Green and Good
Corner Tree Café
If you had to name 2012’s food trends, without a doubt they’ve been Peruvian and meat – steak to be precise, kilo for kilo the least responsible and sustainable protein on the planet. How refreshing (and ethical) it is then to find an establishment quietly going their own way, devoid of fashion or trend, and creating the kind of excellence that really gets the taste buds budding.
In 2009, inspired by the mainstream acceptance of vegetarian food in London, and with no previous experience in running a restaurant, Chiqui Mabanta bravely opened Corner Tree Cafe on Makati’s Jupiter Street, and has proven without a shadow of a doubt that eating vegetarian and vegan (no ingredient that’s ‘had a mother’) can be as stylish, healthy and hip as any gastro steakhouse or Pisco-powered hotspot.
With a broad recipe range that spans Asia to Africa and the Middle East to the Americas (as well as some gluten-free recipes especially for coeliacs), you can feast on anything from Turkish style baked eggs with yogurt and cayenne over spinach, pasta e fagioli, spinach croquettes, arroz a la cubana, or a divine dilled egg salad sandwich – just perfect for lunch.
With fruit shakes, smoothies and a full wine and beer list, as well as a dessert menu that reads like death by calories (hello Banoffee Pie, where have you been all this time...?), this simple white-walled cafe with it wooden furniture, soft music, flowers and evening candles, is as good for a buzz lunch as it is for a romantic supper. Tofu or not tofu, that is the question!