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Monday, 10 September 2012

Noorish Conscious Eatery - Give Peas a Chance

Oh John Lennon. You were so cool. I even wore round glasses for a time as a nod to your iconic eyewear. We all have our dirty little fashion secrets.

When I was younger, "Give Peace a Chance" sounded a lot like "Give Peas a Chance." That tidbit ran through my mind as I enjoyed a late lunch at Noorish Conscious Eatery and Superfood Bar. A step through the front door of Noorish leads to an ornate, quasi-Indian room that flows with cool tunes and ample sunlight. The eatery's name is cumbersome, but never mind.

Lunch commences with a seasonal appetizer that features a trio of watermelon dishes. Though melons have, over time, proved to me an acquired taste for me, Noorish's take on this colourful fruit presents an intriguing triad of flavours. Watermelon gazpacho is a deep crimson puddle of refreshing melon and scallions that would befit the warmest summer's day. Melon salad with avocado and butter lettuce lags behind its plated siblings but is still a toothsome cohesion of crisp botanic notes. Watermelon salsa is smoky and subtly spicy. There aren't enough corn-hemp chips to go around - pity.

The Kassamwich features the same corn-hemp chip base with a layer of unctuous and sumptuous avocado, properly ripe tomatoes, and an insanely addictive walnut-basil pesto. It's a damn good combination. The pesto steals the show; later, I will fantasize about said pesto enveloping fresh pasta. Fattoush salad is along for the ride, but a heavy hand of parsley and a relative absence of the promised pomegranate seeds renders it a bit redundant.

Mystic Mandala Pizza features even more veggie toppings than the Kassamwich, but somehow their flavours run together in a blurry manner and the verisimilitude of its corn-hemp cracker base overwhelms the toppings.

Noorish has a yoga studio downstairs and, with our bill, came a voucher for one free drop-in yoga session. The service was remarkably slow, considering the cafe was less than half-full when we dine. I could quibble about the service and I wasn't taken with the pizza, but I admire that Noorish has a well-defined set of principles and clearly operates strictly within them. Give peas a chance.

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