Restaurant Review: Chimara Feel Good Kitchen (UP Town Center)
Published on August 09, 2016
A few weeks ago, I receive an email from Yen Ramirez who happens to be a Social Media Marketer for Taters Enterprise Inc. She invited me to try out Chimara Feel Good Kitchen, a newly-opened restaurant in UP Town Center. Chimara has shifted from purely vegan options to “feel good food.” That alone piqued my curiosity. I’ve tried several restaurants that have succeeded in breaking the stereotypes that healthier food choices are synonymous to pricey and bland food. I know that I belong in the generation of gastronomic adventurers that is why I was more than willing to let other foodies know that we can actually eat healthier alternatives without making our taste buds and pockets cry in vain.
UP Town Center is quite a long drive for me. I’m glad that Yen allowed me to come with my husband. I also brought along my apprentice slash cutest future food blogger. Hihi!
The moment I set foot on the restaurant, I already had a glimpse of the kind of dishes that they offer. Chimara’s interior is vibrant and very mesmerizing. The earthy colors with some touches of green hue here and there will definitely make you feel lighter and healthier. Haha! (Nope, I’m actually serious! Ang lamig sa mata!)
My husband wasn’t really excited when I told him that we would be eating in a restaurant that serves healthy dishes. I can’t blame him. People automatically assume that healthy foods are tasteless. And to add to that stereotype, a lot of people associate the word HEALTHY to green and leafy vegetables alone. This is why we were both surprised when we scanned the menu of Chimara! They offer a lot of choices beyond the typical green salads. They serve wraps and sandwiches. They even have pasta dishes and rice meals!
We jumpstarted our meal with a plate of Asian Sesame Tofu Salad. Their menu describes it as “our rich classic with an attitude.” Yeah, right! This salad has an attitude! Sitting on a bed of lettuce are carrots, beetroot, snow peas and apples.
I am not really a big fan of beetroot because of its earthy taste, but I was actually quite surprised that it worked well with this salad. It was probably because the beetroot was thinly-sliced or it simply just complemented the sweetness of the apples and carrots.
I think it was my first time to eat a salad with snow peas. Akala ko pang-pansit lang! Haha! But its taste, color and texture were nice add-ons to this beautiful plate. The sweet and tangy sesame dressing also hyped up this healthy starter. And oh, those fresh sesame tofu slices were the B-O-M-B!
Boyet tried their Faux Beef Salpicao. As typical with a beef salpicao, Chimara’s take on it is served with tons of garlic. My husband offered me a bite while telling me that the beef is tasty and very tender.
We got into a “heated” discussion because I kept on telling him that it’s not beef. I told him that FAUX means “not real”. E ayaw niyang maniwala. His plate was almost wiped out when he finally realized that I was right all along. I guess it only means that you’ll definitely get the same experience of eating real beef with less guilt. And a rice meal for PHP180 is not bad at all!
I opted to have their Spicy Tuna Pomodoro. Just like the Faux Beef Salpicao, diners also have the option among panini, rice and pasta. The pasta is cooked al dente, just the way I liked it. The sauce has the right amount of acidity. I only have one complain, though. Being a lover of anything spicy, it would have been nice if it were spicier. Even my husband who has a weak heart for spicy dishes agreed with me.
We also got to try their Juice Infusions. Being able to convince my husband actually came as a surprise for me because he is not a fan of these types of juices. I had I AM WISE while he tried I AM SUPER.
Chimara claims that I AM WISE is good for the memory. It is a mix of mango, apple and tomato. It’s perfect for my brain that was “scarred” by anesthesia due to childbirth. Hihi! On the other hand, I AM SUPER is for vitality. It has romaine lettuce and tomato. It’s ideal for husbands who need more energy in washing the dishes. Haha! But seriously, their juices are refreshingly tasty. You have to try it!
The people from Chimara were generous to give us some tofu chips to take home. If you notice in my photos, all of our plates come with some chips on the side. That’s their tofu chips. I have to admit that I didn’t like it at first. It tasted… uhmmm… weird. But after our meal, every piece of it had been wiped out! I am actually munching some as I am writing this post! I gave one pack to my parents, and they also loved it! My best friends went over to the house last night. They liked the chips, too! Aubrey does not allow Skye, her two-year-old daughter, to eat junk foods. But I gave one piece to Skye, and she asked for more! It’s absolutely a healthier option than the usual salted chips.
If you happen to be in UP Town Center, try to swing by Chimara for some feel good treats. :)
Chimara Feel Good Kitchen
Ground Floor, UP Town Center,
Diliman, Quezon City
* All photos were taken with a Nikon D60