Hidden in a nondescript building along Scout Madrinan in Quezon City is a small noodle house called Wabi Sabi.
Named after the Japanese worldview of finding beauty in impermanence and imperfection, this cozy restaurant embodies “wisdom in natural simplicity.”
A friend and I chanced upon this eatery during one of our more adventurous lunchtime forays. Wanting a change of scenery (as well as food choices), we veered away from our usual haunts and found ourselves at this unusual joint.
My friend and I didn’t realize that it was a vegetarian restaurant at first and by the time we did, I didn’t want to walk back out in the heat of the sun wearing my impractical wedge shoes looking for another place to eat in.
Well, I’m glad we stayed. 🙂
The dining space occupies a small area; it can accommodate around fifteen people. The menu is written in the big chalkboard above the counter. The menu items may seem familiar but they’re all vegetarian and contain no meat.
As this was out first visit, my friend and I decided to try dishes that are a bit more familar to us. She ordered the Tantanmen (Php220) while I got the Shio Ramen (Php200).
Inspired by the Dan dan Noodles of Sichuan cuisine, Tantanmen is characterized by its rich slightly spicy peanut-flavored broth, made richer and thicker by miso paste. Here, the traditionally used ground pork and chicken stock are substituted with veggie meat and vegetable stock, and sesame seeds are used to flavor the slightly sweetish sauce instead of peanuts.
The Shio Ramen, on the other hand, also features a meat substitute for the traditional chashu pork slice and the broth is clearer than what I’m used to.
From a taste of Japan, I went for a taste of Vietnam with my post-lunch drink: Kaphe Suada (Php75). Boiling water is poured over Vietnam-grown ground coffee beans into a bed of condensed milk, stirred then poured into a tall glass with ice, resulting into a sweet and invigorating beverage.
Wabi Sabi is a welcome and lucky discovery for me and I don’t mind returning to sample its other healthy offerings.
Wabi Sabi is located at Ground Floor, POS Building, Scout Mandriñan Street Corner Tomas Morato, South Triangle, Quezon City. For inquiries, call +63 918 9622935.