Pipino Vegetarian Food by Pino: Healthy and Delicious

If you haven't noticed yet, my friends and I have already jumped onto the healthy eating bandwagon. And after trying out a few healthy food destinations, we decided to amp it up and finally get a taste of real vegetarian dishes at Pipino, Vegetarian Food by Pino.

Pipino Vegetarian Food by Pino

Located at Malingap Street in the restaurant-filled Teachers Village, Quezon City, Pipino is actually a vegan restaurant taking pride of bridging healthy and delicious to both vegetarians and curious foodies like ourselves. Co-owned by Ms. Alessandra Lanot and the Pino group, this dainty and refreshing dining spot conveniently sits on the 2nd floor of Pino Resto Bar.

Pipino Desserts Rack Pipino Interior

Although the interiors at Pipino don't shout fancy, the combination of whites, limes, bricks and bleached wood gives off a really clean and sophisticated ambiance which also spells cozy, especially over a lovely natural lighting. And if the place wasn't homey enough, there are also hand-written menu boards by the other wall.

Soup of the Day Pipino Beverages

It's not a secret that there aren't many vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the Metro. Although healthy eating is steadily becoming a new trend in dining, exclusive veggie-eaters are still left with only a few choices when eating out. But with Pipino's promise of offering creative dishes and not just your ordinary salad, even if I'm not a vegetarian, I know we'll be off to a good start.

Wicked Walnut Salad P165

I know one would expect salads in a vegetarian resto. But trust me, this Wicked Walnut Salad (P165) is beyond delicious! Its combination of mixed greens, candied walnuts, cherry tomatoes, walnut parmesan cheese and Dalandan balsamic is not only a harmonious blend of sweet & tangy, and soggy & crunchy, but also very witty. You see, the whole dish is completely vegan (doesn't contain any animal product). Yes, even the cheese did not come from cows but was made from walnuts.

Tofu Lemongrass Skewers P145

We also had a serving of the Tofu Lemongrass Skewers (P145), rolls of soft and succulent ground tofu served with chili-garlic sauce and topped with alfalfa sprouts. Although the rolls tasted strongly of tofu, the meatiness of the filling was totally unexpected. Even if I'm not a big tofu fan, I really enjoyed munching this meal starter for its pork-like texture.

Veggie Tempura P80

I may not know a lot of vegan dishes, but I'm well-acquainted with the Veggie Tempura (P80) since I eat a lot of it in Japanese restaurants. Coated with crunchy tempura batter and served with soy-mirin sauce, these slices of sweet potatoes, eggplant and carrots can replace my french fries and potato chips anytime!

Portobello Inasal P260

After a hearty start, it was time to try the entrées. We first had a plate of Portobello Inasal (P260) -- a beautifully grilled stack of Portobello mushrooms served with red beet purée, ensaladang talong and brown rice. The grilled mushrooms were savory and salty, but the purée and ensalada gave it a nice balanced flavor which goes perfectly with the cup of healthy rice.

Low-fat and Cheese-less Vegan Lasagna P120

For pasta, we had the Low-Fat and Cheese-Less Vegan Lasagna (P120) with zucchini, eggplant and silken tofu ricotta. Although unbelievable, this lasagna dish tasted just like a regular meaty and cheesy baked layered pasta without actual cream and cheese.

Watermelon Steak P220

We also got to sample a fairly new dish on Pipino's menu, the Watermelon Steak (P220) -- beautifully charred slice of watermelon served with taro-miso mash, string beans, pickled mushrooms, alfalfa and taro chips. I know, Pipino must be crazy to make a steak out of a fruit. But surprisingly, they were able to pull it off! The watermelon steak oozes with tons of savory and succulent flavors, while the sidings were nice complements.

Vegan Oatmeal Choco Chip Cookie, Choco-Banana Muffin and Banana Choco Peanut Dark Chocolate Ice Cream P40

For sweet endings, we sampled Pipino's famous dairy-free and egg-free pastries. We had the Vegan Oatmeal Choco Chip Cookie, Choco-Banana Muffin (P25) and Banana Choco Peanut Cupcake (P50), all of which use coco sugar and are as good as their non-vegan counterparts. We also got to try the dairy-free Dark Chocolate Ice Cream (P40) made with local tablea and cashew milk. Although a little runny and grainy than regular ice cream, this cold cup of sweet treat is as satisfying.

Drinks at Pipino

Since Pipino has an interesting line of unique drinks, it's a sin to miss trying out some. So for our trip, we had the Lemongrass-Ginger-Cucumber Cooler (P80), Pino Iced Tea (P35) and Pipino Shake (P80), all of which are super refreshing as they are visually appealing.

THE VERDICT

At Pipino, all of my senses were tickled with their aromatic, visually enticing and flavorful food with a mix of interesting textures. And although I can never grow out of my roots, being an all-out carnivore, I grew a deeper appreciation for vegetarianism and veganism. I have to admit that I initially thought of vegan dishes as dull veggie-filled plates. But after this trip to Pipino, I can easily down a full course vegan meal and even crave for more.

Taste - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Pipino Vegetarian Food by Pino, Quezon City
39 Malingap St., Teachers Village
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Philippines
(02) 441-1773
Official Website
Facebook Page
Twitter

50 comments:

  1. i have always been curious of Pipino since I read about it on Patty Laurel's blog. As always your photos makes me more interested to try out the food! :)

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  2. I've been to Pipino once, but my friend only ordered the Low-Fat and Cheese-Less Vegan Lasagna (we ate downstairs in Pino). I was surprised that it had so much flavor. I couldn't help myself from taking a few more bites. It was that good! :) Anyway, I was also curious about the Watermelon steak. And since you've already tried and raved about it, then I should give it a try na din the next time I visit Pino. :)

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  3. Hi Miss Sumi, as always, great post :)

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  4. I am curious with the wicked walnut salad, it looks fun and delicious to eat with all of those assortment of ingredients.

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  5. .. I noticed all ur posts pertain to restos, cafes and some other food clubs. I envy u much! .;-(

    Vegies aren't my type actually but as I saw this post of urs today, I crave a bit. hahah
    hey, that Watermelon Steak intrigues me. How does it tastes?

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  6. Akala ko gulay din yung ice cream hehe

    very nice simple and design pero may dateng! and yeah i like foods :))

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  7. They all look appetizing at it's a plus na healthy food lahat! Refreshing ang mga drinks nila ah!

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  8. Ooohh.. Nice blog Miss Sumi, and the foods really look interesting. Although I'm not really a fan of vegan food, I guess this place is worth a try. :)


    Anyway, nice meeting you in one of the Eat's a Date at Cafe Publico. I love your blog. :)


    -Tonet

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  9. i love the place, it looks so clean and fresh. yum im a semi vegetarian!

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  10. Whenever I read your posts, naglalaway talaga ako. All of the foods looked so yummy at ang ganda ng shots mo.

    That watermelon steak seems insane pero nakakacurious, parang ang sarap :)

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  11. This is right across Don-day so I always see it. hahahah The dishes are really creative! Healthy food often tends to be unimaginative but I'm surprised to see some really interesting combinations here like the portobello mushroom inasal and the watermelon steak. :D Galing!

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  12. Pipino has lots of exciting dishes and they all turned out great didn't they? I'm sure we can come back there anytime and still find ourselves more amazing and interesting selections that are beyond our imagination. =D I really admire their perseverance and creativity.

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  13. These look great! Makes me wanna think of going vegetarian again. :)

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  14. It's fun to start your healthy eating with friends! As usual the pix looks yummy! :)

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  15. i love tofu dishes, though not a vegetarian...i'm curious on the watermelon steak, is that a main dish or a dessert?

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  16. If I ever get to visit Manila, this would be one of the restaurants I'd visit first. I'm not really into vegan dishes but the food presentation is just tempting.:)

    Ohhhh candied walnuts! Never knew they'd actually work as a salad ingredient at all. Hehe!

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  17. I so want to go here! I'll drag someone nga! Because of my new diet medyo nahihirapan ako maghanap ng kainan na medyo healthy ang dishes. Hahaha! :P

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  18. OMG that salad looks tempting! I want!!! I hope I can convince my hubby to visit this restaurant, guys are so hard to drag to healthy places. O_o

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  19. Who would have thought that vegan dishes could look and taste sooo good! :)

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  20. Been there but still haven't blogged about it yet..love most of their vegetarian dishes and love to repeat it again.

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  21. It is always a good idea to learn how to love eating vegetables. There's a restaurant in Banaue, QC that serves only vegetables and yet tastes like meat.

    By the way, I made a good food criteria list. Let me know if you agree or if you'd like to add some more. Thanks!

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  22. I love the name "Pipino". Hope to visit the place soon.

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  23. Interesting name! But not a big fan of vegetables hehe... Don't think will visit in my lifetime. But I can recommend this to vegetarian friends :)
    Glad you joined the bandwagon to healthy eating!

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  24. Dami talagang magagandang restaurants jan sa Manila no? kakainggit :( Anyway, their meals looks delicious and affordable :D

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  25. My friend had her birthday thing here last year. Sayang I wasn't able to go. it was a cooking pa naman so cute sana :) Anyway, we'll probably try this when we're in the area. Enjoy the weekend!

    www.joeiandme.com

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  26. indeed a beautiful place to dine and unwind. I give this a 5 :) the food looks so yummy too.

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  27. Now that watermelon steak is something new and different, very cool. I should give this a try!

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  28. @~✯*Jela*✯~: The watermelon steak tastes really interesting. It has all the smoky flavors you'll expect from a grilled steak, but it's still soft and a little watery so you'll really feel it's watermelon.. :D

    @beyondpraise: Thanks sis! It was so nice meeting you too. Hope to see you again soon.. :)

    @yuuki: The watermelon steak is actually a main entrée.. ^^

    @Chef Fresh: Wow! What's the name of that resto? I'd like to visit that some time soon :)

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  29. woah! is this for real?? ang ganda ng interior design nila! :D pag anjan ako... siguradong anjan ako lagi! :D super like ko yung aura ng place... <3

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  30. My girlfriends and I will surely visit them soon. I have few vegan friends and I'm sure to mention this cool resto to them.

    awesome post!

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  31. I agree that vegetarian food is not just healthy but also yummy. Some Filipinos don't want to try vegetarian food because their mindset is that vegetables are bland.

    I have a similar post like this maybe you can check it out: http://frugalfilipinagirl.blogspot.com/2011/12/vegetarian-food-fair-2012.html

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  32. a friend invited me there for her birthday party but wasn't able to make it. i was with the owner and the friend at the orly trip in pico de loro and i am excited to try it out. those look delish!

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  33. I am into veggie meal now. Thanks Sumi for sharing. Hope they will have more branches in the metro.

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  34. ang ganda ng ambiance ang linis tas sarap pa sa mata.. para sobra peaceful kumain dito,,
    tas the food... like na like!!
    sana may branch din sa sila sa south..

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  35. I'm tryin my best to have a healthier lifestyle. Maybe I'll drop by at this place when I have free time

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  36. The food looks so delicious, the place is just too far for me, though I've heard rave reviews of Pipino as well!

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  37. Thank you for sharing this Sumi. I will keep this in mind if I am feeling healthy again. With the 4/5 rating, I am sure this will be as good as that of the food they serve at Sugarleaf :)

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  38. I'd like to try this resto... nice pics Sumi :)

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  39. Hala! Parang gusto kong mag-vegan sa mga food na yan! Wanna try the vegetable tempura. Charap!

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  40. Yum! Yum. Love the place. Thanks for sharing.

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  41. I hope I can get to try this place! I'd love to try their desserts and the soup!

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  42. Veggie Tempura, Watermelon Steak, Vegan Oatmeal Choco Chip Cookie, Choco-Banana Muffin, Dark Chocolate Ice Cream, Pino Iced Tea and Pipino Shake made me drool -_-

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  43. the tofu and veggie tempura looks really yummy,

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  44. Wow. I love their shakes! Looks like heaven and the watermelon steak looks very delicious.

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  45. I really love this Blof of you ms.Sumi,I learned a lot of Yummy foods!..Thanks for posting! :)

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  46. Hmm.. Vegan food that doesn't look like Vegan. I like the presentation. I think even the kids would love it too.

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  47. Love their shake. Wanna try the Lemongrass shake I go there.

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  48. There are so many good finds n MAginhawa :)

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