I’m turning 30 tomorrow, getting older and (hopefully) wiser; hence, the heightened interest in all things healthy. So I try to get my daily fill of more fruits and vegetables whenever possible and sometimes consider going vegetarian…NOT! Even if I am not considering going vegetarian (because I seriously cannot part with my meat, which I love dearly), I am just so happy to know that there are vegetarian / vegan places that make you go: “OH MY GOD! THERE’S NO MEAT / DAIRY?!?!?”
One of my favorite vegetarian / vegan haunts here in Manila is Pipino in Malingap Street, UP Village, which is co-owned by two of my former officemates. I seriously think that the food is so yummy that I travel all the way from Cainta to UP Village (commuting, of course) to get my Pipino fix. I even convinced my good friend to have lunch there earlier because I was and still am craving for Pipino (and of course, to support our Pipino owner friends).
I just love almost everything about Pipino. I joke not when I say that I feel the weight of the world off my shoulders when I am greeted by the restaurant’s bright and cheery interiors: the white window blinds, the multi-color hand-written menu on the floor-to-ceiling blackboards, the community board filled with artwork, the faded red brick walls,the wooded stools.
Pipino’s vegan food is healthy, yummy, filling and not too heavy on the pocket. I am so amazed on how the restaurant is able to concoct recipes that are void of anything animal based, which include eggs and dairy like cream, cheese, and milk. Some of my all-time favorites include the meatless lasagna and the chocolate cake. Can you imagine lasagna without meat AND cheese? Or chocolate cake without eggs and milk? See the Pipino team is amazing!
I make it a point to try new menu items from Pipino in every visit. So this earlier at lunch, I had cold soba noodles with soy-mirin sauce topped with a mango salsa and crispy tofu sliced. Quite light and refreshing, a stark contrast to the rich, fatty, calorie laden meals I’ve had in the past few days.
Then, for dessert, I ordered their green tea almond cupcake with a cup of organic coffee. I am in awe on how the cupcake was moist and dense. It was earthy, herby and not too sweet, perfect with the cup of hot coffee.
My only problem with Pipino is that not all of the items on the menu are always available. I wanted to order the Lemon Ice Cream (made with cashew milk and sweetened with maple syrup), but they didn’t have any Maybe they could just showcase featured menu items per day, so as not to disappoint customers. I guess it was more disappointing for me because I did travel from a far away place to satisfy my Pipino cravings. Or maybe I could’ve made a call to Pipino first? Maybe. Oh, and I wish that they had free wifi because it is a nice place to hangout in. But even if I do have some teeny problems with the place, all in all, I still love Pipino! I really do recommend this place to non-vegans, who do want a healthy AND yummy alternative to their usual meals.
I learned that they have all-day breakfast menu items during weekends. Anyone care to join me while I am still here in Manila?
My favorite food stuff #5: Vegan treats from Pipino. It’s my birthday tomorrow and I still have 25 more food stuff to write about. Go go go!
Delirious about delicious,
P.S. I really wish Pipino would bring back their coffee doughnuts. I loved their unique coffee (with a stronger coffee kick!) glaze.
P.P.S. Visit Pipino Vegetarian at 39 Malingap Street, Teacher’s Village Quezon City. They’re open from 11AM to 10PM from Mondays to Fridays. But on weekends, they’re open from 7AM to 10PM.