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One of the things I often miss while traveling is having a local hangout where we can get fresh juice and raw food. So I was very happy to discover Vikasa Life Cafe in Koh Samui and satisfy some healthy raw food cravings!
The cafe is connected to a very popular yoga retreat and has what is probably the best view on Samui. It is a really beautiful place to spend some time relaxing with the fresh ocean breezes and stunning scenery. This is what you might consider the perfect example of a tropical island experience.
We love the green juices at Vikasa Cafe. Our favorites are the Vikasa Green – a combination of pineapple, cucumber, celery, and gotu kola – and the Green Machine – containing fresh greens, cucumber, celery, lime, and ginger. They also offer shots of Gotu Kola – a medicinal plant that has profound benefits for the brain and nervous system – and has a history of use by yogis to support meditation.
There is a pretty good selection of raw vegan breakfast items. In addition to lots of options for fresh juices and smoothies, you can choose Coconut Yogurt with Fresh Fruit and Superfoods, Chia Pudding, or Raw Granola. Above is pictured the Probiotic Breakfast Bowl which is made with blended coconut yogurt, blueberries, and banana and topped with papaya, raw granola, bee pollen, goji berries, and raw chocolate sauce. An energy-boosting way to start the day!
I was really impressed with the raw soups, which had nice flavor balance, and there are a few different kinds. The Raw Vegan Tom Yum has a base of coconut milk and Thai spices and contains marinated shitake mushrooms, baby corn, cilantro, green onion, and dehydrated shallots.
The Raw Cream of Tomato is made from fresh tomatoes blended with raw cashews, miso, garlic, and lemon and topped with wakame seaweed and sprouts.
The one I enjoyed most was probably the Cucumber Gazpacho because it was so light and refreshing – perfect for the tropical weather. The cucumber was blended with lime juice, sweet peppers, garlic, and chili so it was just a little bit spicy. This was garnished with cherry tomato, chopped cucumber, raw shallots, cilantro, and dehydrated shallots.
All the soups were served with flax crackers which were perfectly crispy and light and seasoned with shallots and dill.
The Vietnamese Handrolls with Spicy Mango Chutney was my favorite dish at the restaurant. These fresh spring rolls were filled with crispy vegetables including cucumber, carrot, beets, bean sprouts, fresh herbs, and avocado. The mango chutney containing fresh chili, shallots, and mint was the perfect accompaniment adding some lively flavors. This dish normally comes with almond teriyaki sauce as well, which is pretty tasty too, but because we are limiting our intake of nuts we ask for extra mango sauce instead. This is a great meal because you feel satisfied but light after eating it.
Another dish we found ourselves ordering repeatedly was Ring My Bell – basically a red pepper wrap filled with fresh raw veggies and avocado and served with a side salad. It comes with two different sauces – coconut mayo and a sweet and spicy date sauce. The sauces made it deceptively rich so even though it is a raw meal it is quite filling, yet doesn’t weigh you down.
The Avocado Mango Magic was a really interesting raw vegan salad. Mangoes are really lovely in Thailand – especially during mango season when we visited the cafe – and were the feature of this salad. Mango and avocado is a heavenly combination!
The salad also contained a couple of different kinds of leafy greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and shallots with a lovely and light mango dressing. This was topped off with curried cashews and dehydrated shallots with coconut. On the side is spiralized daikon radish.
It had a lot of different flavors and the unique ingredients worked really well together.
The guacamole at Vikasa is served inside papaya rings with flax crackers and coconut mayo with pepitas on the side. Papaya and guacamole actually do pair quite well together and the crispy flax crackers provided an interesting contrast in textures. Doesn’t the papaya look so pretty?
This was quite a substantial dish and a really healthful meal that is actually mostly fruit (papaya and avocado) but can still satisfy any cravings for savory food.
It is so nice to enjoy fresh juices and raw food dishes and have the experience of eating out while also nourishing the body with the best possible foods. Vikasa Life Cafe made our stay in that part of the island so much more enjoyable and we look forward to returning again next time we are in the area.