Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Chimara Feel Good Kitchen

Chimara believes in a simple equation: “eat right, feel good.”

In 2002, Chimara Neo-Vegan Café first opened its doors in Greenbelt 3 Makati as a specialty restaurant that caters to the emerging health-oriented market. In 2016, Chimara reinvents itself as a “feel good kitchen,” starting with its newest branch located at UP Town Center. Chimara aims to promote the feel good lifestyle through food that inspires and brightens up your day. Here, they offer numerous tasty selections so you can be healthy at your own pace and enjoy your food that way you want it, when you want it. Chimara believes in a simple equation: “eat right, feel good.”
Chimara is pronounced as key-ma-ra, which is coined from the word “chimera,” meaning impossible dream. They have made it their mission to defy the odds and make the impossible possible by providing delicious food that cares for our well-being.
Whenever people encounter a restaurant that offers healthy food, they immediately veer away from it since the mindset is that these restaurants do not serve satisfying meals - but that’s not always the case. Chimara offers various protein choices like faux beef, chicken, fish, and tofu in a variety of carb options – salad, wrap, panini, rice, or pasta. The dishes they offer suit any type of lifestyle, and the best part of it, it’s actually delicious.

Their food choices fall mainly into two categories: Cold and Fresh or Hot and Savory, but these can still be broken down into many sub-categories depending on your mood. For example, if you feel like eating healthy, they have high-nutrition balanced meal options like the Soy Ginger Chicken.
Soy Ginger Chicken – available as panini (P180), rice (P190), or pasta (P190)
This is their own version of the Asian favorite. It's soy ginger chicken breast topped with snow peas, carrots and peanuts, drizzled with soy ginger sauce.
The sauce tasted really good. It's not too ginger-y as one would think, but it's more of like a peanut sauce which reminds me of the one used for satay. The brown rice isn't as hard and tough to eat compared to all the others I've tried, which made it a lot like white rice, which is a plus.
If you’re a vegetarian, you can go for any of their delicious meat-free selections like the Faux Beef Salpicao.

Faux Beef Salpicao – available as panini (P170), rice (P180), or pasta (P180)
This is their specialty-marinated faux beef sautéed in garlic aioli sauce, topped with sautéed mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and a generous helping of garlic to give you all the taste without the guilt
Their veggie meat is made of soy proteins, so I was surprised that it can almost pass off as real meat. The panini has a lot of garlic and sauce in it, which is necessary for all salpicao dishes. The bread itself is delicious - warm and comforting. So if you're looking for healthy comfort food for those stressful days, this is it.
For tummy troubles, order the Asian Sesame Tofu which is rich in phosphorous, thiamin, and fiber to help improve your digestion.

Asian Sesame Tofu - available as wrap (P200) or salad (P210)
A rich classic with an attitude, comes with roasted sesame tofu, carrots, beetroot, snow peas, apple, tofu chips, and lettuce served with a creamy Asian sesame dressing
To be honest, when I first saw that the Asian Sesame Tofu had beetroot in it, I was immediately turned off. But after trying it, it wasn't so bad. I liked that the dish contained ingredients with different textures, making it more interesting to eat, plus the Asian Sesame dressing went really well with it.

If you’re looking for an after-workout meal to answer your fitness fatigue, try their special dishes designed to re-energize – Sweet Chili Beef and Spicy Pomodoro.
Spicy Tuna Pomodoro – available as panini (P180), rice (P190), or pasta (P190)
An Italian-inspired dish with just the right combination of chunky tomatoes, spicy tuna, and a mild kick of cayenne
Sweet Chili Beef – available as wrap (P200) or salad (P210)
The Sweet Chili Beef is a concoction of special faux beef chili, corn, carrots, beetroot, cherry tomatoes, onions, tofu chips and lettuce served with their light mango vinaigrette
Between the two, I'd have to go with the Sweet Chili Beef because just because its flavor is more unique (the Pomodoro was pretty normal compared to it). I loved the mango vinaigrette they served it with, and so did Tim apparently, because he finished most of this before I was even done taking photos of the rest of the dishes. Haha.

If you’re feeling stressed from work, try their mood-boosting selections that are high in magnesium and fiber like the Pepper Maple Chicken.
Pepper Maple Chicken – available as wrap (P220) or salad (P230)
A sweet and succulent preparation of maple-marinated grilled chicken, fuji apple, raisins, cucumber, carrots, sunflower seeds and lettuce served with their original pepper maple vinaigrette

Out of all the dishes at Chimara, this was my least favorite. I didn't like the sweetness of the maple syrup against the pepper very much. Although as I kept eating, I grew more fond the flavor. It's definitely an interesting dish. The good thing about it is that you can control how much of the maple sauce you want in your wrap since they just serve it on the side.
If it’s your mind that needs re-energizing, boost it with their selections that are high in vitamin E like the Tofu Cheese Pesto!

Tofu Cheese Pesto – available as panini (P170), rice (P180), or pasta (P180)
Their protein-loaded take on the herby favorite makes use of their original pesto recipe with quezo blanco-topped tofu
I visited Chimara three times to write this post, and the Tofu Cheese Pesto was one of the last dishes I tried. I'm not a huge fan of tofu, so I delayed ordering it until my last visit. But this turned out to be one of my favorites! I loved the flavor of the pesto and the softness of the tofu chunks. I also decided to crush the tofu chips and mix it in with my pasta to make it even yummier! I wish they added a bit more cashew on top, but overall, this dish is a winner.
Refresh your skin with their tasty food options that contain vitamins C and E. Highly recommended: Tuna Wasabi Aioli

Tuna Wasabi Aioli – available as wrap (P220) or salad (P230)
This is their signature sweet spicy dish with a kick. It comes with seasoned tuna flakes, fresh mangoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, peanuts, and lettuce and of course, their signature wasabi aioli.
This was Tim's favorite. Why? Because there's wasabi in it, that's why. He's a sucker for all things spicy, so I already knew from the very start that this was going to be his top choice. It kind of reminds me of california maki, only better. I don't normally eat wasabi, but I couldn't stop pouring the wasabi aioli over my half of the wrap. The servings are also good to share, might I add.
You can even create your own Feel Good dish at Chimara - just ask the staff about it!
Of course, if they have Feel Good Food, they have Feel Good Drinks as well.
I am Calm (for tranquility) contains apple, carrot, and ginger perfect for a quick de-stress.
I am Wise (for clarity) contains mango, apple, and tomato to invigorate your mind.
I am Strong (for immunity) contains apple, beetroot, and carrot for that much needed strength boost.
I am Super (for vitality) contains romaine and apple to give that complete vitamin kick.

Personal favorites: I am Wise and I am Super :)

Alkaline Lemonade
We also recommend trying out their numerous healthy munchies like the hearty pop, tofu chips, veggie chips, and fruit chips.
For those who don’t know, Chimara is actually part of the Taters group of companies, so you have to try their popcorn! It comes in two flavors: sour cream and white cheddar!
Chimara Feel Good Kitchen is located at:
Level 4, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City
Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
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Chimara Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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