As one who has been on a plant-based diet for the past four years, I can say that Manila is truly evolving. Susi, the recently opened restaurant at Burgos Circle, BGC offers only Vegan and Gluten-free food. It’s the first Vegan and Gluten-free restaurant to run within one of the top commercial areas in the Metro.
When I was first told in October last year about Susi, I thought it was pretty bold of them to pick Burgos Circle as their first location. If you ask me why, I’d give you two connecting reasons. One, veganism is a concept that majority of our population still hasn’t embraced and two, Burgos Circle is a prime spot. And given the costs of keeping a business running in a high-traffic area, Susi is going to need all the diners they can get to step into their doors. But it seems Susi has this all planned out.
The moment you walk by their window, they begin to educate you as to what a Vegan and Gluten-Free diet is and then lure you in through their warm, homey interior clearly visible through their huge, glass window panels. We went in the evening so the ground floor was dim, perfect for quiet conversations while the second floor was brighter, with less people. I chose to sit upstairs.
I usually like to visit new restaurants after a few months. To be sure they’re past the “Soft Opening” Stage. You know for sure that the whole team knows how to run things already and that the “experimental” stage for menu items is over. Susi opened in February (on Valentine’s Day to be exact) and, as of this writing, is nearing it’s fourth month. I liked how accommodating and friendly their staff was. They weren’t shy to start conversations with their guests and that’s a huge plus especially when dealing with non-vegans or those who are there out of curiosity. I didn’t get to ask for our server’s name but I loved her!
Okay, on to the food. We were hungry, so we ordered dishes that were more filling. I got the El Chimichurri and Nic got the Carb-no-nara. I also asked for Sweet Potato Wedges on the side and tried the Hedwig (Vanilla Soy Milkshake). And just because I felt that I had to try it out, I ordered the Cacao that Cares for dessert too.
I think it’s great that Susi makes their own gluten-free bread. However, the one on my burger tasted like muffins. It was moist and fluffy. I’ve never really been a fan of muffins so I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it at first. I had Nic take a few bites of my El Chimichurri and we both agreed that the bread’s texture didn’t compliment the rest of the burger. I also expected the Chimichurri to be a bit more spicy and flavourful. Instead, what I got out of it was the taste of the beans from the burger patty. My burger came with Sweet Potato Wedges on the side too so I had to give the plate we originally ordered to Nic. Haha! The sour cream (was it?) on the side was a little bland too and didn’t really add flavor to the wedges. I did like how the wedges were done though, so not really a big problem with that.
Nic’s Carb-no-nara was pretty good. Only thing was that the “bacon” didn’t taste so much like the real thing. And because the pasta was so dense and filling, we literally slowed down as we ate. Not that there’s no room in our stomachs as we ate, just that it felt a little too much for one dish. So even though the serving is really just for one, I suggest you split it with someone and order something else for variety. Oh, and don’t order another pasta or burger!
The Hedwig was delicious but I found the price a little too much. Not sure if this is because I know how to make one at home. But if you’re looking for an alternative to your favorite milkshake, you can find them here. It also comes in Chocolate!
And speaking of chocolate, the finale which is the delicious slice of Cacao that Cares was amazing. Nic doesn’t really have a sweet tooth so I had a couple of bites for myself to try before I had it wrapped up so I can just bring it home. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted GREAT. Just that after the El Chimichurri, I ran out of space in my stomach for dessert. Something that rarely ever happens.
And so, the verdict:
- The interior and ambience is really good. I loved how it had less people in it and everyone was just having these quiet talks. Not crowded, very cozy.
- Service was great and staff was friendly.
- The food was okay. Having tried a lot of vegan and vegetarian restaurants that offer different menu options at varying price points, I have to be honest and say that I expected more from Susi. Of course, this is based on my personal taste and Nic’s feedback as well.
- Considering my point above, I found menu prices too steep for what they offered. But then, I understand that tucked into these prices are a lot of other costs that come with running a restaurant.
So am I encouraging you to visit SUSI? DEFINITELY. In fact, I would encourage anyone who is vegan, vegan curious or just looking to start a healthier diet to visit the place. I fully support the restaurant’s cause and I salute Bianca Moran, the woman behind it all, for single-handedly putting the restaurant up. I love SUSI. Doesn’t matter if I go gaga for the food or not. My point is, we need more places like this. More establishments as brave as this one, who dare to step up and be the voice for those who don’t have it.
Is your next date night happening soon? Call them up and make a reservation. Find out more about SUSI through their website or their Facebook Fanpage. Susi is located at Forbes Town Road, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City.