Sherman's Food Adventures: MELU Juice & Health Bar

MELU Juice & Health Bar

Initially, when I first got the invite to try out the cold-pressed juices, vegan nut mylks and health bars at MELU, I was like "heck no".   But I gave it a few days and came around to accepting that there might be a chance that I might like it.  No, not really.  To be honest, it just happened to fit into my schedule for the day after sampling sandwiches at Hubbub.  However, as Sean and I would soon find out, there was more than meets the eye.  I guess much like Transformers?

A take on a classic was the Frosty the Carrot Cake featuring shredded carrot & coconut, dates, walnuts, cashews, coconut oil, agave nectar, lemon, vanilla, pumpkin spice and Himalayan pink salt.  Although a touch more dense than actual carrot cake, the flavours were unmistakable.  I liked how the sweetness was understated. Next up, we sampled the So Fudin Good consisting of avocado, coconut cream & oil, cocoa, pecans, dates, agave nectar, Himalayan pink salt, strawberry and goji berry topping. I really enjoyed this one as the they were able to emulate a creamy and rich chocolate texture with avocado and dates.  It was mildly sweet while the bitterness of the chocolate came through at the end.  Continuing on with chocolate, we had the Cocoa Banana Split with banana, cashews, walnuts, coconut oil, shredded coconut, dates, cocoa and Himalayan pink salt.  This one was rather mild with a background banana essence.  Texturally, it was creamy and thick.

With big hits of mango, the Mangolicious (mango, walnuts, almonds, cashews, coconut mylk, shredded coconut, dates and agave nectar) was my second favourite.  By virtue of the ingredients, this bar ate sweeter with aromatics provided by the nuts and coconut. Possibly the naturally sweetest bar, the Kind of a Fig Deal was also heavier due to the ingredients (raspberry, figs, coconut oil, pecans, oats, dates and Himalayan pink salt).  As such, this was essentially an amped up fig newton without the outer shell. Since I love cheesecake, I was intrigued with the Lemon Razz with lemon & rind, coconut cream, butter & oil, almonds, dates, agave nectar, Himalayan pink salt, yogurt, raspberry, mint and shredded coconut.  This ate like a creamy cheesecake with the right texture and a good balance between sweet and tanginess.

Moving onto the juices, we sampled 11 of them including the Orange Glow (carrot, apple, pineapple, tomato & ginger), Easy Green (pear, grapefruit, cucumber, kale, celery & parsley) and Winter Wonderland (Winter melon, apple, kale, spinach, celery). Of the 3, I enjoyed the refreshing orange glow with its mild sweetness and subtle gingery hit. I found the easy green cucumber dominant with a light citrus finish while the Winter wonderland was smooth and silky with a background grassiness. 

The next 3 consisted of The Hulk (apple, Romaine lettuce, jicama, lemon, kale, mint & ginger), RADical Detox (cucumber, pear, radish, kale & bell pepper) and Black Magic (activated bamboo charcoal, cayenne, lemon, Himalayan pink salt, agave & pure filtered water).  I found the hulk to have a noticeable vegetable taste accented by mint and a gingery finish.  With an interesting bell pepper flavour, the radical detox was naturally sweet, cool and refreshing.  Interestingly smoky and slightly bitter, the black magic exhibited a light and surprisingly refreshing finish despite the charcoal and cayenne.

Standing out amongst the different shades of green, the red juices consisted of the Berry Beetiful (apple, tomato, beetroot & strawberry) and Grapefruit Heartbeet (pineapple, grapefruit, beetroot, lemon & mint).  I enjoyed the berry beetiful as the layers of sweet apple and strawberry helped temper the tomato juice. The beetroot not only added colour and sweetness, there was the usual Earthiness as well.  Now my personal favourite of the bunch was the grape fruit heartbeet since it was fruity and sweet with a touch of mint.  It tasted like a regular fruit juice where the pineapple added plenty of natural sweetness.

We tried 3 nut mylks next including the Big Fig (activated almonds, figs, raw vanilla bean, agave nectar & Himalayan pink salt), Pink Elephant (activated cashews, strawberry, raw vanilla bean, agave nectar & Himalayan pink salt) and Cocoa Monkey (activated cashews, banana, raw cacao, chia seeds & Himalayan pink salt).  I found the big fig to be nutty and rich with a muted sweetness and vanilla finish.  As for the pink elephant, it drank a lot lighter than its appearance.  I found it rather bland though with a creamy strawberry finish.  My favourite was the cocoa monkey since it was chocolaty and smooth with a light sweetness.  Oh okay, I'll admit it.  I really didn't mind the stuff at MELU despite my general aversion to "healthier" options.  Most of the juices tasted appealing and the health bars were on point.  Only downside is that with such quality ingredients, it comes at a price.

*All juices and health bar samples were complimentary*

The Good:
- Most of the cold-pressed juices actually tasted appealing
- The health bars taste and eat sinfully

The Bad:
- With quality ingredients, it comes at a price
- Location is hidden

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