We were seated at a table on the glassed-in patio at Café Louise. It was late in the evening and the coffee shop was full of people, attracted by quality, healthy food.
The menu features many healthy and delicious choices, placing emphasis on fresh and natural ingredients, free of preservatives, food coloring and other additives. Guy, the café manager, guided us through the menu and suggested a couple of dishes. We started off with a varied range of tapas, including sundried tomato spread, organic tahini, tofu spread, pickled salmon, curry paste, olives and sprouted lentils, accompanied by homemade yeast free bread. Everything had obviously been prepared with a lot of care and finesse. We ordered freshly squeezed juices to wash the food down; my friend took the recommended celery beetroot juice and I ordered the apple juice. When my apple juice came, I was positively surprised that it was light green, not brownish like apple cider. It tasted delicious, like biting into a fresh green apple.
After the tapas, we were served purple quinoa salad and goat cheese kadaif. While quinoa salad is nowadays quite common on restaurant menus, the quinoa salad at Cafe Louise had a refreshing twist. The use of beetroot and kiwi not only lent the dish a vaguely exotic and unique flavor, but it also looked great. The goat cheese kadaif was also interesting. Baked in olive oil and served over bok choy leaves in lemon and mint vinaigrette with a choice of an organic fried egg, this dish is a treat for goat cheese lovers.
For our main courses, we shared the pearl barley risotto, prepared with Portobello mushrooms, green onion, coconut milk and carrot juice. When we mentioned Guy that we are fans of coconut milk, he suggested that we also try the Golden Penne. Craving fish, I also ordered the salmon steak. While all three dishes had their own distinct and delightfully different flavor, my favorite dish had to be the salmon steak. The salmon was served with a side dish of root vegetable dried fig puree and rice sheets filled with rice and seaweed or couscous, but it was the slightly sour hibiscus sauce that really stood out as a wonderful accompaniment to the fish.
Although we were already quite full, no meal is completed without dessert. Since Guy had clearly proved that he knows what to order, we asked him to surprise us, and he sure did! He brought us the tapioca in coconut milk and seasonal fruit, the kadaif nest filled with seasonal fruit, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, raw tahini and date-honey.
Although we had eaten quite a lot, we left Café Louise feeling perfectly satisfied, without a hint of the all to common stomach bloating after eating so much delicious food. It just goes to show you that putting an emphasis on mostly organic, low fat, natural ingredients pays off in more ways than one.
58 Moria, Haifa