The Jelly List: Healthy Eats in QC

Healthy eating helps promote overall health and wellness by ensuring that we get the necessary nutrients our bodies need.

Well within Quezon City, there is an abundance of wholesome and nourishing, yet also tasty eats.

Check them out:

Salmon Sriracha Poke Bowl (Php230 for regular bowl| Php150 for junior bowl) at Poke Shack

Poke (pronounced as POKE-KAY) bowls originate from Hawaii, where pieces of fresh fish are chopped into small pieces, marinated in flavorful sauces and served on top of freshly steamed rice along with chopped fresh vegetables, nuts and other toppings that add flavor and texture to the dish. This Salmon Sriracha Poke Bowl, for instance, is made with tempura flour mix, ebiko, furikake, sesame seed with sriracha mayo.

Poke Shack, Libis

Poke Shack is located at Ground Floor, Tera Tower, Bridgetowne Business Center, Ortigas Avenue Extension corner E. Rodriguez Jr Avenue, Libis, Quezon City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 10am to 10pm, Fridays from 10am to 11pm and Saturdays from 11am to 8pm. For inquiries, call +63 926 0718992 or +63 929 3173857.

Read more about Poke Shack.

Tantanmen (Php220) at Wabi-Sabi

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.

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

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.

Read more about Wabi-Sabi.

Traditional Banh Mi (Php185) at Saigon Corner

The Vietnamese took the French baguette and made it their own by adding to the usual cold cuts and mayo/butter spread of the French colonizers the distinct flavors of their local ingredients such as cilantro, chilis, daikons, carrots and cucumbers, bringing about the Banh Mi Thit or the traditional Banh Mi.

Saigon Corner, Tomas Morato

Saigon Corner is located at 40 Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 11pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 12 midnight. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 3680795 or +63 998 8491763.

Read more about Saigon Corner.

Vegan Nachos (Php199) at Salamangka

Toasted pita chips topped with ground tofu and drizzled with a mixture of Yummza pesto hummus, lemon and oil served with yoghurt on the side. If you want something healthy to munch on while on a night out with friends, this is your best bet.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka is located at Eastwood Citywalk 1, Libis, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 3am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 5518557.

Read more about Salamangka.

Spicy Tofu (Php165) at HidN Lounge

Tofu cubes stir-fried in a sweet and spicy sauce. This is a great as a starter dish or bar chow. Truth be told: this dish had me reaching for the bowl again and again.

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge is located at 21 Scout Rallos Street, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City, open Mondays to Saturdays from 6pm to 2am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 9824422, +63 917 8592355 or +63 917 8850718.

Read more HidN Lounge.

Vechon Belly Rice Meal (Php250) at Pantry by Rub Rack

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. The resemblance to the real thing in appearance and flavor is positively uncanny.

Pantry by Rub Rack, Katipunan

Pantry by Rub Rack is located at the 2nd Floor, 225 Katipunan Avenue, Barangay Milagrosa, Queson City, open daily from 10am to 9pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 929 4886734.

Read more about Pantry by Rub Rack.

Vegetarian Option (Php320) at Pookaberry Cafe

When this dish was initially served to me, I thought this was a pork tapa rice meal. Imagine my amazement when I realized it was made of sauteed mushrooms partnered with rice and crisp veggies. It’s so yummy you won’t believe it’s also healthy.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe is located at 36-B Scout Ybardolaza corner Scout Rallos Streets, Bgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 9pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 917 9685414.

Read more about Pookaberry Cafe.

Portobello Mushroom Sliders (Php280) at Pound by Todd English

Every once in a while, I like to veer away from the usual quarter pounders made of beef. These sliders are made of juicy mushrooms accompanied by caramelized onions, fried onions, lettuce, tomato and cilantro aioli. A complex blend of hearty but healthy flavors in every bite!

Pound by Todd English, Eastwood

This Pound by Todd English branch is located at the 2nd Floor, Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 10pm.

Read more about Pound by Todd English.

Mushroom and Tofu Salpicao (Php180) at 13 Ubay Street

This dish brings a mix of button and shimeji mushrooms sauteed with deep-fried tofu cubes in a garlicky sauce. As good, if not better, than its beefy counterpart in other restos.

13 Ubay St. QC

This resto is located at No 13 Ubay Street, Santa Mesa Heights, Banawe, Quezon City, open daily at 11am to 2pm and at 5pm to 11pm.. For inquiries and reservations, call + 63 2 5796484 or +63 917 8762692.

Read more about 13 Ubay Street.

Bulletproof Mocha (Php130 small | Php140 medium) at UltraKappu

Bulletproof coffee is a drink consisting of brewed coffee, grass-fed unsalted butter and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil, all healthy ingredients that are low in sugar but high in good energy. I didn’t expect to find this so creamy! While it’s not as sweet as my regular coffee drinks, I can definitely taste a certain milky richness.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu is located at 2nd Floor, Bali Garden Residences, Zuzuarregui Street, Matandang Balara, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 10pm.

Read more about UltraKappu.

Pink Sala Fruit Tea (Php75/Php95) at Jelly G Thai Milk Tea

Sala (also known as snake skin fruit) is a type if palm native to Indonesia and cultivated in other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand. It is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, dietary fiber, iron, calcium, phosporus and carbohydrates. Jelly G combines the sweet pink-hued juice of the sala with black tea and brown sugar as well as a few spoonfuls of popping strawberry balls for added bursts of fruity sweetness.

Jelly G Thai Milk Tea, UP Town Center

This Jelly G Thai Milk Tea stall is located at Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City (in front of National Bookstore).

So if you’re in Quezon City, check out these options for good eats.

Do you know any more healthy food options? Share them in the comments.

Photo Credit: Header image by Carissa Gan of Unsplash

Get your ultimate cup of tea at Ultrakappu, Old Balara

Just when you thought that the milk tea business has reached its peak, here comes a new player in the market that has something quite novel to introduce: healthy beverage options.

That is not something most people go to milk tea joints for but for John and Anna Pelino, who are both on keto diets, having sugar-free and keto-friendly choices available in their milk tea bar is essential.

Found in a residential area along South Zuzuaregui Street in Old Balara, UltraKappu was borne out of the couple’s trip to Taiwan (originally to take their young toddler to see the pandas) into a week-long milk tea party.  Finding a particular taste in Taiwanese milk tea that they wanted to bring back home, they soon set up shop in Quezon City with the help of Anna’s brother Mark, further fueling the milk tea craze in the metro.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

Together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH, I visited UltraKappu’s flagship store to discover what sets it apart from other milk tea establishments.

One: The brand has Japanese-inspired origins

Unlike most milk tea places in the country that translate their Taiwan origins to their local operations, UltraKappu got its (very loose) inspiration from Japanese superheroes.  UltraKappu (or “urutorakappu”), in fact, translates to “ultra cup” in Japanese.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu, Old Balara

Even the store is marked with Japanese-style minimalism.  Two sets of cafe-style tables and chair and bar stools provide seating adequate for around ten people.  The store logo is boldly emblazoned in orange against the dark grey background, while the TV plays the store’s music video starring cosplayers dressed as Japanese-style anime girls enjoying their favorite drinks.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu, Old Balara

However, all the milk tea ingredients are imported from the motherland of milk tea, Taiwan.

Two: A milk tea place for the health conscious? 

You would think that “milk tea” and “healthy” are two mutually exclusive concepts but John and Anna are adamant that their store be able to offer, not only supercharged versions of beverages already available in the local food scene, but also guilt-free and ultimately healthier drink choices.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu, Old Balara

How exactly?

For one thing, they offer sugar-free drinks, suitable for those on keto diets, such as Bulletproof Black, Bulletproof White, Bulletproof Mocha and Almond Milk Tea.

Bulletproof coffee is a drink consisting of brewed coffee, grass-fed unsalted butter and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil, all healthy ingredients that are low in sugar but high in good energy.

Diners can even request to see the macros of these drinks such as the amount of calories, fat, carbs and protein they contain to make sure these fall within their daily intake levels.

Also, instead of just adjusting sugar levels of their other drinks, the staff can take out sugar altogether.  For additional Php10 to the price of your kappu order, they will use a sugar substitute with zero net carbs and zero sugar.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu, Old Balara

Lastly, UltraKappu has an Ala Carte Menu that allows diners to build their own healthy milk tea from scratch.  With a base of either assam black tea or jasmine tea, diners can pick and choose toppings they can add to their drink which include, pearls, salty cream, cloud (a cream foam that adds texture to the drink), Oreo crumbs, egg pudding, grass jelly, popping boba (with yogurt inside), nata, konnyaku (low-carb blocks of jelly-like extract from a type of root crop), MCT oil and butter.

Standout drinks for me include:

Bulletproof Mocha (Php130 small | Php140 medium). I didn’t expect to find this so creamy! While it’s not as sweet as my regular coffee drinks, I can definitely taste a certain milky richness.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

Super Soy (Php115 medium | Php125 large). Imagine your favorite taho drink supercharged with boba pearls and caramel.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

Brown Sugar Boba Milk (Php100 medium | Php110 large). Ooh, that intense toasty brown sugar caramel distributed in creamy milk tea!

UltraKappu, Old Balara

Oreo Matcha (Php130 medium | Php140 large). I’m not so into matcha drinks so I was surprised that this one appealed to me. It’s really because its taste is not as intensely herby as other matcha drinks I’ve tasted, and the Oreo crumbs serve to add sweetness and texture to the drink.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

Salty Cream Pudding (Php130 medium | Php140 large). The creamy milk tea with an added dimension of the sweet-salty taste of salty cream and the mild sweetness of egg pudding.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

Now, aren’t you glad you have more (and healthier) choices for your milk tea fix? Drop by UltraKappu to get your own ultimate cup of milk tea goodness today!

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu is located at 2nd Floor, Bali Garden Residences, Zuzuarregui Street, Matandang Balara, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 10pm.

No time to drop by the store? Have your drink delivered by Lalamove! Contact UltraKappu through its Facebook or Instagram pages to order.

UltraKappu Milk Tea Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other milk tea joints: