Photography by Samantha Ang
916 Luna Mencias, Mandaluyong
Through expert customer service and custom health food menus that clue diners in on what exactly they’re eating, this Mandaluyong restaurant aims to serve a little know-how with its nutrition.
No doubt, the health food industry is alive and kicking. It seems everyone’s either juicing or dialing up the next diet delivery service that pops up. With the wild, fast pace that health buffs jump on the next bandwagon, we need to stop for a while and think about what we’re really putting into our bodies.
“Sa business na ‘to, kailangan talaga ng information campaign,” says Rman Lorenzo, who, with co-owner and Executive Chef Gloria De Vera, put up restaurant and organic mini-market WholeFood Remedy to offer customers fact with their food. With rustic tables made from reclaimed wood and nifty Mason jar lighting fixtures, WholeFood feels like a farmhouse dropped into a side street in Mandaluyong. Certainly, the organic, all-natural produce sold from wooden crates and used in a menu of fusion dishes will be a much-needed getaway for your diet; and an enlightening one considering nutrition will come with a side order of knowledge.
“The difference here is that while you wait for us to serve the food, makikita mo yung nutritional facts,” says Rman of menus that can be customized for events, where each guest can enjoy cold-pressed juices and a wholesome meal for as low as 500 pesos. “Most of us, when we dine, kain-lasa lang, diba? Chef Gloria and I would like to introduce what it is that’s in the food that you’re eating.”
Awareness was always a part of Rman’s customer service. As the owner of Sugarleaf, a health food store with branches in Makati and Greenhills, he would always be on hand to give customers not a cure to their illnesses but point them to the core of their health problems; oftentimes, their diet. Supplying produce to restaurants like Green Pastures, Rman teamed up with Chef Gloria to make the food themselves. After six months of testing recipes, making sure there were no shortcuts to preparing organic ingredients, they unveil their restaurant this month. Flanked by an open kitchen, the restaurant will serve favorites like Bolognese and bulalo steak, a specialty of Chef Gloria’s, with a certified-organic spin. To wash it down, cold-pressed juices will also be available—of course, sold with a little wisdom attached.
“Sa juicing, I follow color combinations. I ask what my customer’s diet was in the past two weeks and I give them a color, I don’t base it on taste. If you’re a meat eater for the past two weeks, greens ka dapat to prepare your body,” says Rman, who lost 20 pounds through a 25-day juicing diet. “Most juice cleanses, they just drink without any explanation. They also only serve six bottles, but in the science of juicing, you’re required to have one liter to replace one meal—otherwise, mahihilo ka. So total dapat of three liters the whole day plus water.”
Being fed such information, one comes out of WholeFood able to apply it at home. Shopping at the mini-mart, an attendant can even suggest a few tips on preparing produce such as the pipino melon (great for snacking) and products like the malunggay noodles (switch it up with your regular pancit variant). Of course, a whole lifestyle change only arrives when you’ve got a healthy amount of know-how.