Europe has always been part of my travel bucketlist. Unfortunately, with the lack of funds, it still remains to be JUST a part of my dream destinations. I fantasize about visiting France with a lover, eating spaghetti in Italy and drinking my heart out at Oktoberfest in Germany. However, while I continue to work hard until I can visit these countries through my own means, it's nice to be able to go to places that give you even a taste of what it's like to be in Europe. That is why I absolutely loved my dining experience at Vanderlust Bistro + Patisserie. It takes you on a journey to places in Europe and it's surprisingly not painful for your bank account either.
THE STORY BEHIND VANDERLUST
Vanderlust is a passion project of newly weds, Valerie and Anthony. They told me how they were so moved by their honeymoon in Europe, that they decided to share all of the things they loved about it through this quaint restaurant located in Tomas Morato, QC. The architecture, the music and most especially, THE FOOD were the highlights of their European adventure. Thus, the dishes of Vanderlust are centered on the 3 countries that best tickled their tastebuds: France, Italy and Germany. Putting up this restaurant was a big step for the couple considering that they used to work in a corporate setting. However, inspired by their wanderlust and their deep belief in just following your gut, they decided to leave their jobs and transform their love for food into their bread and butter.
Fun fact: Vanderlust is actually a play on the initials of the owners, Valerie and Anthony. "Vanderlust" is also how Germans pronounce the word "Wanderlust."
DISHES TO TRY AT VANDERLUST
Bocadillo de Calamares y Pescado (PHP 288)
To start, we had this as an appetizer. As shared by the owners, this is one of Madrid's specialty sandwiches. It features bite-sized calamari and white fish, both of which are deep fried and sandwiched into baguette slices. I love calamari so eating this was very interesting for me. I was able to taste the hint of aioli which really added to the flavor.
Arancini Al Malgherita (PHP 248)
Our second appetizer were Italian risotto balls all stuffed with oozing mozzarella and bathed in margherita sauce. At first glance, I thought I was going to eat croquettes, so when I took a bite, I was utterly surprised. I was so fond of this dish because I love anything with mozzarella cheese!
Mon Chéri Poulet (PHP 398)
After eating our appetizers, we proceeded with our mains. I got to taste this because it was one of their new dishes and IT WAS DEFINITELY MY FAVORITE. The Mon Chéri Poulet lives up to its name because I cannot help but feel the endearment in this dish. It put my entire mouth in a sweet frenzy — with its glazed honey chicken, spinach omelette and smoked bacon partnered with plump baby tomatoes. I finished every single bit of this serving.
Espagueti con Albóndigas (PHP 268) | Cacio E Pepe Mushroom Truffle (PHP 388)
We decided to partner all of the meat we were eating with some pasta. The Espagueti con Albóndigas (L) is slightly spicy paired with some Spanish meatballs.
The Cacio E Pepe Mushroom Truffle (R) is drenched in creamy truffle mushroom sauce & pepper. It's not the best pasta I've ever tasted but it's definitely delicious.
Catalan Baked Fish with Potatoes and Asparagus (PHP 378)
I enjoyed eating the Catalan Baked Fish because I'm fond of meals with a distinct taste of herbs. It was refreshing to my mouth and it wasn't an ordinary cream dory type that most restaurants would serve. The sauteed potates and asparagus complemented it as well.
Schweinekotelett with Mustard Cream Sauce (PHP 448)
This dish, which I cannot even pronounce, was the one that resembled Filipino dishes the most.
It's made up of prokchops with creamy mustard sauce and mashed potatoes as a side dish.
Spanish Churros (PHP 55 - 75) | Italian Cannoli (PHP 125) | Apple Green Sangria | Frapuccinos
And of course, what kind of people would we be if we didn't leave room for desserts?
Vanderlust is known for its delicious churros ranging from Chocolate, Red Velvet and Maple Bacon. My favorite was the Red Velvet because you could really taste the cream cheese. The maple bacon was also very good. The owners shared to me that they have one customer who visits every week just to order the Maple Bacon. It was also my first time to try cannolis and I loved it! This little tube is filled with creams in different flavors like Lemon White Choco and Choco Pistachio. Vanderlust also has a lot of beverages ranging from hot chocolate, cold frapuccinos and many more!
To spice up the night a little bit, my friend and I also got some apple green Sangria, one of their signature drinks.
It surprisingly tasted well with the traditional churros dipped in cinnamon sauce.
German Schneeballë (PHP 120 - PHP 145)
This dessert is definitely one of the highlights of my dining experience at Vanderlust. Mainly because it was so fun to eat.
The Schneeballë comes with a paperbag, a wooden board and a mallete to smash it. First, you put it in the bag...
Next, you place it on top of the wooden board and then SMASH! SMASH! SMASH!
I felt like Thor carrying his Mallete or Hulk just crushing everything.
Once you're done smashing, you eat the tiny bits of goodness in the bag!
Here is a photo of me and my friend, Nikki, who accompanied me to the Food Tasting Event at the restaurant. All in all, I think I gained a pound after eating at Vanderlust Bistro + Patisserie. Kidding aside, this European-inspired bistro is definitely one of my new favorite restaurants in Tomas Morato Area. I'd definitely recommend everyone to give this a try. Also, it's a dining experience that will surely excite you!
1. Find Parking in the nearby streets.
Vanderlust is located along a busy street so it might not be as easy to find parking. If you plan to have dinner there, it's best to go a little bit early like 6pm or travel via uber to avoid the hassle of finding parking.
2. Vanderlust is a great place to work and study because they have electrical sockets & free wifi!
The restaurant serves coffee and it also has sockets where you can charge your laptop and gadgets.
3. If you can, try to get a table at the 2nd floor.
It has a cute wall with tiles that have tiny eiffel towers and pretty paintings.
Like this place? Visit:
Vanderlust Bistro + Patisserie
0100 Sct De Guia cor Tomas Morato Quezon City, Philippines
(02) 954 0401
Time to make your own memories!