One does not need to be a vegetarian to enjoy vegan food. I learned this when my sister and I ate at Vedge Health Hub. When we entered the restaurant, we were not sure if we can carry a full vegetarian meal. We asked for the menu before we took a table. The dishes offered caught our interest and we decided to stay. The menu list has starters, salads, pasta, burgers, rice meals, fresh juices and smoothies. Prices are very reasonable and servings can be shared.
Vedge Health Hub is a small and simple restaurant offering healthy food. All are vegetarian cuisine which means no animal meat, cheese, cream, eggs, milk and MSG. The menu list is continually developing so it is possible that there will be a new dish offered on your next visit.
For appetizer we had the Thai Spring Roll. The filling consist of carrots and cucumber wrapped in lettuce which is further wrapped with a soft rice wrapper. Topped with catsup-like sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds, it was a nice start for a very healthy lunch. The freshness of the vegetables added to the natural sweetness of the dish.
We had Mushroom Chicharon (cracklings) for our second appetizer. It is battered and fried fresh oyster mushrooms served with a garlic and vinegar dip. Tofu is used as mayonnaise. It is so tasty. It may be a bit oily but it is still a healthy substitute to pig skin or rind.
Veggie Bulgogi is an offshoot of the popular Korean Bulgogi dish. Instead of beef, veggie meat is used. The other ingredients are shitake mushrooms, stringbeans, chickpeas, white onions and sesame seeds as toppings. All these on a mound of soft red rice. The sweetish bulgogi sauce made the dish more flavorful.
Pesto Pasta. The taste is almost the same as the regular pasta. Instead of parmesan cheese, Vedge used crushed cashew nuts. Tofu is also added. The pasta comes with toasted brown bread.
For drinks, my sister and I had Guyabanana Smoothie (guyabano and banana) and Pink Lemonade. All the drinks at Vedge are made from fresh ingredients.
Curious about the Veggie Batchoy, I returned the following day. I went past twelve noon and the restaurant was full. The Vegan Batchoy is a winner. I like it so much. Except for the ingredients, the taste is not far from the regular batchoy. The best thing is that it is only slightly oily unlike the regular batchoy which is streaking with fats and oil. Squash malunggay noodles is used thus giving it a courser texture making it chewy. The other ingredients are shitake mushrooms, white onions, garlic and spring onions. In lieu of chicharon, crunchy fried cubed tofu is used. For the soup, they used garlic stock. You can add in some black pepper.
For dessert, Vedge sells mini cakes. As substitutes for eggs and cheese, they use banana and chia seeds.
The Vegan Nachos looks delicious as well and is among the bestsellers. I will try it next time.
The restaurant also sells fresh oyster mushrooms and freshly baked breads like Whole Wheat Cinnamon Bread, Mango Loaf and Banana Bread. The breads are supplied by the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center (Bacolod Sanitarium Hospital). The best time to buy the breads is on Tuesdays when they are in full stock. Also sold are Carrot Chips, Squash Crackers, soya powder, granola snacks and many more.
For those who wish to use veggie meat at home, Vedge also sells them in packs. It is a healthy alternative to animal meat. “It provides a sufficient amount of soy protein complete with all the essential amino acids. It is zero in fat and cholesterol and is a good source of dietary fiber as well as calcium, potassium and other minerals” as printed at the back of the package. After rehydration thru hot water, it can be cooked together with other meat or as a full replacement for animal meat. It can be used to cook adobo, afritada, barbecue, caldereta, curry, menudo, nuggets, sweet and sour, stroganoff, burger patties, embutido, lumpia shanghai, fresh lumpia, macaroni salad, meat balls, omelette, sandwich spread, siomai, spaghetti among others.
Vedge Health Hub had a soft opening last October 2016 and formally opened in March 2017. It is located at the Ground Floor of Virgen Sang Barangay Building, Lacson corner 6th Street across McDonald’s Lacson Branch. You can contact them at 0932-7833903. Business Hours: Sundays to Thursdays 11 am to 8 pm; Fridays 11 am to 3 pm. It is closed on Saturdays. Vedge will soon be offering breakfast and Sunday buffet.
If one wants to try eating healthy, the Vedge Health Hub is a good start. Bacolod City folks are very lucky to have a restaurant serving delicious vegetarian dishes. It may even appeal to the carnivores. As in most healthy cooking, vegetarian dishes are low on salt. They may be a little bland but it is just a matter of getting used to it. You can request for salt if you feel the need for it.
Going meatless is not bad after all. As they say, “Skip the diet. Just eat healthy”.