Earth Kitchen is not the first to do all organic, all local, sustainable cooking, but it’s among the most successful ones, and we want to come back to for more.
Built on three words that define them more than their cuisine, Earth Kitchen makes sure that what they serve is healthy (100% organic produce), local (all of their produce is sourced from local indigenous farms under the Got Heart Foundation), and sustainable (seasonal menu to fully utilize the best ingredients).
Step through the revolving doors of Earth Kitchen and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a greenhouse in the middle of the city—sans the heat. Earth tones is the game, melding well with upcycled wooden tables made from palochina, wooden chairs made by local artisans from Rizal, in door plants, and yellow lighting.
There’s a conference room across the hall and an art gallery up on the second floor you can access through a glass door in the far left, but by far the best feature of Earth Kitchen is its garden, which you can see glimpses of from the dining hall.
A mini kubo that’s about a storey above the street is a pleasurable place to hang out before of after a meal. No food is allowed in it.
The menu is a combination of Asian fare with inspiration from Chef JR Tani’s experiences in his travels. It’s all organic yet still full of flavor, which means everything you’ll have here is guilt-free. They can also accommodate almost every dietary restriction, so long as you give them a heads-up.
A favorite for us is the beef kebab. It’s a juicy skewer of bite-size chunks of beef ribs that have been marinated in a secret sauce for at least 24 hours. Accompanying this savory skewer is a refreshing saucer of tzatziki and grilled veggies on a stick. You can have it served with a tortilla wrap, but this date night meal is best enjoyed on a bed of Ifugao rice pilaf.
Another hard-to-resist item is the watermelon & rocket salad. Yes, watermelon in a salad and not in your dessert. The pop you get from biting into the sweet watermelon refreshes the arugula and lettuce with homemade kesong puti, pili nuts, and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. It’s great for lunch, whether for here or to go.
No sodas here because why would you drink sodas with healthy cooking? What you do get are fresh juice mixes, freshly-squeezed ripe mango, dalandan, or calamansi juice, shakes, or locally-made, ready-to-drink Lick Iced Tea.
A meal at this brainchild of Melissa Yeung (Got Heart Foundation), Chef David Hizon (Hizon’s Catering), and Chef JR Tani goes a long way. You’re not just helping indigenous communities; you’re also helping yourself get into a healthier lifestyle—or, at least for one meal.
Photos and words by Andrew Del Rosario