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Monday, November 30, 2015

Earth Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Goodness in BGC

As a food blogger and foodie in general, I've always been on the lookout for good food despite the calories, and sometimes chemicals, in it. However, about two years ago, I began appreciating eating cleaner. Sure, I still crave for MSG-loaded chips and sugary treats once in a while, but for the most part, I try and get my palate and tummy the healthy food they deserve.

And nope, healthy eating does NOT mean bland, unappetizing food. Healthy food can be just as yummy, and just as satisfying. Plus, it's really good for the body! (n˘v˘•)b

Earth Kitchen BGC

A big chunk of my 2014 consisted of eating my way to fitness, and eating to battle my eczema. And for the most part of it, I cooked my own meals. Yup, almost all my meals, all day err day.

But let's be realistic! Now that my skin is far from the horrendous mess it was, and I have to go back to reality -- with all its responsibilities, I can't be cooking my own clean and healthy meals as frequently as before. 'Cause reality check, it's really time-consuming.

And while I still try and cook my own meals, albeit less frequently, I'm sure glad that there are restaurants like Earth Kitchen around.

Earth Kitchen BGC Interior
Loved the garden-themed interior!
With a first branch in White Plains, Quezon City, Earth Kitchen has also opened a second location in Bonifacio High Street Central (just above Jamba Juice). And apart from serving clean, healthy meals made from scratch, one thing I love about Earth Kitchen is how it uses natural and organic produce from local farmers and indigenous communities -- as the restaurant is a partnership project of Got Heart Foundation and Hizon’s Catering.

The Meal Starters


Fish and Mango (P230)
Fish and Mango (P230)
Mahi-mahi fillet, ripe mango, cilantro, chili plum sauce
For appetizer, we started off with the battered and fried fish fillet with mango salad. This can be a good meal starter especially to those who haven't warmed up that well yet to healthy eating, like the boyf for example. The salad atop the fillets were specially refreshing, but the fish which tasted pretty light can be seasoned better. The coating was also more on the thin and crisp side which the boyf liked, but I somehow prefer mine a little crunchier.

Beef and Citrus Salad (P320)
✓ Beef and Citrus Salad (P320)
Boneless beef ribs, raw papaya, peanuts, cilantro, greens and herbs, dayap dressing
Now this is my kind of salad! I've always loved raw papaya salads in sweet and tangy sauces, and Earth Kitchen's rendition had me drooling over it with the addition of beef pieces. Truth be told, I've already ordered this salad twice now, but I don't think I'll stop getting it on my next visits to the resto. It's just the perfect meaty yet refreshing combination a carnivore yet trying-to-be-healthy eater like me wants and needs.

The Main Dishes


Beef Kebab (P410)
Beef Kebab (P410)
Boneless beef ribs, grilled vegetables, tzatziki, organic mixed greens,
choice of Ifugao rice pilaf or 3pcs. flour tortilla
For mains, we've tried the herbed and spiced beef kebab which was tender and tasty. And while it may not look enough for two people at first glance, it sure was more than enough for the boyf and I. But if you'll be ordering this as a meal for yourself, it'll be pretty filling. For our visit though, we went for the flour tortilla since we ordered other dishes too.

Braised Bacon (P580)
Braised Bacon (P580)
Slab bacon, red cabbage, marble potatoes
We also got to try Earth Kitchen's very own braised bacon. Unlike commercial bacon, this is a big slab which reminds me strongly of Chinese pork belly. Served with a sweet and savory sauce, this braised bacon dish is perfect with steamed white rice. Of course, we tried our best to say no to rice during our visit, since we still had more dishes to try.

The Pastas


Scallops and Aligue Pasta (P480)
Scallops and Aligue Pasta by Earth Kitchen
✓ Scallops and Aligue Pasta (P480)
Squid ink pasta, local scallops, aligue, anise liquor, mild chilies
Since we didn't order for any rice dishes, we opted to get our carb fill from the pasta items. And first on our list was this squid ink pasta. Although I can't eat a lot of seafood due to my eczema, dishes like this are the reason why I'm still in love with seafood. The pasta itself is tasty, but the combination of squid ink and aligue makes for a flavorful medley with every mouthful. And don't forget the bits of scallops... It's always a treat when you bite into them.

Mushroom Ravioli (P400)
Mushroom Ravioli filling
✓ Mushroom Ravioli (P400)
Shitake, button and milky mushrooms, kesong puti, pili nuts, light cream sauce
The pasta lover in us also made sure we don't miss Earth Kitchen's ravioli. Filled with three types of mushrooms, this ravioli dish is as satisfying as it is bitin. Well, at least for us, since we really enjoyed the al dente texture of the ravioli and their creamy mushroom filling. The pili nuts added an interesting bite and earthy flavor to the dish. As for the sauce, there's just no way you can go wrong with kesong puti and cream.

Dessert and Drinks


Goat's Cheese Ice Cream (P270)
✓ Goat's Cheese Ice Cream (P270)
Goat's cheese ice cream, wild honey, dried figs, pili nuts
We ate a lot of food during our first visit, but no one can stop me from having dessert. Creamy and not too sweet, every spoonful of the ice cream just oozes with goat's cheese goodness. The drizzled honey adds a nice hint of organic sweetness, and the figs and nuts don't only make for a nice texture but add earthy tones as well.

Got Heart Mix 3 (P210) and Mango Yoghurt Shake (P130)
✓ Got Heart Mix 3 (P210) and Mango Yoghurt Shake (P130)
As for drinks, the boyf opted for the sweet and tangy mango yoghurt shake, while I went with the healthy juice mix of kale, apple, pineapple, cucumber, honey and chia seeds.

THE VERDICT

Earth Kitchen prides itself on serving healthy and clean food made from natural and organic produce. But after dining at their Bonifacio High Street Central location, we got more than that. Apart from enjoying food that's good for the body, our taste buds were also treated to tasty and creative offerings. But more than the food, one thing I love about the resto is how it supports local farmers and indigenous communities with its farm-to-table concept.

So although the dishes are a little expensive, I'd gladly pay for good, clean food that helps support a good cause. Oh, and I'm excited to try the other items on their menu too!

Taste 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Earth Kitchen, Bonifacio Global City
Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Avenue,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines
(02) 961-0572; 577-9138; (0917) 584-3278
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