Being a foodie, a sweet tooth and a certified carnivore, I had little inclination to try vegan or vegetarian cuisine. From my past experiences in diet deliveries, grazing on salads with vinaigrette sauces, and other eat-healthy schemes, I worried that I would eventually get tired of eating healthy food in a few days and be back where I started.
Well, it looks like the offerings of Pantry by Rub Rack can change my mind.
Together with my fellow foodies, I attended a Bloggers’ Dinner at this restaurant where the food is good, not just to my tastebuds, but to my body as well.
The restaurant is an offshoot of Rub Rack, the online specialty store for spicy and flavored food items. Co-owners and friends Chef Lui Madela, who is vegetarian, and Des Agcaoili, who is not, envisioned a place where a barkada can eat without having to split up because of a member’s diet restrictions.
Situated in a space converted from a photography studio with an industrial theme infused with bright spots of greenery and product displays, the resto has a relaxed and modern feel. I would imagine that groups of friends, or even families, will be quite comfortable having their meals here.
Great care was taken in conceptualizing and executing Pantry’s menu, from sourcing ingredients from vegan-certified suppliers, preparing all dishes from scratch in the restaurant’s open kitchen, procuring vegan bread to go with its vegan dishes, to using separate utensils for vegan and non-vegan items.
Aside from its non-vegan dishes such as the tuyo silog and tuyo pesto, Pantry’s imaginatively prepared vegan and vegetarian items are designed to also appeal to foodies, regardless of diet preferences.
VegetaBalls. If you’ve ever felt a hankering for street food, well here’s a healthier alternative for you! Vegetables take the place of squid in these skewers dipped in a sweet brown sauce, just like the real thing!
Vegan Nachos (Php190). Crisp corn nachos drizzled with dairy-free cheese and veggies. And, believe or not, those toppings are not meat!
Vegan Mac N’ Cheese (Php200). Your favorite microwave dish is now made healthier, thanks to the resto’s own blend of dairy-free vegan cheese sauce liberally mixed into the macaroni, served with vegan bread.
Vegan Palabok. Your classic merienda given a vegan twist, this new addition to Pantry’s menu features noodles drenched in shrimp-like gravy, seaweed, vegan chicharon and vegan eggs. Vegan eggs?!? Yes, m’dears. Those are not real eggs, but they sure tasted like them!
Vegan Shawarma Wrap (Php205). Vegetarian shawarma meat, as savory and flavorful as the real thing, served with crisp vegetables and wrapped in warm pita bread. Feeling a little adventurous? Sprinkle some of the resto’s own Latigo hot sauce on it and see how high your spice meter goes!
Vechon Belly Rice Meal (Php250). The Filipino guilty pleasure – the lechon – in this dish is not made of sinful roasted pork. Oh no! It’s made out of vegetables, painstakingly fashioned by Chef Lui to resemble slices of that decadent dish.
Lemongrass Ice Tea (Php80). Brewed green tea infused with lemongrass, a light and not-so-sweet blend.
Calamansi Ice Tea. The classic black tea infused with mint and fresh calamansi.
Coconut Ice Cream. We capped our meal with Pantry’s homemade, dairy-free and all-natural sorbetes, a sweet but healthy end to our vegan food adventure.
Throughout the meal, I keep forgetting that meat is not part of the menu, especially with the Nachos and Shawarma, thanks to Chef Lui’s skill in approximating the look, taste and texture of meat. Quite a revelation for me and my fellow foodies!
Thanks to Alex of BoyEatWorldPH for extending the invite!
Want to eat healthy at home? Order ahead by calling +63 2 7292993 or +63 929 4886734 and your meal will be ready for pick-up in fifteen minutes. You can also order via Food Panda.
Pantry by Rub Rack is located at the 2nd Floor, 225 Katipunan Avenue, Barangay Milagrosa, Queson City.
Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I was invited to join a Bloggers’ Dinner held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.