Earth Kitchen is a restaurant dedicated to promote the products of local farmers and indigenous peoples, helping communities become sustainable by using their produce as the focal point of the menu. Products like cashew nuts from Palawan, pili nuts from Naga, wild honey foraged by Mangyans and Tagbanuas, and organic greens grown in Tarlac and Bukidnon can be found in their menu.
This restaurant is a favorite with my friends in Katipunan, so I was happy when they opened their newest branch at BGC near Nolita so I could try it out for myself. Exuding a laid-back, casual vibe, the place is decked out to look like a tropical garden with the decor bringing the outside in, with the natural finish of the picnic-esque tables, tufts of astroturf, and a cool-looking bambike in the corner juxtaposing the gray of the concrete walls and floor.
It was a slow Friday, and while Jericho was busy with product shoots around BGC, I was off window shopping and getting my hair cut and colored at a nearby salon. We met up at the restaurant a few hours later, both tired and parched, but it was nothing a freshly squeezed Pitcher of Fresh Dalandan Juice (Php 240) couldn’t fix. A lot less tart than lemonade, this has a natural sweetness to it with a subtle sour aftertaste.
A sucker for fresh lumpia, Earth Kitchen’s Shrimp Spring Rolls (Php 295) are quite filling, with the delicate rice paper practically bursting at the seams, barely holding together fresh pieces of shrimp and locally produced herbs, with a dipping sauce of crushed peanuts, lime, and hoisin sauce on the side.
For a meatier start to your meal, their Beef Bulgogi Soft Tacos (Php 280) doesn’t disappoint! The east-meets-west soft taco reminds me of something you could probably order off of Kogi’s BBQ Food Truck in LA, with a base of greens topped with juicy boneless beef ribs, kimchi rice, and shredded seaweed all wrapped up in a flour taco. I have no doubt that this is would even impress Roy Choi – it’s that good!
A new dish on the menu is Earth Kitchen’s Smoked Duck Breast Salad that uses house-cured and smoked duck breast strips with arugula and lettuce to build on, topped with tomatoes and candied cashews before being finished with a sweet fig honey vinaigrette. I like how the portions are pretty big and that they don’t skimp on any of the ingredients, as well as how the smokey, slightly salty meat offset the sweetness of the cashews and vinaigrette.
A deceivingly simple looking dish is the restaurant’s Scallops and Aligue Pasta (Php 430), with the al dente squid ink pasta setting the backdrop for the slightly burnished local scallops and the sprinkling of bright orange aligue, the anise liquor and mild chilies adding a complex layer of flavor to the plate. Yes, local scallops are a lot smaller in size compared to the impressive-looking imports, but what they lack in size they make up for in flavor.
I didn’t expect to find Mediterranean food here, but they can do a pretty decent Beef Kebab Rice (Php 380) as it turns out! The kebab of boneless beef ribs in itself is nicely seasoned and charred in just the right places, served with grilled vegetables, tzatziki, and their own version of a chili-yogurt sauce. You can order this with either an Ifugao rice pilaf or three pieces of flour tortilla and organic mixed greens if you want to turn it into Turkish doner.
The Braised Bacon (Php 530) is definitely a dish that is supposed to be shared, lest you want head straight for the hospital when you leave the restaurant. A generous slab of bacon is seasoned and cooked with red cabbage and marble potatoes in a dark sweet red wine sauce reminiscent to that of the Chinese-Filipino dish, humba.
Quite the stellar scene stealer was the oh-so-creamy Pumpkin Goat’s Cheese Paccheri (Php 310). A mixture of goat’s cheese and roasted pumpkin make for a thick filling in between tubes of delicate pasta, a smattering of pili nits, bacon (optional), and tortilla strips adding some much needed crunch and texture.
For dessert, their Tablea Ice Cream (Php 180) is the go-to for chocoholics such as myself. The two scoops of home-made carabao tablea ice cream is very creamy, and surprisingly not as sweet as you’d expect it to be – tiny spoonfuls with a little bit of the chocolate chip cookie crumble is all you need. Heck, I usually don’t like sharing my dessert, but I made an exception for this since it was almost too overindulgent.
Overall, our late lunch was topnotch! There are so many reasons to love Earth Kitchen – from their exciting vegetarian dishes to their varied cuisine options, there’s a little something for everyone. Their message for supporting natural and organic farmers is loud and clear, and the goal is to get to a point where sustainability and the education for this particular type of farming becomes the norm. To get more bang for your buck on your visit, check them out on Deal Grocer and get Php 500 worth of delightfully fresh farm-to-table fare at Earth Kitchen, Bonifacio Global City, available for a limited time only.
Earth Kitchen is located at the Upper Ground Floor of C2 Building, Bonifacio High Street, Central, Taguig City and is open daily from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries and table reservations, please call +63 917 584 3278, +63 2 961 0572 or +63 2 577 9138.