A great stopover and soon-to-be vegan pitstop for the healthy foodie

By Lea Tanton

There is nothing wrong with choosing to go on a diet, unless it is insufficient in providing the nutrients your body needs in order to function properly. You might hear some people calling themselves vegan, a Pegan (Paleo-vegan) dieter, Flexitarian, Paleo dieter, and so on. There’s a label for just about anything these days!

But it’s not what type of diet you’re on that is important, but whether or not it is healthy for you and able to sustain your active lifestyle. Are there, then, reliable and high-quality restaurants out there for dieters with specific standards and needs?The answer is a resounding yes—you just have to go out and look for them! Whether you are following a certain diet for its health benefits or based on your beliefs, it can be quite a challenge to make sure we aren’t accidentally eating we don’t want to, especially for those who eat out a lot. Making specific requests to the server is not always convenient, and it’s never like cooking for yourself at home. Then again, eating the same meals day in and day out can get boring, not to mention the ambiance in your dining area. Sometimes the specific dieter needs a spot to refresh and get away from her own kitchen!

I stopped by a nice little contemporary spot called Chaplin, which is a full-service restaurant on the roof deck of Century Mall for a quick brunch. They’d only opened back in January 15, looking forward to catering to the long-waiting vegans of Manila. They had a lot of great items on the menu, all of which were made fresh and from scratch. They had a good balance of health-conscious items as well as comfort food options, as they accommodate both to the healthy as well as regular diners.

Primavera Pie

That being said, they are still quite particular when it comes to choosing their ingredients. I had the chance to try some of their winner picks that will be featured on their new menu. As soon as I saw their primavera pie, a nicely-layered vegetable dish, it was enough reason for me to come back for more. Their second dish, the eggplant melanzane (with pesto and bread crumbs) was another winner to add to my current favorites.

Eggplant Melanzane and the Tartufo Mushroompasta
Eggplant Melanzane and the Tartufo Mushroompasta

To complement their other two dishes, I tried a light pasta with tartufo mushrooms, green bell peppers, and onions. Two healthy drinks with a fun twist that made it to the top of my list were the strawberry mint shake and freshly-pressed carrot juice. I couldn’t have chosen a better ending to my satisfying meal than by capping it off with one of their specialty teas called the Chaplin tea, a concoction of orange, mint, ginger, cinnamon, and honey.

Chaplin Tea
Chaplin Tea

Getting in a healthy meal during a stressful work or training week can really set us up for big strides in our fitness goals. During our daily grind, we easily conceptualize the task of healthy eating but we still end up making the wrong food choices and justifying it by telling ourselves, “I’ll just work this off later…” But I think with more awesome restaurants like this one, Manila is bound to be a big city filled with health conscious eaters like you and me!