Lenten Eats: Must-try Dishes That Don’t Feel Like A Sacrifice

No meat? No problem!


(SPOT.ph) It’s been one week since Lent started. Are you hungry? Do you lie awake at night, belly full of leaves and other healthy things, wishing you could be eating an enormous cheeseburger and not feel guilty about how Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice? But you know our motto: whatever preference or limitaton you have in your diet, there’s always something good for you.

To sate your cravings, some of Manila’s best restaurants are offering Lenten eats that might make you forget pork and beef. Or, maybe not. But at least you won’t go into shock from withdrawal.



1. Wildflour Bakery + Boulangerie

Peek at the chalkboard of specials and you might see the seafood options that they have specially for Lent. On offer are corn soup, octopus and cabbage salad, prawn salad on brioche rolls, pan-fried snapper, and seabass with Thai curry sauce. Yes, this is considered a sacrifice.


Wildflour Bakery + Boulangerie has branches at 4th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City and The Podium, Mandaluyong City.


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2. Mamou: A Home Kitchen

If you don’t have a lot of self-control, it might be hard to dine at Mamou and not order their outrageously delicious steak. Only the Pol’s Pancakes have the power to overcome its meaty magnetism, but brunch is only available during weekends (and at very specific hours). For Lent, Mamou has prepared a special River Prawn Sotanghon: a trio of large prawns wading in a briny broth that doubles as a sauce for the bed of potato noodles underneath.

Mamou has branches at Serendra, Bonifacio Global City; Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City.



3. Saboten

You might find yourself changing loyalties after this dish. Replace your usual slab of pork with this beautiful display of tuna instead. It’s a Sashimi Grade Maguro that’s been deep-fried just enough to get that gorgeous golden brown crust. Inside, you’ll be greeted by the mouthwatering pink of perfect sashimi. Remember to dip it in the special Wasabi Soy Sauce. The tuna katsu comes in a set so you can also enjoy unlimited rice, miso, and salad.

Saboten is at Serendra, Bonifacio Global City.



4. BB Burgers and Brewskies

In a restaurant where indulgence is not just a word but the word, we commend the owners for crafting something a little more Lent-appropriate. Mind you, it’s still over the top and it will still blow your mind, but the P. Sherman Burger is a meatless, fish-patty stack that is no less sinful in terms of flavors. The name, according to their Facebook page, is inspired by the line "P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney," said by Dory in Finding Nemo.


BB Burgers and Brewskies is at Unit E, Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City.




CIBO has recently updated their menu and while some of them are delectably meat-heavy, Gaita Fores has made sure there are options for those avoiding meat. Try the pair of fiori dishes, both embellished with squash blossoms: Fiori in Bianco is a rich display of penne doused in white cream sauce and sprinkled with shaved parmesan while the Fiori in Rosso is tomato-tangy with farfalle and fresh zucchini.

Click here for a list of CIBO branches.




6. Jollibee

It’s back! Jollibee’s tuna pie is back for Lent. Hopefully for the rest of summer. Or, hopefully forever. This highly anticipated fastfood favorite only comes around once a year. It plays hard to get, but that’s why we appreciate it so much more. But wait! Jollibee also released a limited edition garlic bangus dish for those who want something a little heartier for Lent.

Available at all Jollibee branches



7. Manang’s Chicken

Chicken isn’t as verboten as beef and especially pork, but if you’re a Korean chicken addict, you might have a hard time giving up Manang’s. For Lent, they’ve come up with a pineapple fish taco as well as a fish-fillet rice topping with mango sauce. Keep those cravings at bay.

Available at all Manang’s Chicken branches




8. Kenny Rogers Roasters

Kenny’s has amped up their lean offerings with even leaner ones for Lent. In their meatless repertoire are the Salmon Sandwich, Grilled Fish Fillet, Clam Chowder, Fish Kebab, and Chunky Tuna Sandwich. They said give up meat, not good food.

Click here for a list of Kenny Rogers Roasters branches.



9. Nolita

It’s a no-meat-no-problem situation at this New-York-inspired pizza joint. Nolita has several meatless pizzas including the shrimp carbonara, artichoke and ricotta, and wild mushroom and bleu cheese.

Nolita is at Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City.




10. Bawai's Vietnamese Kitchen

If fish is what you're looking for, Bawai's has Lenten Specials like pan-fried lemongrass dory or sole fillet (Ca Nuong Xa Ot). But take the opportunity to try the Bawai's Salad and Seafood Pho, too! They're sure hits that are available all year round.

Bawai’s Vietnamese Kitchen is at Bellitudo Lifestyle Strip, White Plains, Quezon City.



11. Stackers Burger Cafe

Lent has given Stackers an excuse to play around with shrimp. For a limited time (i.e. Lent), Stackers is offering a shrimp pasta, shrimp popcorn (with fries!), and a shrimp burger.

Stackers Burger Cafe has branches at Eastwood City Walk, Promenade Food Court, Alabang Town Center, Resorts World Manila, and SM North EDSA.




12. Cafe Mary Grace

Cafe Mary Grace doesn't offer anything special for Lent, instead, they're reminding customers that they have more than ensaymada and chocolate cakes in their arsenal. They have an amazing roster of meatless and seafood options as well: pasta vongole, mushroom and garlic pizza, kesong puti salad, and seafood chowder. Okay, you may have an ensaymada, too!

Click here for a list of Cafe Mary Grace branches.



13. Slice

Things are getting fishy at Slice. Always an advocate of healthy eating, Slice is where you can get a good selection of eat-less eats. Must-tries are the Salmon Burger, Tuna Burger, and Bangus Tuyo Pasta.

Slice has branches at The Podium; Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City; and SM Aura Premier.




14. BonChon

BonChon's taking a break from catching chickens by catching a bounty of seafood for Lent instead. Their special seafood menu features their latest Honey Citrus marinade which has been applied to a seafood basket, tacos, and shrimp, squid, and fish rice toppings. Sacrificing has never been this sweet.

Available at all BonChon branches



15. L'Opera

Enjoy guiltless Italian dining with L'Opera's Lent-friendly options that are sans meat but definitely full of flavor. They have a Macheroni alla Calabrese embellished with ricotta, pine nuts, and tangy tomato sauce; Sardine in Carpione where pan-fried sardines are sautéed with capers and herbs; cheese gnocchi, salmon ravioli, as well as an assortment of salads. Just try not to get distracted by the all-meat pizza.

L’Opera is at The Fort Strip, 7th Street corner 26th, Bonifacio Global City.

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