Likha Diwa Serves Affordable and Approachable Vegetarian FoodFebruary 1, 2015
Vegetarian food has never been that popular a choice in commercial restaurants around the Metro. Although there are several options across the city, some of them can strain an average budget and force you to spend more on meals that can be prepared at home for less. Is it possible to enjoy good vegetarian food in a comfortable ambience? Likha Diwa proves that vegetarian food can be just as accessible as fast food or your more affordable sit-down restaurant meal.
Likha Diwa is located along the busy road of CP Garcia. For residents of Krus na Ligas, the area is familiar and easily locatable; UP students and alumni associate the restaurant with its more famous neighbor, Sarah’s. But Likha Diwa takes you away from the city’s maddening car noise and its neighboring water hole’s rowdier crowd. Upon entering the restaurant’s humble space, you are greeted with a wave of cool air from the plants that make up the interior. The restaurant’s interior is technically open spaced and you can still hear the cars passing, but the cooler space lets you take time away from the busy streets outside. A fountain’s streaming water adds to the zen-like ambience, along with tables that are designed with colorful tiles and mismatched chairs that give the restaurant an interesting design.
The restaurant’s ambience and interior makes it the perfect place to work alone for long hours or to spend some quality time with that special someone. Most restaurants charge extra for providing the same type of ambience, but Likha Diwa keeps things affordable for everyone. Their vegetarian and seafood menu offers all parts of a sit down lunch or dinner: appetizers such as Quesadillas (PHP 135) and Taco Verde (PHP 80); a variety of soups that include Lentils with Seaweeds (PHP 50) and Misua w/Oyster Mushroom (PHP 50); burgers like Mushroom and Chili Veggie Meat; and even value meals like Veggie Adobo and Veggie Bopis.
For our visit, we decided to try out an appetizer, an order that had an “odd” vegetable combination, and a meal that sounded tasty in its description. We got the Shiitake Strips (PHP 95), Pechay Balls (PHP 85), and Pesto Aligue (PHP 100). The Shiitake Strips fulfilled their role as a tasty and satisfying appetizer. The fried shiitake’s batter held well and did not crumble on each bite. The vinegar added a little more punch to the sticks, but each piece was flavorful on its own.
The Pechay Balls were a delightful surprise; like the Shiitake Sticks, the balls were fried yet brought out the vegetable’s signature taste. The pechay’s texture partnered well with the garbanzos inside the balls. The ginger sauce added a spicy yet sweet kick to this green vegetable.
Unfortunately, the Pesto Aligue was a disappointment next to the other two orders. The pasta itself was dry and was obviously reheated instead of being cooked al dente before serving. The sauce made of fresh basil, garlic, and aligue was wasted on the dry pasta. Even the serving itself was too small for its PHP 100 price tag; especially when compared against the lower rates of the other two orders. The pasta should’ve been freshly cooked so that the sauce is better appreciated.
For our drinks, we ordered a glass of Banana Malunggay shake. The combination tasted mostly of banana, but did not have too much sugar unlike other establishments. This allowed the fruit’s flavor to stand out and fill our tummies easily. Unfortunately we tasted little of the malunggay and it only appeared like a garnish mixed into the drink.
Like any other type of cooking or preparation method, vegetarian food can be delicious given the right combinations and a simple yet effective approach. Likha Diwa has been around for a while and its menu offers the right balance between known classics and more experimental alternatives. Although some dishes may need a bit of improvement, the low prices show how vegetarian food can be healthy, tasty, and also, just as approachable as any other cuisine.