6.20.2012

ALIVE : Vegan Gourmet at The Farm San Benito

In culinary school, I recall a co-student of mine being a vegetarian. She got a lot of smirks and negative remarks from the chef instructors. To a lot of French chefs it was preposterous NOT to eat meat. One chef even told her tactlessly, " Then what are you here (in culinary school)?". Tsk tsk! I began to wonder what drives people to this type of lifestyle. I tried to imagine life without meat... what a sad, sad life :( It must be really tough to abstain from all the juicy medium rare primeribs, dry-aged steaks, yakiniku jo karubi, pork belly buns, etc. For some, it would be absolute torture. 

About a month ago, I was enlightened about this through our detox getaway at The Farm San Benito in Batangas. It's about 20 minutes away from my workplace at Cintai Corito's Garden (www.coritosgarden.com). 

The ALIVE restaurant inside The Farm totally changed my perspective about being Vegan.  They serve organic, raw and exquisite cuisine and is described as the healthiest restaurant in the Philippines.

I grabbed this photo from the The Farm's website because I wasn't able to take a picture of the place. I was so engrossed with the food. 

Mantra : Simplicity and Freshness.



We took a stroll in the garden where they harvest their vegetables that they serve in the resto daily.


Joel had the 3-course Dinner Special (Php 950 ++) which started with an eggplant caviar with cheese wheat bread stick and melon papaya salad. It was followed by a

I went with the ala carte menu. For starters, I had the Romaine Lettuce with Caesar Dressing, Sesame Gormacio and Walnut Crumble (Php 285 ++). The dressing was a tad too salty for me but the combination of the wakami strips, walnuts, beansprouts and crunchy freshly-picked lettuce was delectable.

My main course was their  Soba Noodles with Stir fried Veggies (Php 360.00++). It was light, tasty and satisfying.

The next morning, Joel and I were off to an early Yoga session;

The calming scenery

It was an hour and half long session (30 minutes was just pure meditation). Just listening to the sounds of nature and focusing on your breathing was extremely soothing and overly calming. It was something I desperately needed at that time. Namaste.

We were then ready to indulge in a healthy breakfast (which was part of the package) to compliment our yoga session.

For starters, Joel had the Tropical Fruits with Yogurt while I had the Season Fruit Platter (Mango, Pineapple, Papaya and Watermelon). 

Then we both had the granola cereal bowl with nuts, prunes and sliced bananas accompanied by fresh coconut cream. A real treat...and a fibrous one at that! *wink* I will probably start making this a habit at home! 

As for our specials (third course) hubby got the corn pancakes with toasted sesame seeds and bananas.

I sampled the Italian scrambled tofu with roasted potatoes. Again, simple (I'm beginning to sound redundant here but it's really the best word to describe the food) and clean flavors that worked wonderfully together. 

The 2-day experience opened my eyes and allowed me to take a paradigm shift on eating healthy and staying away from meat (seafood/beef/etc.). Joel and I loved it so so much. If we could afford it, we would want to do this detox monthly and make it a routine. Who knows? Maybe in a few years, I will slowly move on to the other side (bye bye cows!)? Just a thought...


Cheers to embracing a healthy lifestyle! :)

The Farm at San Benito
119 Barangay Tipakan
4217 Lipa City, Batangas
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 884 8074
Cell: +63 918 884 8078
Hotline Number:+63 918 884 8080

Hours:
Everyday 7am-10pm

6.19.2012

Casa Marikit : Italian Dining in Lipa

I have been spending a lot of my time in Batangas particularly Lipa because of my busy work at the resort (www.coritosgarden.com). One thing I love about living (partly) in the province is that I get to explore and discover new things every time. Early this year, my husband and I discovered this quaint little Italian restaurant in Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas. It's situated right next to the airbase. We fell in love with it instantly. Casa Marikit is gem in Lipa. It has a rustic and warm wine cellar ambiance which you wouldn't really expect in the middle of a rather remote area. And surprisingly, they have a wide and extensive menu selection. They offer our Italian staples/favorites like Caprese Salad and Beef Carpaccio. The concept is mainly Italian rustic cuisine served in a casual family style setting.


The rustic and cozy setting complete with mosaic wall art, fireplace and wine cellar

 Mosaic Wall on their Bathroom Sink





I love their complimentary platter of bread with pate and tomato-basil-garlic dip to start off your meal :)



Beef Carpaccio - thinly sliced beef with a light olive oil dressing, fresh arugula and shaved parmesan cheese


Margarita-Pomodoro Pizza - Fresh Mozarella, Tomatoes and Basil Pizza
Php 340.00


Spaghetti Pesacatora - Tomato-based seafood pasta
Php 370.00


CASA MARIKIT
Banay-Banay, Concepcion, 
Lipa City, Batangas
(0917) 869-2354
Email: casamarikit@yahoo.com

Restaurant Hours:
11am-3pm and 6pm-10pm
Everyday except Mondays

Directions: Travel south on SLEX straight to Star Tollway. Take Lipa exit in Star tollway then turn left after the tollbooths. Just go straight and turn right after Fernando Airbase. You will see Casa Marikit on your left.