I’ve always loved Camden. Back when I was still at school, my sisters and I would take Sunday trips up to the town to wander the markets, discover hidden gems and search for vintage ball gowns. It was therefore no surprise that Inspiral was one of the first healthy eating establishments I discovered in London. It’s all the food you love in healthy, vegan form. Even if you haven’t visited the cafe, you will have seen their products in health food stores, ranging from kale and coconut chips to raw desserts!
After not having been for a while, I met here recently with Eliza from Healthy Living London on a warm, summer evening. The cafe had moved on from their select-from-the-counter approach to a more sophisticated menu and table service. As per usual, we couldn’t decide on one dish each as everything sounded so delicious so we decided to share. We chose the vegan burger with tabouleh salad and potato wedges and the raw pizza with avocado salad. I always remember the potato wedges being so fluffy and spicy here and they did not disappoint! Usually my pizza of choice would have a thin and crusty base but this deep-pan style pizza with cashew cheese was surprisingly soft and light. The burger was slightly more dense and I feel that the London veggie burger scene has some pretty tough competition, especially having wandered many of the street markets. Nonetheless, it was full of flavour and the seed cheese (which I haven’t come across before) kept the burger moist.
Then, like every other time I meet Eliza, dessert was a question of ‘what’ rather than ‘if’. One of the main reasons I am an Inspiral regular is because of how well they do dessert. From raw fudge, to raw ice cream, to milkshakes WITH raw ice cream, to raw tarts. I’ve tried a lot of raw chocolate tarts (including my own) and the raw blackout tart here is the best I’ve ever had. The avocado is so well disguised and it is so rich that you would barely know it was healthy.
Much to my despair, the blackout tart was finished for the day. We went for the hazelnut tart instead which was still creamy and delicious. The layers make the tart interesting and the chocolate ganache ensures you still get your cacao fix for the day!
For our second dessert (does this even count as dessert, it contained a vegetable?!) we ordered the pineapple and asparagus crumble. The asparagus was very well disguised and the fruit layer was sweet and tangy. The texture of the crumble was a bit like shortbread and reminded me of crumbles I have made in the past with buckwheat flour. The dandelion coffee amaretto ice cream was an unexpected pairing but the sweetness balanced out the flavours of the crumble well.
Obviously I will be heading back to Inspiral soon for my blackout tart fix to enjoy with an ice cream milkshake in Regent’s Park. (Typed as I munch on a bag of the new Inspiral smokey coconut pecks. Yum).