For me, the office lunch break is a sacred hour. In this precious spot of time, I can take a break from the pencil-pushing, number-crunching and many of the stresses I take on in the course of my job. When I have lunch with a coworkers, it also presents me with an opportunity to chat and get to know them, discover shared interests or vent on common frustrations.
This is why going out for lunch is especially important to me. Having a packed lunch from home to eat at the office pantry or buying one to-go from the office foodcourt may be more efficient and economical, but does not provide me with a change of scenery that helps in keeping my stress levels down.
However, lunches out are not exactly budget-friendly.
Fortunately, nearby restaurant Half Saints offers DIY Lunch Sets wherein diners can mix and match options for rice and viand, all for Php165.
It’s such a no frills yet fun way to decide on what you’re having for lunch.
A friend and I dropped by on our lunch break and got for ourselves:
Black Squid Rice + Bacon Slab and Egg
Pink Salmon Rice + Shrimp Skewer
Since I had some money left over, I decided to indulge myself with a Paprika Cheese Tart (Php70).
Our boss asked us to get her lunch to-go so we opted for Black Squid Rice + Japanese Fried Chicken Bites that we took back to office.
The food choices do embody Half Saints concept of providing comfort food with a twist, influenced by owners Christine Roque, Trina Roque, Tricia Roque, Tanya Mesina and Joana Arciaga’s Filipino roots merging with their exposure to other cultures. The ingredients and dishes are familiar but are melded together in novel ways (and prettily plated too!), producing flavors and textures that do excite one’s senses when the dishes are laid down on the table.
Furthermore, through its advocacy, Half Saints also supports local businesses by sourcing its ingredients from local food and farmer cooperatives.
The food took some time to get to us (the waiter even got one of the orders wrong), though, so we busied ourselves by poring over some of the books artfully displayed in the store. The resto has a minimalist feel to it – and no wonder, its interior design was inspired by coffee shops in Tokyo. It proved to be a cozy and quiet place to hang out in.
I think this place would also be a nice after-office refuge. I can picture myself with a mug of Half Saints’ freshly brewed coffee and a pastry, just chillin’ after a day’s work.
Half Saints is located at the Ground Floor, Ignacia Place, Mother Ignacia Corner Sergeant Esguerra Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11.30am to 10pm. For reservations, call +63 935 9330512. Or you can book your table via Zomato like I did.