I’m so amazed by the way Vanderlust was born. This is a passion project out of intense desire for adventure, zeal for food, curiosity of the unknown, and love between a husband and a wife Mark Anthony and Valerie Spencer.
The idea began in 2013 during their honeymoon in Europe. They spent a month going from one European city to another. They brought their favorite dishes here in the country so others may experience them.
Mark Anthony along with celebrity Chef Mitchie Sison worked so hard for the recipe. They wanted it to be as close as possible with what they had in Europe. In fact, it was a long and tedious process especially for the pastries. They actually needed to design a special tool in making their flagship pastries, the Schneeball.
I am so loving the interior to think that this was not fully furnished yet. It needed more accent, yes. But seeing its rawness makes it more interesting. Just like their food, it makes me want to dig in. I felt an excitement at the same time on how it would all turn out.
Vanderlust opened its first store in September 2016 in Tomas Morato. Since then it garnered favorable responses from their patrons. After less than two years, here they are opening a branch in The Podium Mall in the Ortigas CBD. It opened its doors (soft opening) on July 1, 2018.
This is my first time to try their food and I am so excited.
Chorizo & Roasted Garlic Potato Soup (Solo – Php178 | Sharing – Php348) – “A hearty serving of creamy potato soup spiced with Spanish pork sausage”
This potato soup was really thick and creamy at the same time, the Sausage bits were soft and flavorsome. This is such a great way to start a meal.
Sopa de Tomapepino (Solo – Php168 | Sharing – Php328) – “Sun ripened tomatoes team up with the cool cucumber to make this soup both filling and refreshing”
I usually don’t start my meal if this is the soup because of my acid reflux but surprisingly, this wasn’t too acidic. The tomato sauce was balanced along with its cucumber and other herbs and spices.
Cacio e Pepe Classic – (Php248) – Cacio e Pepe literally means “Cheese and Pepper.”
“It is one of the classic pasta dishes in Rome. And it is widely known as the late Anthony Bourdain’s favorite pasta”
This dish has no pretension. Simply delicious as it is. The chewy cheese on top of the al dente pasta were so good together.
Cacio e Pepe Mushroom Truffle– (Php428) – “This version of the classic pasta is infused with rich and creamy Mushroom Truffle flavor”
So much love for this pasta. One of my recommended dishes here in Vanderlust. That’s a fried cheese on top. And the smell of the truffle flavor, it’s pure delectable.
Schweinekotelett with Mustard Cream Sauce – (Php498) – “Porkchop with creamy mustard sauce, German fermented cabbage and mashed potato. Pork skin cooked to crackling perfection from that Schweinshaxe inspiration. This dish was inspired by one of the most famous dishes in Germany , the Schweinshaxe – roasted pork knuckle with crispy skin”
The pork skin was really sinful because it was addicting. It was still juicy and tender at the same time. The mashed potato was probably one of the best I’ve tried so far.
Il Tricolore (Php748) – (“The Italian Flag”) “Almond crusted Salmon served with leek cream, pesto risotto and cherry tomatoes. The colors of the Italian flag – green, white and red – was the inspiration for this dish”
That Almond crusted Salmon was really good. The Salmon was fresh in every bite. I enjoyed the crispiness of it. The Pesto Risotto did not disappoint, too. It goes perfectly well with the Salmon. All of the flavors were there. Feel the softness of the Risotto and the crispiness of the Salmon in your mouth. It was really such a memorable dish for me.
Il Naufrago (Php478) – (“The Cast Away”) – “Stuffed crusted chicken breast resting on top of herbed pilaf surrounded by marinara sauce garnished with essence of basil.”
That chicken breast was still tender and moist. I so love the marinara sauce, too. They’re perfect plus the
Schneeball – Original (Php135 | Chocolate Dough Php165) – The “Snowball.” It is a ball-shaped shortcrust pastry with flavored coating and filling. It has a 300-year old history and tradition, from Rothenburg ob der Tauber; Germany
I just think the chocolate coating were a bit sweet for my liking.
(The Podium Exclusive)
Dutch Baby – “There are different stories about the origin of this dish. One story comes from an American magazine which stated that it was first introduced as a derivative of German pancakes in a Seattle café. Others say that the “Dutch” moniker refers to the group of German-autonym “Deutsch.”
Baby Breakfast (Php298) – Kielbasa. Poached Egg. Arugula. German Sweet Mustard
This is the dish that I’d order over and over here at Vanderlust. The sweet based pancake and savory sausages were a great mix. Add the poached egg and Arugula, too. Everything in this pot is just amazing. What’s interesting to me was the German Sweet Mustard. At first, when I heard mustard, I thought it’s going to be the usual sausage with mustard with just a tiny bit of sweetness to it, but I was amazed by the flavor it provided on this dish. It wasn’t all sweet and sourly. There’s more to it.
Lagerfeuer “Campfire” – Marshmallows roasted over flambéed mangoes
This looked like a dessert to me. I love Mangoes I am just not sure about Marshmallows but their combination is still
The Millefeuille – (pronounced “meel-foy”) literally means “thousand leaves.” It is a classic French pastry made up of crispy and airy puff pastry and decadent cream, making it both rich and light at the same time. We have two versions: the Classic (Php100) and the Cheesecake (Php130).
Gianduiotto (Php185) – A chocolate originally from Piedmont, in northern Italy. It takes its name from Gianduja, which is a chocolate spread containing hazelnut paste and chocolate. A continental block during Napoleon’s reign made it very difficult and expensive to import cocoa so the chocolatiers from Piedmont had to be creative. It was then necessary for them to incorporate a locally grown produce the region is well known for – hazelnut! Did you know? The first iteration of Nutella was named Pasta Gianduja!! When Mark and Valerie traveled in Europe, one of the “souvenirs” they collected were chocolates! There were so many varieties – from the Austria’s Mozartkugel to the rich assortment of London’s Cadbury – they just had to try some!
This is has a hard coat and soft filling. I really think that it tasted like one of the chocolates I used to buy, but this is more on the darker, a little bit bitter that’s why I more prefer this than the other. It’s a must try, too.
Overall dining experience was amazing. I was able to get to know the story behind Vanderlust and its delicious food that they offer. So, if you want to have a taste of Europe, you should give them a try soon.
Address: Fifth Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City