The first time I visited Runner's Kitchen was for a meeting. The location was a bit odd, beside the creek along the periphery of Tomas Morato and E. Rodriguez. In my mind, it would be like a gym with a milk tea shop serving protein shakes. It was nothing like that at all.
The earthiness of the wooden fascia extends to its interiors, which feels like a well-appointed Baguio B&B. A central wooden table awaits a big group or individuals willing to share a table during a meal.
Quirky lighting fixtures ang wall decor add to the coziness of the whole place.
Being wary of menus that group "proteins" or "carbohydrates," it took me some time to decide on what to order first. Without much expectation for taste, I decided to order the Healthy Whole Wheat Nachos and Spicy Tuna Quinoa Roll.
The nacho platter was overloaded with toppings but was good for one person, two if you're dieting. Instead of ground beef, the meat topping was mad of crispy adobo flakes which gave the appetizer an interesting Filipino touch.
|Healthy Whole Wheat Nachos|
The Spicy Tuna Quinoa roll, is a Japanes maki roll that uses Quinoa instead of Rice.
|Spicy Tuna Quinoa Roll|
Quinioa is grain crop cultivated as early as 4,000 years ago in the Lake Titicaca Basin in South America. It became wildly poplar amongst the health conscious as a substitute for white carbs like bread and rice because it had a high protein and low gluten content. In fact, 2013 was declared by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), as the International Year of Quinoa.
|Photo courtesy of Michael Hermann for cropsforthefuture.org|
The dipping sauce is not served on the side, instead it's integrated in the plating, drizzled in waves over the rolls along with toasted black sesame seeds. Interestingly, it's not that spice and the sauce is on the sweet side.
|Spicy Tuna Quinoa Roll|
Then there was the Chicken Malunggay Pesto on Whole Wheat Pasta which I ordered with trepidation because whole wheat pasta tends to absorb water more than your regular supermarket pasta. This often results in a bland dish. The chef, however, worked on the nuttiness of the whole dish, layering the taste one upon the other from the pasta to the pesto. The malunggay, as you can see on the pic, is not evident. So, I guess it was added for the nutritional value more than for the taste. If nutty is your type, then this dish will work for you.
|Chicken Malunggay Pesto on Whole Wheat Pasta|
On two other occassions I tried two other dishes.
The Crispy Beef Tadyang (rib) which I asked to be served with instead of the carrot potato mash. It is as spartan as it looks. The combo of lightly spiced beef, brown rice and some veggies is a heavy meal for those who are not looking to be wowed.
The other dish I had tasted was the Prawn and Quinoa with Sun-dried Tomato Sauce which the restaurant boasts as one of its best-sellers. And no wonder, it was bowlful of complementing flavors and the fresh veggies balancing the soft and fleshy textures of the quinoa and prawns.
The place, which seats less than thirty gets filled up on some days, so don't go looking for a quiet dinner.
Address: Ground Floor, Creekside Square, Tomas Morato Avenue, Kamuning, Quezon City
Telephone: (02) 415 6870