10 Yummy Meatless Dishes That Will Help Your Stomach Through Lent

Meatless doesn't mean tasteless.

 

(SPOT.ph) We commend your Lenten sacrifice, but in case your stomach is struggling, we've come up with a satisfying set of dishes that'll make things easier for your struggling stomach. It is, after all, the second week, and your appetite might be looking for some delicious motivation.

 

Note: These dishes may be meatless, but they're not vegetarian!

 

 

Your Local’s Torched Salmon Donburi (P540)

This quiet Makati haunt’s most popular dish has gained its reputation for good reason. It isn’t often you get salmon cooked just enough for it to retain its tenderness and texture. Your Local gets it right with its impeccable mix of soft, medium-cooked salmon with Japanese ingredients such as mentaikooboro, and ebiko. The combination is unique and bold. The generous topping of green spring onions adds an overall zing to the dish, which uses shitake rice as its base. Sneak in some of the dish’s salmon skin, corn, and mayonnaise onto your spoon, and you’ll get a lovely texture and burst of flavor that rounds out the whole experience.

 

Your Local is at 106 Esteban Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City (823-6206). Your Local's Salmon Donburi ranked No. 1 on SPOT.ph's Top 10 Rice Bowls for Crave-Worthy Carbs (2015 Edition).

 

 

Earth Kitchen's Loro Fish Tacos (P240)

Earth Kitchen doesn't serve your typical Baja fish taco, but theirs is a refreshing newcomer that we’ve fallen in love with. They use loro fillet instead of cream dory, but flawless execution gives it a texture that’s between firm and tender. The greens—a merry mix of cucumbers and edible flowers—provide a light backdrop to the salty seaweed toppings and sesame dressing. This plate, which fuses together Japanese and Mexican influences, proves that opposites do attract.

 

Earth Kitchen has branches at White Plains, Quezon City; and Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City. Earth Kitchen's Loro Fish Tacos ranked No. 5 on SPOT.ph's Top 10 Fish Tacos in Manila (2014 Edition).

 

 

Friuli Trattoria's Margherita (P190)

While most pizza-making strategies involve spreading the mozzarella cheese evenly and generously, Friuli puts two layers of cheese over the pizza base and stops short an inch or so going to the edge of the crust. What we really like about their rendition is the additional thinly sliced fresh tomato toppings for that extra acidic zing. Budget doesn't have to mean scrimping on taste, and this is an offer you can't refuse.

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Friuli Trattoria is at 79-A Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City. Friuli's Margherita ranked No. 7 on SPOT.ph's Top 10 Margherita Pizzas in Manila (2015 Edition).

 

 

Wildflour’s Grilled Octopus Salad (P230) 

It may take a little more willpower to veer away from Wildflour’s carb- and sugar-filled offerings, but sticking to their salad list will not disappoint. This light and summery salad trades in the usual lettuce for some crunchy cabbage mixed with fresh herbs, sweet Philippine mango, and a smattering of peanuts. Grilled octopus may not be for everyone, but it delivers a slight sweetness and soft texture that goes incredibly well with the unmistakable chomp you get from the cabbage. Order the large size or add a green smoothie to your dish to help turn you away from the dessert menu!

 

Click here for a list of Wildflour branches. Wildflour's Grilled Octopus Salad ranked No. 6 on SPOT.ph's Top 10 Salads That Will Make You Stick to Your Diet.

 

 

Big Bad Wolf’s Grilled Cheese (P340)

Two cheeses, sharp cheddar and mozzarella, truffled honey, mustard loaf, roasted tomato soup—Big Bad Wolf should host an exhibit dedicated to this baby. Big Bad Wolf’s grilled cheese sandwich is another simple classic we keep coming back to. Their version stands out with their delicate mustard loaf which complements the sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and truffled honey pairing. To shake things up, a bit of basil was added to the filling, giving it a delightful surprise in every bite.

 

Big Bad Wolf is at F128 Forbes Town Center, Bonifacio Global City. Big Bad Wolf ranked No. 3 on SPOT.ph's Top 10 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in Manila (2015 Edition).

 

 

Draft Gastropub's Fish and Frites (P380)

Draft Gastropub is home to perfectly fried sole fillets encased in bitter lager-flavored crunchy batter. It's not so much about the sweet-tangy tartar sauce (though it does have a sharp sweetness that hooks you) but how the fish is cooked: not overdone, tender steaming fish that's lightly creamy and flaky. This dish is certainly one of the things the pub is doing right.

 

Click here for a list of Draft Gastropub branches. Draft's Fish and Frites ranked No. 1 on SPOT.ph's Top 10 Fish and Chips (2012 Edition).

 

 

Buenisimo by Cafe Ysabel’s Truffle Fries with Truffle Mayo (P208)

The fries at Buenisimo are generously served with layers of truffle goodness: from the bits sprinkled on top to the mayo dip that goes with it. The potatoes themselves—tasty wedges crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside—offer lots of pleasing bites from beginning to end. This version definitely does not scrimp on ingredients so you’re sure to get your money’s worth given the flavors and presentation. We paired ours with a towering glass of mango shake, another item on the menu that scores high on all points.

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Buenisimo by Cafe Ysabel is at 24 Scout Tuazon Street, Barangay Laging Handa, Diliman, Quezon City. Buenisimo's Truffle Fries ranked No. 3 on SPOT.ph's Top 10 Truffle Fries in Manila (2014 Edition).

 

 

Wooden Spoon's Sinigang Laman Dagat (P341) 

It takes inspiration from the big, bold flavors of Thailand’s version of sinigang: the tom yum. The broth of this Sandy Daza creation has the distinct tang of fragrant herbs, but the heat from the green finger chilies is mildly downplayed. Added into the mix are various kinds of seafood such as salmon, shrimp, and squid. You’ll also be pleased with the generous amount of kangkong in this utterly delicious hot and sour soup (you know what we mean).   

 

Click here for a list of Wooden Spoon branches. Wooden Spoon's Sinigang Lamam Dagat ranked No. 8 on SPOT.ph's Top 10 Sinigang in Manila (2015 Edition).

 

 

Nolita’s Beer Battered Onion Rings (P160)

These are the most distinctly “onion” onion ring on this entire list. The rings are cut so thick, as if the chef wanted to remind you that you're supposed to be eating onions and not batter. The seasoning is robust so it’s pretty clever that they lay it on thin. They’re crispy enough that the texture will give your palate something of interest every time, but you shouldn’t pass up on the Sriracha aioli.

 

Nolita is at Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City. Nolita's Beer Battered Onion Rings ranked No. 2 on SPOT.ph's Top 10 Onion Rings in Manila (2016 Edition).

 

 

Four Cheese (P320) from Stephen's Brick-Oven Pizza

You'd need to keep your eyes peeled for Stephen's Pizza along bustling P. Gueverra Street, but trust us when we say this is pizza worth the legwork. The joint is so tiny that you can easily watch your pizza lovingly and painstakingly made from scratch, kneaded dough and all. It's a fascinating show that prepares you for the main event: a fragrant 12-inch pizza with bubbling cheese bursting at the edges and still steaming from its time in the oven. The pizza is a gloriously gooey marriage of mozzarella, fontina, Parmesan, and blue cheese. You'll taste the distinct flavors bouncing off each other, from the buttery and nutty fontina to the subtly pungent complexity of the blue cheese. The crust's texture is soft and chewy, yet light enough that you'll soon find yourself devouring every slice without realizing it. It's just that good. Sensational, even.

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Stephen's Brick-Oven Pizza is at 89 P. Gueverra Street, Barangay Sta. Lucia, San Juan City. Stephen's Four Cheese ranked No. 1 on SPOT.ph's Top 10 Cheese Pizzas in Manila (2016 Edition).

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