I was recently invited to check out The Wholesome Table’s new bakery creations at their Estancia Mall branch.
We were greeted by the lovely Bianca Araneta-Elizalde, founder of The Wholesome Table. She shared her passion for healthy, organic food, and introduced the new dishes we were about to try.
THE WHOLESOME TABLE
I love how the restaurant is decorated. Although it is nothing like Lord of the Rings, it does remind me of LOTR. It looks like a cross of Bag End + Mirkwood, with trees and nature incorporated in the design.
I had lunch at The Wholesome Table before – I had a thick pork chop, recommended by the waiter as their bestseller, and I found it bland and difficult to chew. So when I received the invitation, I was worried that the food was not going to be good, but I wanted to give it another chance since everybody has been raving about the restaurant.
It turns out, I should have ordered these dishes instead, because they are delicious!
We started with the Avocado Toast (P260). Who knew that you could just slap slices of avocado on a Dijon-mustard-coated sourdough toast and it would be palatable? This is like Eggs Benedict without the bacon and the hollandaise, but while eating it, I did not feel like it was missing something. It is also seasoned with dukkah, an Egyptian spice blend. Eggs are free-range.
They came two toasts in one order, but my dining companions already got their share.
My favorite dish out of everything we tried, was the Poke Bowl (P450). Don’t laugh, but it is pronounced po-keh. This is what I recommend you order. It is kind of like a Japanese bibimbap – it has brown rice, salmon, wakame (seaweed), leeks, ebiko (orange prawn eggs), furikake (the stuff usually sprinkled on Japanese dishes), pickled ginger, lettuce, mayo, sauce, etc… Imagine all those flavors of sweet, salty, sour, tang, hot, umami; the different textures of the seaweed, the prawn eggs exploding in your mouth, all coming together in a symphony! This is really, really good.
We also had the Cordillera Salad (solo – P190, regular – P350). 80% of all the ingredients used for the Cordillera Salad comes from the Cordilleras. Again, this salad is a symphony of flavors. I was wondering what that delicious sweet nugget was – and guess what?! It’s candied chayote!
The Cordillera Salad has very fresh vegetables like kale, lettuce, carrots, beans; Benguet gooseberries, tomatoes, squash, sagada oranges, and candied chayote, all tossed in a sweet, citrus vinaigrette.
This is the Macro Bowl (P450). It’s okay, but it was already starting to taste too healthy. Hahaha. I mean, I can already tell that I am eating something healthy, whereas with the Poke Bowl, it was just like eating something regular that was delicious.
The Macro Bowl has earthy quinoa, wakame, white beans, sweet potato, kale, spinach, teriyaki almonds, in a garlic yogurt dressing.
Last, we had the Mushroom Paella (solo – P620, for sharing P1,480). They make their own Walnut Chorizo, which was the vehicle for providing that paprika/chorizo flavor to the dish. Mushrooms provide meaty earthiness. The goal was to make it taste like a real paella, but vegan. It’s a good option for vegans who miss the taste of paella, but as a chorizo-loving paella eater, I’m not sold. Chorizo is love, chorizo is life!
THE WHOLESOME BAKERY
The Wholesome Bakery is another product line for The Wholesome Table. They offer gluten-free and sugar-free treats that are as delicious, if not better than, the real thing.
According to Bianca, they really worked hard to make sure that the healthy treats tasted like the real thing. If it’s not going to taste good, she explained, there’s no point. People are not going to choose the healthier alternative if it does not taste just as good, or better, than the real thing.
They use free-range eggs, real butter, wild honey, raw sugar, and a homemade gluten-free flour blend. Talking to the chef, I found out that they also use coco sugar, which is better for diabetics because of coco sugar’s low glycemic index of just 35, compared to regular sugar’s 58.
Some of their products are also nut-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan.
Their most popular product is their Banana Cake (P70 per slice, P590 for one loaf). This one is really good. Sweet, moist, and flavored with spices and banana, but not cloying. It is dense, but not packed and has a nice chewiness. I was told this gets sold out really fast!
The item I liked the most was the Valrhona Double Chocolate Cookies! They are P70 per piece, P330 for a pack of 6. These are soooo, sooooo chocolatey. It is gluten-free, but it’s so good. I think I tasted a bit of rice flour – even though it was very moist & chewy, one of the flours used gave it a bit of a crunch every time I was chewing on it. This was really good. Better than any real double chocolate cookie I’ve ever tried!
Some of the other cookies in the picture are: Valrhona Double Chocolate & Nut, Double Oatmeal, Callebaut Chocolate Chip, and Superfood. Chocolate Cake in the back (P1,450 for one whole).
Here’s the Fudge Brownie (P80 per piece). I get that it is gluten-free, but the texture is just not something I care for.
Cupcakes (P80 – P120 per piece):
I couldn’t get enough of this Mango Cheesecake (P170)! It is sweetened with honey instead of the usual sugar, and that really makes a big difference in terms of the flavor. It is very sweet, but I like the sweetness coming from honey instead of from sugar. Must-try!
The Wholesome Bakery can be found in all branches of The Wholesome Table.
Orders must be placed at least 3 days in advance. They have a cut-off time of 3PM. They also require a 50% downpayment upon order placement, with the remaining balance to be paid upon pick-up / delivery.
This is the place to go if you have a group with a diverse diet requirement.
- vegan? Check.
- gluten-intolerant? Check.
- lactose-intolerant? Check.
- only eats meat? Check.
- has a sweet tooth? Check.
Yet everything is healthy.
There’s something for everybody, and if you’re vegan, you don’t have to make your meat-loving friends suffer eating in a pure vegan restaurant, and vice-versa.
The restaurant is pricey, but you kind of expect that going in, especially knowing that they serve only organic, healthy, whole foods. On the upside, you really do get quality food and a beautiful setting.
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The Barat Queen
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