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Giva Raw Food Restaurant

The Giva raw food restaurant in Chiang Mai, Thailand, was something of a surprise. When my friend, Marianna, suggested we try it I wasn't expecting much because every raw food restaurant I'd eaten at previously had served fatty, hard-to-digest meals that were raw in the not-heated sense but so heavily processed and poorly combined that they were hardly healthy. "Combo-abombo," is usually the term to describe such meals. 

Giva, not far from the night market in Chiang Mai, definitely doesn't fit this mold. I was presented with a menu offering soups and salads that majored in in actual fresh organic produce. Everything tasted great.

I can't vouch for everything on the menu because I haven't tried all the items, and some of them contain sea weed, which I don't eat, but most of the soups and salads appear to be good options for those looking to avoid unhealthy raw foods.

Some Of Giva's Soups And Salads
(Prices/Currency Conversion Rates Are From 4/4/2011)

Tropical Fruit Salad - 75 baht ($2.47)
Zucchini Salad - 75 baht ($2.47)
Vegetable and Nut Salad - 85 baht  ($2.80)
Greek Salad - 85 baht ($2.80)
Avocado Salad - 85 baht ($2.80)
Avocado Soup - 75 baht ($2.47)
Aloe Super Mousse- 75 baht ($2.47)
Sweet Beet Soup - 75 baht ($2.47)
Creamy Carrot Soup -75 baht ($2.47)
Energy Soup -85 baht ($2.80)

Setup and Service

Giva Raw Food RestaurantGiva is located on Tha Pae Soi 1, which stretches between Tha Pae and Loi Kohr roads. The restaurant is close to the large Dusit D2 hotel, if you're looking for a landmark.

You can probably get any tuk tuk driver to take you to the right street. I'm unsure of the exact address. The google map directions I've placed below are to the approximate area on the street, but not the front door, since google has no listing for Giva.

The restaurant itself is very small, with a seating capacity of perhaps a dozen. Everything is clean and well kept.

The owner, chef, and so employee, Pom, is fluent in English and friendly.

He is amenable to diners specifying that they don't want certain items in their food, which will be key for health-conscious raw foodists.

LFRV Friendly?

It's likely that the ideal low fat raw vegan restaurant has not yet been invented. If you're looking for salads that contain three heads of lettuce, as I often enjoy, then you're not going to find it here.

But what Giva does have is tasty, low-toxin, produce-based menu prepared by a talented chef. Since I almost never eat out, I consider it something of a treat to actually have someone else make my food.

Many of the menu items may contain raw foods that are not ideal, so it may be wise from the get go to tell Pom what items you don't want, or ask him about the ingredients of a particular dish.

You can specify that you don't want such as salt, onions, and garlic, for instance.

I'm quite sure that some of what I ate contained condiments that I would normally avoid, such as small amounts of oil and perhaps some dried herbs, but as a rare treat I'm willing to make an exception for them. None of what I ate made me feel ill, which is generally my fist-tier litmus test for raw food restaurants.

All the food was delicious and the aesthetically appealing to boot. If you happen to be in the area, you might want to check it out.


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