Photos by Samantha Ang
2nd flr., UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City
With quality comfort food and a weekend market, a place in Katipunan for many a diet-cleaning, plate-licking possibility.
Leave it to a college strip like Katipunan to offer more enlightened food choices. Where young folk these days are more educated about what to eat, a responsible restaurant like The Clean Plate by Twist is most welcome: responsible not just in the fresh, organic produce it dishes out but responsible in serving straight-up deliciousness.
Think conscious comfort food such as pizza with whole-wheat crust, toasted to biscuit-y perfection. One of the meatier variants, a triple-smoked ham with Asiago cheese from Negros is a substantial choice, though the Ratatouille pizza laden with veggies competes in both heart and flavor. A simple standout, however, is the Queso Blanco—milky goat cheese bits with mozzarella, basil, and daubs of olive oil.
The “twist” in Chef CJ Lim’s concept is preparing something tasty from wholesome elements. Home kitchen classics are made with top cuts and utmost attention, be it a mechado with grass-fed beef braised for six hours or a kare-kare that replaces regular peanut butter sauce with a cashew-and-squash puree. And from the pork binagoongan to the chicken in a paella negra, meats are free-range.
At the core of Twist’s concept is one’s daily duty to consume the good things in life, even after you’ve exited the restaurant. Tucked within this bright, rustic restaurant, a deli offers a range of versatile food products essential to one’s pantry. Lazy condo cooks can go crazy with the seasonings (bisteca glaze) and meat rubs (chili-lime), much more bottled specialties such as tulingan made into a tapenade. The restaurant goes even further in promoting its organic stance by holding a weekend market; its outdoor seating area converted into a space for provincial suppliers to sell fresh produce.
Cleaning up our diets is always a good idea, especially when it involves healthy grub that actually tastes good, and even better if it’s a quick drive from 53 Benitez. Then again, The Start would head here just for the “famous cookies.” With flavors such as the rich Triple Xocolat, a light and zingy Lemon Peel Cheesecake, Honey Walnut Oats, and the subtly spicy—yet extra delightful—Kimchi Nutella are many twists that are major treats. Now lick that plate clean.