MANILA -- Misto at Seda Vertis North amps up the healthy quality of its buffet with the addition of plant-based dishes.
Health is wealth. It’s a truth that has become more apparent to most of us these days, and so it seems right that if we do venture out to eat, we should be eating something healthy and delicious.
“We encourage plant-forward eating or cuisine that is mostly plant-based but not strictly limited to them,” explained Cinty Yniguez, director for sales and marketing of Seda Vertis North.
It’s all about giving diners healthier options, while still maintaining the quintessential Misto buffet experience. This translates to a spread that includes roasts like US prime rib, grilled seafood and meats, tempura, pastas, Asian dishes, soups, and dessert, but with plant-based options available throughout.
“What we're going to do is we're going to slowly incorporate the plant-based dishes today, into the regular buffet,” said Yniguez.
The salad station, in particular, gets a hefty plant-based update with the introduction of Buddha Bowls. Conceived for Misto by Yniguez, a Buddha bowl combines healthy eating with a make-your-own-bowl, something like a Mongolian bowl. Diners are given an array of options to create their bowl from vegetables, proteins, seeds, toppings, and dressings.
Unlike vegetarian or vegan eating plans, taking a plant-based approach to eating doesn’t eliminate animal proteins but encourages one to focus on consuming food from plants.
So how do you build a Buddha Bowl?
Start with your carbs. There are grains aplenty from adlai, quinoa, brown or white rice to choose from. You can choose one or choose them all.
After the base carb, pick among the assorted toppings. These toppings include plant-based protein options like avocado, roasted chickpeas (delicious, I could eat them as is), marinated tofu, snow peas, a bevy of seeds (roasted cashew, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc.), roasted pumpkin, caramelized red onions, roasted garlic, to name a few.
Animal proteins like chicken and lamb are also available as well.
Greens add a herbaceous and fresh component to a bowl and available options included spinach, arugula, lettuce, and watercress. Other salad fix-ins like cherry tomatoes, eggs, candied apricots, sliced apples, cheese shavings, and roasted nuts are on hand as toppings before finishing your bowl with a drizzle of your chosen dressing whether that be Caesar dressing, Dijon vinaigrette, or guacamole.
A Buddha bowl is a deceptively filling meal. I had a bowl with a base of adlai and toppings of marinated tofu, roasted tomatoes, sliced apples, chickpeas, roasted garlic, and parmesan cheese. Guacamole was my dressing of choice and mixed altogether — a spoonful had beautiful flavors from sweet, salty, nutty, tart, and zingy. It was hard to muster up more appetite to eat the other plant-based dishes in the buffet because my Buddha bowl was already so satisfying.
This author forged on tasting other plant-based delights in the Misto buffet. Favorites include the Eggplant Parmigiana and the Truffle Mushroom Tagliatelle from the pasta station, pad Thai and green curry from the Asian station, and French onion soup and the plant-based ramen (that was more like a pho) from the soup station.
Dessert gets a special mention with the vegetarian cookie (which was more of a bar really) that crumbled as you took a bite of pure dark chocolate with alluring tinges of salt and sugar. I had mine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and frozen mixed berries — it was divine.
Yniguez, who has lived this plant-based lifestyle for a few years already and studied clinical nutrition in Hong Kong, created the plant-based dishes in the Misto menu as part of Seda Vertis North’s relentless pursuit to improve its offerings.
“It's just really a shift in mindset, making the plant sources, the main and your non plant protein as your side,” said Yniguez.
The Misto Buffet at Seda Vertis North is available from Thursdays to Sunday for lunch, and Thursdays to Saturdays for dinner and priced at P1,200++.
Seda Vertis North follows local government guidelines for seniors and minors.