Corner Tree Café
50 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air,
Makati City, Metro Manila
+63 (2) 897-0295
Corner Tree Café was one of the vegan-friendly restaurants in metro Manila recommended by couple of amazing Filipino vegan bloggers and I am fortunate to know them. I stayed in metro Manila (Makati City) for only 10 days, apparently Corner Tree Café was one of the closer ones within reasonable driving distance. The flat I stayed at included a driver, which was a huge plus. I cannot see myself walking in metro Manila, you will need a car and a driver that speaks both English and Tagalog.
There is an online menu on their website, Corner Tree Café. I love online menu, all vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants should have one! It is not a 100% vegan restaurant, but a vegetarian restaurant that offers vegan options. You will see a letter “V” next to a menu item that denotes vegan (no eggs and dairy). They also have other labels: “VO” – Vegan Option (please inform waiter), “GF” – Gluten-Free and “SF” – Sugar-Free . I feel very welcome at this cafe, and the waiters are very accommodating with my vegan options. Bravo!
Be warned, these photos were taken in the afternoon, with high ISO and without flash (I hate harsh photos). The restaurant appeared very dark with low lights.
Here are vegan dishes I had at Corner Tree Café:
You will see a letter “V” next to a menu item that denotes vegan (no eggs and dairy). I appreciated the fact that there are visible websites for vegan-friendly restaurants in Manila and written in English, while there aren’t many for Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, and the list goes on (some websites are even in foreign language with graphic images that are impossible to translate.)
Corner Tree Café has specials written on a long blackboard near the cashier desk. The waiters are well prepared to know which can be made vegan, which was superb! As noted, there are dietary labels on the bottom.
Crispy Vegetable Lumpias This was one of their starters dish that are vegan and yet tasty. They contained bean sprouts, green beans and sweet potato that came with the garlicky coconut vinegar dipping sauce. The term “lumpia” is very common in Manila, but I still think of it as a fried spring roll. Only 90 PHP for two pieces of lumpia.
Sinigang Sa Miso with Organic Red Rice This was one of their specials, also a traditional Pinoy dish. Always ask the waiter if it can be made vegan. It tasted like a sour miso soup with bit of heat, which I found it unusual. There are variety of vegetables in the soup that I could not identify at all, maybe kangkong (also known as water spinach or morning glory) and chilies and others. I like my miso soup normal, but definitely not tart like that. But it was one of the unique Pinoy dishes I’d tried so far.
Kare-Kareng Gulay (also Gluten-Free) This was one of their Pinoy dishes that couple of vegan Pinoy bloggers wanted me to try. This is my first time to try a Pinoy dish, I never had Pinoy dishes in my life. It is both vegan and gluten-free at 195 PHP. It is a traditional Filipino stew made with garden fresh veggies and a zesty organic peanut sauce, served with organic red rice and vegetarian bagoong (vegetarian version of fermented shrimp paste). The vegetarian bagoong reminded me of a fermented bean paste. The dish was overall sweet due to the peanut sauce, which is why you will need a vegetarian bagoong to make it savoury.
Chocolate Cake (also Sugar-Free) While in Manila, I had to try one of their vegan desserts, plus is is also sugar-free, interesting, right? It costs 130 PHP per slice (not even 3.50 USD). The chocolate cake was pretty good, not too dense or contained heavy frosting like some vegan cakes in the U.S. tend to be. It was a pretty good dessert. According to Corner Tree Café, they used a natural ingredient from sugar beets that is used to sweeten the sugarfree (SF) desserts, and it is intended for diabetics.