A couple of months ago, @daveplusfood drew our attention to a new raw vegan cafe opening up in Northcote. We've been a little lazy about hitting High St lately but K motivated us to visit Shoku Iku for a weekend lunch.
Shoku Iku is sparsely but stylishly decorated, seemingly optimised for mindful eating. Service was warm and attentive where I imagined it might be austere. The menu starts with a range of smoothies ($7.50-10), teas and cocoa. I gather that the 'hot' drinks warmed within the parameters of the raw food philosophy, and I doubt that there's a speck of gluten in the place.
At lunch time, you can select between a small ($10) or large ($15, pictured above) plate that includes all the savoury dishes of the day. For us this comprised three salads and a 'calzone'; the latter was nothing that Ben Wyatt would endorse, but the dehydrated shell added some welcome crunch.
There's more room to pick and choose for dessert. The black cherry 'macaron' ($5) was delightfully sweet with a touch of sour, and grainy with almond meal. Meanwhile the chocolate-orange tart ($8) was the epitome of smooth, with a matching nutty base.
The kitchen's last lunch supplies were served around 1:30, indicating that they're successfully luring in the locals. We're not raw food aficionados, but agreed that we prefer Yong's savoury raw dishes while Shoku Iku excelled at the sweets. I gather that the dinner menu tends more towards artfully arranged a la carte plates, and these might be stronger competitors all round.
Shoku Iku's dinner menu has been reviewed on The Good Hearted.
120 High St, Northcote
0403 569 019
veg lunches $10-15
Accessibility: The entry has a small lip to accommodate the sloping street, and a shallow ramp into the restaurant. There's higher-than-average space around tables. We ordered and paid at a low counter, and our food was served to us at our table. We didn't enquire about toilets.