casual dining,

Elevated Healthy Greek Food at Sante and Meraki

March 21, 2022 Phantasm Darkstar 0 Comment(s)

Sante and Meraki are two restaurants that recently opened at the Mall of Asia Square. They are located on the Ground Floor of the Ikea building, just right in front of SMX Convention Center (Seashell Lane). I recently had the chance to visit them and try their delectable healthy food. What I loved most about my experience here was I enjoyed their delicious meals, guilt-free.

Sante in French means health and is often used as a toast to wellness. Meraki is a modern Greek word used to describe doing something with passion, soul, and creativity. Together, they are the newest and most exciting homegrown concepts in one charming space, brought to us by the dynamic new restaurant group, Visum Ventures.
Sante & Meraki are just two of the new concepts created by the restaurant group that brought Koomi, Manila's favorite drinking yogurt, to the Philippines. Visum Ventures has always believed that healthy eating need not be bland and boring. Sante is the premium casual location for their Zig brand, known for healthy-made happy dishes. Meraki is the refined version of their Oh My Greek! restaurant, originally a grab-and-go concept for accessible Greek food.
Led by their young and energetic founder, president, and CEO John-Michael "Mike" Hilton, the signature dishes and cocktails at Sante and Meraki will showcase nuanced and delicate flavors meant to be savored and enjoyed without making you feel the guilt of indulging in a heavy meal. The intricate details of the dishes are perfectly described by Mike, making you realize the many layers of flavors and textures that go into each one. His intimate knowledge of these dishes comes from the fact that he personally led the development and curation of Sante and Meraki's menus and his research and development team of chefs.
Here are the dishes that we had:
Red Wave. Made with beetroot, carrots, ginger, apple. I decided to try one of their healthy drinks by Zig. The red wave is refreshing and energizing. 
Signature Mini Croissant Cereal. Homemade mini croissant, fresh strawberries, edible flower, served with T2 tea-infused very berry milk. I am completely blown away by the concept of this meal, and I'm so amazed by the mini croissant--I could imagine the amount of effort it takes to make this tiny goodness. These really are croissants. I love the fresh strawberries and flowers. The milk is also good; I wish this was also available to order by the bottle. 
Squash Blossoms. Squash flowers, goat cheese, microgreens, Napoletana sauce. It's like a non-spicy, super healthy, vegetarian version of dynamite. It's delectable and really appetizing. 
Tuna & Avocado Tartare. Made with fresh tuna and avocado, drizzled with sesame oil, then topped with microgreens. I'm a fan of fresh tuna, but not avocado. However, I absolutely loved this dish. It's served with crackers (I'm not sure what it's called exactly) which you could eat with the tartare. There's something about this that makes you want to dig in for more. I remember Ms. Laine, who was not a fan of fresh tuna, but she also loves this dish. 
Pumpkin Ravioli. Pumpkin-filled ravioli with fresh zucchini, roasted pistachio, burnt butter, and sage noisette. Another vegetarian meal from Sante that I enjoyed. Visum Ventures are true to their word when they say that healthy food need not be bland or boring. 
Filet Mignon. Beef tenderloin served with pomme puree, olive tapenade, herb butter, grated cured egg yolk, fresh rosemary, and peppercorn sauce. The tenderloin was perfectly cooked. I personally judge steaks without the sauce, and Meraki's filet mignon did not disappoint. The meat is good and tender. The pomme puree is smooth. The butter, egg yolk, tapenade, and peppercorn sauce elevate the dish--although I must say, the meat and puree are already delicious on their own. 
Beef Moussaka. Beef, potato, eggplant. I was so happy that they have moussaka. I have mentioned in my previous posts that I am not a fan of eggplant, but I love it when it's in the form of moussaka--it's like your guilt-free, eggplant lasagna. Meraki's beef moussaka is creamy and flavorful. It's sating.
Salmon Tzatziki. Pan-seared salmon served with asparagus and fresh thyme. Foremost, I love the plating of this dish. The salmon is succulent, and the asparagus is fresh and crunchy. It's a lovely dish. 
Beef Pot Pie. Made the traditional way, with beef, potato, carrots, and red wine in a puff pastry. The pastry is nice and flaky. The meat is rich in flavor, and the taste reminds me of the Filipino caldereta. It's so tempting to look for rice with this dish.
Chicken Marsala. Moist chicken breast with cream and marsala wine, topped with fresh mushroom. I enjoyed this dish a lot. It's yummy, and it also tempted me to look for rice. I also noticed that the mushrooms were huge--it's a plus for me. 
Chocolate Lava Cake. Chocolate, almond dacquoise, vanilla bean ice cream, and dehydrated strawberry. I love the contrast between the temperatures of the ice cream and cake. I also love the rich chocolate. It's a must-try for chocolate lovers.
Mango Creme Brulee Cheesecake. T2 Mangoes and cream tea-infused cheesecake, with macadamia & almond dacquoise crumbs. Gluten-free. I have always been biased when it comes to mangoes because it's my favorite. Therefore, I'd say that this is my favorite pick. I love the fresh mangoes with the crumbs. Altogether with the cheesecake, it has a nice texture. 
Mike's Mess. Chef Hilton's take on Eton Mess. It has fresh Cream, strawberries, and passion fruit in a crunchy meringue. I had so much fun eating this dessert. You're supposed to smash the meringue then mix it. I love the fluffy texture of the cream and the nice citrus flavors from the fruits. 
Peanut Butter and Banana Sourdough. Homemade peanut butter, bananas, coconut, honey, toasted sourdough. Spanky's favorite on the menu. It's a sating breakfast that could provide you with loads of energy, but you can also enjoy it for dessert. 
Cocktails. (L-R) Mixed Berried Mojito. You Are My Sunshine. French Kiss Amaretto. Sangria. I tried the French Kiss Amaretto as it matched my outfit. It's sweet, refreshing, with a good hint of alcohol--I'd say it's perfectly balanced. 
I had so much fun dining at Sante and Meraki. I will definitely go back here when I'm in the area. I'm looking forward to trying their sushi bowls and salad pizzas next time.
The Menu

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