MELU Juice & Health Bar opened for about a year in downtown Vancouver. Located in Coal Harbour (1110 West Pender Street), it is a little hidden gem, quality ingredient place that is tucked away on a busy downtown street. I almost walked past by MELU since it’s literally hidden.
When you open the door, you’ll notice that it’s a cozy, warm place with modern interior and decor. Since it’s located in Coal Harbour, they have a lot of busy office people, locals and tourists looking for a healthy drinkable treat. It was a quiet, wintery, mid-week afternoon day when I visited.
I was invited by Angela (co-owner of MELU) through the food community to come and test out their juices. I had four juices to try all week. Since I am a foodie, I wanted to try a combination of the juices they offer … from a pretty Insta-worthy, pink juice to a black, intimating juice. I wanted to see what MELU is all about.
As usual, all opinions are my own.
Most of their products are not on the natural sweet side, which is perfect for me. I stuck around MELU for around 40 minutes and decided to try an item from the smoothie menu while checking out the place.
I got the Berry Colada since it was the most Insta-worthy item in the smoothie category. The berry colada is a two layer smoothie that contains pineapple, banana, cashew mylk, and dates. The second layer contains raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry. The smoothie had a good consistency and did not water down after 30 minutes. You can taste the second layer berry items, along with the cashew mylk.
They also had a booklet and listed information on the owners and MELU’s product line, which I browsed through. Most of MELU’s menu is raw, vegan, and gluten-free. From cold-pressed juices, vegan nut mylks, and smoothies. Like most places, they switch the menu seasonally.
After I got home, I wanted to try a juice a day and decided to try them by expiration date. It just happened that it’s from Insta-worthy colour order too. From a pretty pink to a coal-black colour. It wasn’t intentional, it was seriously organized by expiration date.
According to MELU, each cold-pressed juice contains 2–3lbs of fresh and unique vegetables and fruits. I started with The Pink Elephant on day one, it contains activated cashews, strawberry, raw vanilla bean, agave nectar, and Himalayan pink salt.
On day two, it was the Grapefruit Heartbeat. This is my favourite … the grapefruit not too tart and over powerful. It is also probably more on the “safe choice” juices and had the perfect balance of pineapple, grapefruit, beetroot, lemon, and mint. I will definitely pick one up for my next visit!
The winter melon requires very warm weather to grow but can be stored for many months much like winter squash. Ash gourds of the Indian subcontinent have a white coating with rough texture. South East Asian varieties have a smooth waxy texture. It is one of the few vegetables available during winter in areas of deciduous vegetation, hence its Chinese name literally means ‘winter melon’. The winter melon can typically be stored for 12 months. In India, ash gourd is recognized for its medicinal properties in the Ayurvedic system of medicine.
I saved the most intimidating juice for last, the Black Magic. Here’s a list of ingredients: Activated bamboo charcoal, cayenne, lemon, Himalayan pink salt, agave, and pure filtered water. The black magic reminds me of a recovery drink. It was smoky with a very light bitter aftertaste.
For every juice bottle, it has a legend of symbols. I didn’t notice until I got home. If I saw them earlier, I would have asked about it. According to their website, they list out the health benefits in a symbol format. Usually juice bars list out the benefits, while MELU has a symbol on each bottle and they circle the benefits.
Here’s a wall photo of the symbol format they have at the storefront:
It’s nice to support a local business and eating healthy drinks. Who doesn’t like delicious, healthy in a drinkable food format. I did not get a chance to try their soups, salads and vegan (no bake) bars on this visit.