Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cool Vegetarian at Pipino's

A watermelon steak for dinner...seriously? Yup, I never thought I'd enjoy a vegetarian dinner, but I did. And for one night, I was one happy vegetarian dude.

Pipino specializes in vegetarian food, made with the same distinct culinary flair by Chef Ed Buguia's Pino Resto Bar. All the dishes are 100% plant-based and vegan, and has since received numerous culinary awards for its creative vegan menu. I have to admit, being a steak and burger guy, I had some doubts about going vegan even for just one evening. But then again, Chef Ed Buguia never fails to surprise diners with his inventive and playful culinary style. 

Pipino is located inside Pino Resto Bar, separated by wooden vertical rails for its own private space. Pipino uses colored plates for all its vegan dishes as opposed to the standard white plates used for Pino Resto Bar's dishes. The earthy, almost rustic feel of Pipino's private space also adds visual separation from the clean, stark white space of Pino Resto Bar. So far, so good...

And then my steak arrived. Pipino's Watermelon Steak (P 220), with taro miso mash, string beans and asparagus drizzled with alioli sauce. It looked like a fat, juicy steak. It even smelled like a freshly grilled steak, with appetizing grill marks that just sent me on overdrive...  

The watermelon steak was firm, and it didn't even turn watery like the usual watermelon, this feels like a real steak. Really. As I carved out a piece, a burst of smoky, grilled flavors and the sweetness of the juicy watermelon combined for a surprisingly new and different taste experience. The taro miso mash, string beans and asparagus with the creamy white sauce complete the flavors. I never thought I'd say it, but this is one good steak...

Another vegan dish we tried was Pipino's Portobello Inasal (P 260), grilled portobello mushrooms with red beet sorbet, ensaladang talong and brown rice.The grilled "inasal" flavors of the juicy mushrooms did remind me of barbecue, another winner from Pipino's kitchen. 

Pipino also serves vegan and dairy-free cupcakes...

...and cookies, a perfect sweet ending to cap your vegetarian meal at Pipino.  The combination of flavors and textures in the vegan dishes we tried that night continue to surprise and amaze me, days after that vegan dinner. None of the usual bland flavors I usually associate with healthy vegetarian meals, but rich , bold flavors in each vegan dish. Pretty awesome. I'll still go back for my usual burgers and steaks, but this is one steak I can have every day. It's cool to be vegetarian, even for just one evening...

Pipino is located at 38 Jupiter Street (inside Pino Resto Bar), Brgy. Bel-Air, Makati or call 441-1773 for inquiries.

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  1. was able to try this one.. so good! didn't know watermelon could taste so savory haha :)

    1. hey Berylle, I was totally surprised with this one, never knew that watermelon could be savory too! Great to hear from you Beryll!

  2. Watermelon steak! Never heard that before! Nonetheless, it still looks so scrumptious!! :)

    1. hey Anna, it was, refreshingly new and different, very cool. Great to hear from you Anna!

  3. watermelon steak--now that is interesting! i love asparagus and the plating is gorgeous! and dairy-free dessert is most welcome anytime.:p

    1. Hi Luna, definitely different and surprisingly good, it's an awesome dish! Thanks for stopping by Luna!


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