I’ve almost forgotten how good Vanderlust Bistro + Patisserie is! I had such a good time with owners Mark and Valerie Tan in Vanderlust’s first branch in Tomas Morato (Read: Vanderlust Tomas Morato). They’re known for their European dishes and interesting desserts like the Schneeball. Last July 1, 2018, our favorite European resto in QC has opened its second branch in The Podium Mall with new dishes for the family and friends!
As I was having the Chorizo & Roasted Garlic Potato Soup (PHP 178 Solo, PHP 348 Sharing), I thought to myself that I could literally just have this lunch and I’d be okay. This hearty serving of creamy potato soup with Spanish pork sausage was so rich in flavor! I also figured there had to be cheese there somewhere! It’s the perfect dish to comfort the soup, but then I had the Sopa de Tomapepino (PHP 168 Solo, PHP 328 Sharing). I died with the burst of umami from the sun-ripened tomatoes mixed with cool cucumber. It was so appetizing, that it got me ready for the pastas and mains!
Literally “cheese and pepper”, the Cacio e Pepe Classic (P248) has a clean flavor people with simple taste. This classic Italian dish has a roll of fried cheese crisp fashioned on top like a crown.
The Spanish meatballs on the Espaguetis ou Albóndigas (PHP 348) was so juicy and yummy! This pleasantly spicy dish comes with angel hair pasta in either olive oil or tomato sauce. The spiciness level can be adjusted based on your preference.
The third kind of pasta we had was my favorite: Cacio e Pepe Mushroom Truffle (PHP 428). The pasta was cooked al dente in rich and creamy truffle mushroom pasta, Before I knew it, I had already finished more than my blogger’s share.
Just when I thought that nothing could beat the mushroom truffle pasta, the Schweinekotelett with Mustard Cream Sauce (P498) came out. I probably had the same reaction the first time I had it: eyes suddenly widening while frantically pointing at the pork chop with my fork.
The pork chop was so flavorful and tender, like it was marinated with great care! The spices had reached the core! It was THAT good. You probably don’t need any of the creamy mustard sauce, but it’s also a great contrast along with the German fermented cabbage. And, oh, the creamy mashed potato was just perfectly executed! I expected nothing less.
I was so preoccupied with the pork chop that I missed out on the best part according to Mark: the crackled pork skin, which was inspired by one of the most famous dishes in Germany, the Schweinshaxe or roasted pork knuckle with crispy skin.
The Il Tricolore (PHP 748) or “The Italian Flag” is inspired by its colors: green, white and red. The almond-crusted Salmon dish is served with leek cream, pesto risotto and cherry tomatoes.
The Il Naufrago (PHP 478) or “The Cast Away” depicts the image of a sunburned cast away stuck on an island during sunset. The stuffed crusted chicken breast rests atop an island of herbed pilaf, which is surrounded by a moat of marinara sauce garnished with essence of basil.
The Baby Breakfast (PHP 298) is Vanderlust’s newest addition to the menu! Served on a sizzling plate, the batter is somewhere between a pancake and a crepe. Served with Kielbasa, poached egg, cherry tomatoes, arugula and German sweet mustard, the Baby Breakfast is a full meal for someone tiny like me!
The Lagerfeuer or “Campfire” is a dessert version of the baby breakfast. Using the same sizzling pancake-con-crepe base, the dutch baby is glazed with maple syrup and loaded with toasted marshmallows, almonds and flambéed mango.
The Millefeuille (PHP 100 Classic, PHP 130 Cheesecake) (pronounced “meel-foy”) literally means “thousand leaves.” It is a classic French puff pastry with decadent cream between sheets, making it both rich and light at the same time.
-Folie aux Noisettes or “Crazy Hazel”
-Très Matcha or “Verry Matcha”
-Lait Qui Pleure or “Crying Milk”
-Noix Souffrante or “Suffering Nut”
Officially my new favorite dessert, the Gianduiotto (PHP 185) is a classier Ferrero Rocher. Vanderlust’s version has a more delicate wafer with a richer hazelnut chocolate spread that melts in your mouth like truffles! The Gianduiotto chocolate takes its name from Gianduja, whose origin came about through innovation. A continental block during Napoleon’s reign made it very difficult and expensive to import cocoa, so the chocolatiers from Piedmont resorted to using hazelnut, a locally grown produce that was more readily available that cocoa.
Trivia: The first iteration of Nutella was named Pasta Gianduja!
The Schneeball (PHP135 Original, PHP 165 Chocolate Dough) or “Snowball” is a ball-shaped shortcrust pastry with flavored coating and filling. It has a 300-year old history and tradition from Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany. Traditionally served only during special occasions such as weddings, the schneeball is now widely available in Rothenburg, a beautiful town in Bavaria, well-known for its well-preserved medieval look. This special pastry was one of Mark and Val’s motivations of starting Vanderlust, and it has become one of Vanderlust’s flagship pastries. To enjoy this chocolate-covered dessert, you put the schneeball in a bag and smash it with a hammer as hard as you can until it breaks apart.
What’s a meal with a little alcohol? Vanderlust’s version of Sangria is a perfect balance between, sweet, refreshing and bitter liquor. I am not ashamed to admit that I had seconds while everyone was still on their first glass. Mark knew me well enough to tell the barkeep to fill my glass to the brim!
I live super close by to Podium. 10 out of 10, I would recommend this to my family for Sunday lunch, and I’d be proud about it.
Location: 5/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
Contact Number: (+63 2) 871-7314
Monday to Thursday: 11 AM to 10 PM
Friday to Sunday: 10 AM to 10 PM