Healthy options, elevated cuisine: Must-try dishes at newly opened Sante and Meraki restaurants

June 5, 2022 - 10:57 PM
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Foodies visiting SM Mall of Asia are in for a treat with two new restaurants offering healthy options and elevated cuisine.

Sante and Meraki are two of the newest additions to the innovative brands of the Visum Ventures Group that brought Koomi, Manila’s favorite drinking yogurt, to the Philippines.

Sante is the elevated brand of Zig, known for healthy-made happy dishes, while Meraki is the elevated brand of Oh My Greek!, a grand and go concept for accessible Greek food.

John Michael “Mike” Hilton’s Visum Ventures Group’s founder, and CEO said these were launched to give Filipino foodies a more formal dining experience.

Hilton, born in Zamboanga and raised in Sydney, Australia, said his love for food and travels inspired him to conceptualize the menus in collaboration with his team. He was influenced by the food scene in Sydney.

He established Visum Ventures during the COVID-19 pandemic with chief finance officer Adrian Luansing, chief marketing officer Andrew Neri, chief human resources officer Hyacinth Luansing, and Marketing Director for PR and social media Ahtisa Manalo.

Hilton said 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.

Sante

Aptly named Sante, this restaurant means health in French and the word is often used as a toast to good health and wellness.

Hilton said this restaurant with cozy space and tasteful interiors seeks to cater to Filipinos who are looking for affordable and great-tasting healthy dishes. The menu can take guests from brunch to cocktails.

“It was born out of the recent pandemic and the need for Filipinos to have more healthy food options,” Hilton said during the launch of the restaurants in late April.

“It satisfies not just your nutritional needs but also your cravings for something delicious,” he added.

Among the must-try dishes which also happen to be Hilton’s top picks are the following:

Breakfast options

Mini Croissant Cereal – This signature breakfast option has homemade mini croissants, fresh strawberries, and edible flower. It is served with another Visum brand, T2 Tea-infused Very Berry Milk

Mini Croissant Cereal (Sante/Rleased)

Mushroom and Truffle Sourdough – Another breakfast option is made with fresh mushroom, drizzled with truffle oil and topped with fresh parsley on toasted sourdough.

Mushroom and Truffle Sourdough (Sante/Released)

Starters

Tuna and Avocado Tartare – Among the delectable tapas selection of Sante is their tuna and avocado tartare with fresh tuna and avocado drizzled sesame oil, topped with micro greens.

Tuna and Avocado Tartare (Sante/Released)

Squash Blossoms – One of the crowd favorites, this starter is made of squash flowers with goat cheese, served on a bed of Napoletana sauce and topped with micro greens.

Squash Blossoms (Sante/Released)

Signature dishes

Pumpkin Risotto – This risotto with a twist is topped with goat cheese and balsamic glaze.

Pumpkin Risotto (Sante/Released)

Chicken Marsala – One of the signature dishes is a moist chicken breast with cream and Marsala wine, adding depth and contrast, topped with fresh mushrooms.

Chicken Marsala (Sante/Released)

Beef Pot Pie – The restaurant elevates this traditional dish and made it more savory with a well-balanced combination of beef, potatoes, carrots, and red wine in a puff pastry.

Beef Pot Pie (Interaksyon/Rosette Adel)

Desserts

Mike’s Mess – This dessert option is Hilton’s take on Eton Mess. It has fresh cream, strawberries, and passion fruit in a crunchy merengue.

Mike’s Mess (Sante/Released)

Mango Crème Brulee Cheesecake – Another fitting dessert to end the meal is this delightfully light and airy, not the usual dense cheesecake that can be found on most dessert menus in Manila. The T2 Tea Mangoes & Cream tea-infused cheesecake has macadamia and almond dacquoise crumbs, that are gluten-free to boot.

Mango Crème Brulee Cheesecake (Interaksyon/Rosette Adel)

Meraki

The other restaurant called Meraki, according to Hilton is focused on traditional Greek dishes based on simple yet elegant flavors. Meraki is a Greek word used to describe doing something with passion, soul and creativity.

Here are some of the dishes to try at Meraki:

Breakfast option

Smashed Avocado – This avocado toast has halloumi cheese, poached eggs, and toasted sourdough.

Smashed Avocado (Meraki/Released)

Signature dishes

Beef Moussaka –  One of the most recognizable Greek dishes, Meraki made beef moussaka hearty and flavorful with layers of beef, eggplant and potato and topped with a decadent sauce.

Beef moussaka (Meraki/Released)

Salmon Tzatziki – Another dish to devour is this fresh salmon lightly pan-seared, served with crunchy asparagus and fresh thyme.

Salmon Tzatziki (Meraki/Released)

Lemon Chicken – This chicken meal is a pan-seared chicken on a bed of potatoes, oregano, lemon, and fresh thyme.

Lemon Chicken (Meraki/Released)

Filet Mignon – For meat lovers, Meraki also offers this steak with herb butter, olive tapenade, grated cured egg yolk, and peppercorn sauce. It is served with truffled mash potato.

Filet Mignon (Meraki/Released)

Dessert

Chocolate Lava Cake – This dessert is served with almond dacquoise, vanilla bean ice cream and dehydrated strawberry.

Chocolate Lava Cake (Meraki/Released)

Meanwhile, the restaurant is also offering healthy drinks. These include freshly squeezed juices such as orange juice, the special Immune Booster that has green apple, cucumber, celery, kale, lemon, and ginger, and their Tropical Sunrise with watermelon, pineapple, passionfruit, and orange.

Sante and Meraki restaurants are located at MOA Square, Seashell Lane, Mall of Asia Complex.