After a successful morning in late April, I found myself hungry. A quick peruse of The Fork, an app which I insist you download if you’re in Europe, I found this restaurant. I had looked at it before, when I lived in Rome. But I was never brave enough to try such an odd cuisine. Vegans are unique enough but Solo Crudo does what it says on the tin – it only provides raw food. The warmest temperature which this food experiences during the preparation process is 42°C.

What does this mean? No bread, for one. The closest thing you’ll get are crackers. But what crackers. Made from dried zucchini and celery. Dried for hours at 42 degrees in a fan oven. I’ve pictured them below. Another variety of them are made with chilli; coconut & buckwheat flour and walnuts. I won’t lie, the concept is a bit odd but very rewarding.

But enough cracking conversation; let’s go onto the breathtaking starter. Stuffed pumpkin flowers; on a bed of cherry tomato & oregano pesto; red peppercorns and capers. My word my word. I didn’t think food with virtually no intervention could be made to taste so phenomenal. Writing about it now, two months later; I can still recall my shock at the first morsel. The depth of notes of flavour is astonishing. I’ve pictured them below for your perusal:

Next was the Fake caccio e pepe. This is my absolute second favourite Roman pasta dish. Usually it is made with black pepper; pecorino and some cooking water. That is all. Solo Crudo took it seven notches further. The pasta, traditionally cooked flour and water, was made from grated zucchine. The sauce was not made from cheese and pepper, rather pepper with cashew cheese and cooked mushrooms. The furthest thing you could imagine from a traditional Caccio e pepe. But one must be open minded in these modern times. this dish was both novel and surprising. One could say it is a bit sickly. But when you get past the unusual vegan cheese, it is a relatively pleasant dish. Marvel at it below.

Hemisphere of cooked apple at low temperature with passito wine and cinnamon, custard orange cream

I felt it was necessary to try a dessert. The apple sweetness was an optimal choice. You wouldn’t believe what a delightful combination the above ingredients made. The apple was not at all crunchy. Its texture was soft and replete with sweetness. Topped with vegan mint chocolate, this dish will surprise you.

While you’re in the area, have a look at Chiesa Sacro Cuore del Suffragio. Splendidly Gothic, it lies on the banks of the Tiber and is truly worth seeing, whether you’re a good Catholic boy like me, or not.