2nd floor of Pino Resto Bar.
39 Malingap Street, Teachers Village
Quezon City, Metro Manila
+63 2 4411773
www.pipinovegetarian.com | Menu (as of November 2012)
They recently opened a new location in Makati City at 38 Jupiter Street which was exactly where I stayed in, unfortunately I wasn’t there at that time. It was unpleasant to drive all the way to Quezon City (2-3 hours including traffic round trip) for just a restaurant, but it was certainly nice to know they opened a second location in Makati City.
PIPINO Vegetarian was recommended by a fabulous vegan blogger Richgail from ASTIG Vegan. She was a tremendous help. There were also couple of other Filipino bloggers that recommended this vegan eatery. After visiting a couple of vegetarian restaurants in Makati City that serve some vegan options, PIPINO was the only 100% vegan restaurant I have been to in metro Manila. PIPINO serves 100% plant-based (and also vegan) dishes, including cupcakes, taro chips, chocolate chip cookies, vegan bagoong, etc.
What’s my verdict for PIPINO Vegetarian? It was below average customer service (We both didn’t feel welcome compared to other eateries) and I never received an e-mail response from their restaurant about a question I had about their dishes (wrote 3 months in advance because I am very prepared about my vegan travels).
Despite the lack of customer service, it was interesting to try plant-based and 100% vegan Filipino and some Western cuisine (i.e, vegan lasagna which I haven’t tried). It is not worth the time to go all the way to Quezon City (you will need a designated driver and pay for gas & waiting time) if you are staying in Makati City for a short period of time, but I’m happy to know that they opened a new location in Makati City.
Here are vegan dishes I had at PIPINO Vegetarian:
Pipino Shake (80 PHP) As much as I love juicing, their Pipino shake was my favourite. I wish I had loads of them, and not eat a single meal, that would have made my day better. You could taste the blend of mint and cucumber and bit of tartness possibly from the lemon juice. There wasn’t any ingredients in Pipino Shake on the blackboard, so that was my assumption.
Tofu Lemongrass Skewers (145 PHP) This was one of PIPINO’s starters that come with chili-garlic sauce & alfalfa. I could taste the lemongrass skewers and the tofu was soft in the inside. I thought it was a good starter dish. I never thought about having tofu on lemongrass skewers. The crust was good. I noticed the staff brought every hot dish from the first floor, which I assumed it was their kitchen.
Pancit Canton with Fried Lumpia (165 PHP) This was one of PIPINO’s Noodles & Pasta dishes, which reminded me of a Filipino version of 撈麵 Noodles. I had vegan lumpia at few vegetarian eateries in Makati City and it became my favourite appetizer in Manila. So I had to try their fried lumpia at PIPINO along with their fried そば (buckwheat-soba) noodles. It tasted more like Chinese “lo mein” noodle dish with fried spring rolls on it and it didn’t wow me probably due to the fact that I ate vegan fried lumpia every day in Makati City (oops).
Vegetable Kare-Kare (165 PHP) I had my first vegan kare-kare at a different restaurant in Manila and it was kind of sweet for my taste. So I wanted to try their vegan kare-kare. There wasn’t a generous amount of vegan bagoong, which was a vegetarian fermented shrimp or fish paste to add bit of savoury flavours. So instead, the dish was overall sweet. I’m not sure I’m up for another vegan kare-kare for my next visit since I don’t go for savoury-sweet dishes.
Brown Rice Champorado with Salted Tofu Chips (125 PHP) I don’t know what I was thinking — ordering one more sweet dish. I wanted something savoury for dinner, but I was told to try it by another blogger, because it was one of the common traditional Filipino cuisine. The brown rice champorado reminded me of a rice pudding in chocolate flavour, but the salted tofu chips was definitely strange as a topping. I didn’t eat it at PIPINO, and ended up taking it back home. The next morning, the dish worked out well for a hearty breakfast.