nori Rolls. They are famously known for being made with homemade seven-days aged kimchi and according to cofounder Carmen Leow, “it is one of the most popular dishes on the menu.”
As an alternative to rice, crushed almonds were folded into the sushi and wrapped with dried seaweed. At first bite, we were immediately welcomed by an intense combination of spices. Sorokina thought the dish was too spicy, but I was impressed by the strong flavor that sizzled on my tongue. For lovers of spicy food, this is a dish to try.
After diving into the spicy sushi, the waiter presented us with a large piece of Raw Zucchini Linguine – layers of zucchini with cashew cream, marinara sauce, coriander pesto, and shitaki mushrooms, topped with crushed almonds. The pesto was the most powerful flavor in the dish, but we were most impressed with the cashew cream’s ability to taste like real cheese. It was as if we were eating true lasagne without any ingredients that regular lasagne would have. The concept is unusual, but it makes for a more exciting experience.
The meal was topped off by a delicious dessert – Raw Chocolate Salted Caramel Fudge. Needless to say, it was our favorite dish on the menu. The dessert was made of cocoa, avocado, tahini, with a walnut crust and topped with cranberries. Confused about some of the ingredients in the dessert? It’s ok, they are unusual.
Tahini is a Middle Eastern spread made from ground sesame seeds. The staff informed us that nearly an entire avocado is used to create the tiny dessert. Hearing that avocado is an ingredient in a dessert is a little disconcerting. However, the taste of avocado was not present when we ate the fudge because the cocoa delightfuly overpowered it.
Overall, our experience at Afterglow was a nice alternative from the typical, fast-paced restaurants of Singapore. The friendly staff welcomed us into their restaurant and the unique menu surprised and delighted us throughout the entire meal. If you are looking for a change in scenery, Afterglow is sure to welcome you with its chic decorations and tasty food. We know we’ll be back soon.
Contact Number: 6224 8921
Meal Prices (shared by two people):
Raw Vegan Nut ‘Cheese’ Platter with Crackers-$16
Kimchi Nori Rolls-$12
Raw Chocolate Salted Caramel Fudge-$12.50