Vegetarian Food in Manila

So technically speaking this omnivore has been to 10 vegetarian food joints in Manila. Why go on such a spree you ask? Well, I just happen to like collecting. Anyway, I haven’t sampled any dishes from Bodhi for a long time so maybe I have to try it out again before I can compare it to the new age vegan joints. It’s been too long ago for Green Halo too so let me visit again before I finalize this list. Chances to check out that carinderia in Coron is bleak especially that lately I can’t even afford to go out of town and finally that vegan joint in the third floor of C.O.D. has been closed for years so I have to scratch it out my list.

This leaves me with 7. My top pick is Greens. Their wide selection, clean taste and ultimately original recipes will impress you. When I say clean taste, I mean a dish is not cheated by overpowering a certain taste or flavor. For instance tofu sisig may be flooded in soy sauce and hot sauce. For burger steaks, it can be smothered in thick and salty gravy so you can’t really tell whether or not it’s beef or tofu in there. Their soups however are too thin and bland while their desserts need a makeover.

My next pick is Vegetarian Kitchen because even if it’s a bit pricey, the big serving makes up for it. The flavors are also adventurous so it’s far from being a boring vegan destination. Third, I pick Corner Tree Café. While the size of their serving does not justify the price, the ambiance of this nook in Makati is perfect for a spontaneous fancy eating place spree.

I like Cafeteria Verde too despite some confusion if they’re really 100% vegan. Pipino, Gandiva Café and Blissful Belly, all had promising menus and interesting dishes that got me curious. However all three did not deliver. It was either too bland, too thin, too watered down or simply too weird to be appreciated.

Again I’m not exactly a vegan, but I do love eating and I have enjoyed several vegan affairs. I also do a lot of experimenting in the kitchen and if I may say so I do just fine.

*I have recently tried Dr. Tam’s and I loved it so I’ll squeeze it in here somewhere in the future alright. I know I have posts of some of these restos but lemme put those links up another time. Cheers!

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Tomas Morato: Greens

It’s always stressful for me to decide what to order in a favorite resto because as much as I want to try something new, I know I would regret not ordering what I was craving for in the first place. Oh! Such a long sentence. Anyway, expect longer sentences for this post as Greens is the best vegetarian restaurant I’ve tried. It is the first and only vegan restaurant that actually made me crave for gluten. And gluten is, let’s just say, my enemy when it comes to vegetarian cuisine. So after a long time, I finally satisfied my cravings and went there to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It was  perfect considering we came from Ace Water Spa that morning.

I wasn’t able to sample Mitzi’s eggplant (up there) but I did try a lot Don’s soy “chicken” (below).

It was surprisingly addicting and it surpassed my love for the rellenong “bangus” (below) at least for that day.

Below is the very popular appetizer called fried mushroom. Basically it’s oyster mushroom in batter fried into a crisp so I wouldn’t really call it healthy. I can actually eat about 3 or 4 orders of this and still not be full so I think the serving is too small for 90 pesos or something like that. I do know that oyster mushroom is expensive and spoils easily so I guess that’s why it’s a bit pricey. Anyway, I really love the idea and I would love to experiment with other kinds of mushrooms both cheap and expensive so I’d have more options. And perhaps do better than serve it with watered down ketchup? This viand has a lot of potential!

If my weakness is relleno, phil’s is barbecue. It is a bestseller and the same recipe is also used for their “beef” broccoli. Most people would rave about that but I am not a big fan of bbqs so it’s natural that I’d skip ordering it. Speaking of skipping viands, I do not recommend soups from Greens. For some reason, their soups are bland, watered down and basically lack spices so if you want soup, ask me to make you a batch. haha!

People shouldn’t really listen to me when I talk about dessert as it’s not my passion. I think the carrot cake was okay but the mango custard could definitely use some hint of sweetness. The mango is already a little bit sour so it should be balanced out by the custard but it basically tasted like basic jello. The caramel custard sounds like salvation but let’s not jump into conclusions. You’ll hear from me if it’s a feast. I did not take a picture of the Lassi which Mitzi ordered but I liked it. I am actually considering to order it instead of coffee next time even if I never really liked yoghurt drinks or any other shake for that matter.

Rather barbaric but I’m more of the soda or beer kind of person. Cheers!

Corner Tree Cafe at Makati (Vegetarian)

Spinach Croquettes

That there is the only helping we had that is not exactly purely vegetarian. Can you believe it?

If you know Phil, you probably won’t. This appetizer, I think, would be good enough as a main dish. Loved the harissa as well. We ordered it because the brat couldn’t wait. We actually paired it with corn bread that we finished before I remembered to do that thing I do with my forefinger. That is probably what I’ll have with some potatoes/rice/pasta/bread if ever I’m brave enough to visit Makati again.

I was looking for a vegan joint because after Greens, I thought most would probably be as good if not better. I was eyeing Wabi Sabi at The Collective but I don’t really fancy noodles for a full meal. I think of that more as a snack than dinner. Just like any other web-based person, I scoured for vegan joints online and this was the closest to what I had in mind. I was shying away from these joints for the longest time because… well, before the goods were either pretending to be meat or so costly like going vegan is only for the elite. Well this joint isn’t exactly cheap but it won’t be too long before others would think of ways to make vegetarians food lovers again.

Corner Tree Cafe served wonderful meals. The service was exceptional (Did I mention I love their candleholder? -got a missing photo of that. darn! ). The place was so cozy and it seemed exactly like what it is named. I’ve yet to photograph it in the morning so that must mean I want to go back. It must be prettier but the night stole only little of its faerie dust. Of course I’m going back. So far it is the only vegetarian joint I’ve been to that has an impressive variety. The ones we ordered were different from each other so I know that many of the items won’t just be another version of the recipe or was I just lucky?

Vegan Kofta for Phil. I love it!

Tofu Asparagus Teriyaki for Evan. I love it!

African Vegetable Stew. It was okay.

We shared all three viands. I like it like that!