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April 19, 2019


“Amazing!” we say in chorus. “I love it,” says me. So we chased the Green Mondays buffet at Grand Hyatt Manila and focused on one line or row of vegetarian, vegan and otherwise “Plant-based” moussaka, Cabbage rolls, burgers, and sausages. I headed for the Beyond Meat burger, slathered it with ketchup and horseradish, and enjoyed.

My friend Reena headed for the moussaka and cabbage rolls and told me “you can find ‘meatless versions’ of these” not knowing that what she tasted was already meatless. That’s how convincing the new tastes of “plant-based” food have become. Even Reena, the meat-lover and foodie, was convinced.

Why go plant-based if you want to see and eat sausages and burgers? It’s like the thought of vegans eating Vegan crispy pata and Vegan lechon. Well, guys, it’s not about religion or beliefs in saving animals—it’s about saving the Earth. Cows emit methane which causes Greenhouse gases (GHG) and beef production consumes more water. Need I say more?

So, with these future foods, we get to enjoy the tastes of burgers, sausages and soon tacos without harming the Earth further. Of course, we cannot resist an occasional Wagyu or A5 Miyazaki beef, but Green Mondays are a good start. Imagine half the world eating NO beef on Mondays?

What are the advantages of a plant-based diet (even just once a week)?

  1. We help save water. Plant-based food uses half a gallon of water vs. 53 gallons for cows for every pound of beef produced.
  2. My burger was just 270 calories of pure plant sources, instead of 500 or more for meat burgers.
  3. Your digestive system gets a break. Imagine a rest from continuous digestion. I practice three-day breaks between meat and non-meat. They say it takes 72 hours for the meat to completely leave your system.
  4. You feel lighter eating these new meat substitutes.

(From left): Reena Francisco, Executive Chef Mark Hagan, Karmina de Ungria, and me

The importer of this revolutionary food is happy that Grand Hyatt Manila started the introduction of “Beyond Meat” in their outlets including Room service.  We spoke with Executive Chef Mark Hagan who caught me dressing my burger. “We do it for sustainability,” he proudly shared with us as we chewed on our burgers. It also helps that the vegetarian community has already discovered the 50% green buffet on Mondays.

The other half is still traditional grilled meats, steaks, sushi, local fare, and fresh seafood. But a whole row of vegetable dishes – tempura, kimchi rice (must try), Char Kway Teow, Mabo Tofu, moussaka, and cabbage rolls—is heaven for vegetarians. Vegans have choices too—salads, grilled vegetables, and beans, lentils, and pulses.

The buffet also includes fresh fruit juices, beer, white and red wine (unlimited) and a whole row of desserts.

On days when it is not a Green Monday, the “beyond meat” burgers and sausages are served ala carte. But trust me, the buffet is the way to go!

What’s your next Monday going to be like? Make it green, sustainable, and eco-friendly.



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