The shop looks rather nondescript from the outside save for a simple, elegant signage that announces “Satinka Naturals” and a blackboard that says, “A piece of the mountains in the city”. Well, the second one got our attention. As is common with some other establishments, the promise can be just that – a promise premised on purely commercial purposes, just enough to pull in a customer for the first time but not for a return visit. Happily, Satinka Naturals’ advertising sign is not mere rhetoric. In fact, the more often we visit, the more delighted we are in discovering, not just healthful foods, but also nuggets of health wisdom from its owners, Satinka and Shaller, who both hail from Kalinga.
Approaching the estate of Hacienda San Benito, we look up to see the view of Mt. Malarayat standing out in the middle of the Batangas landscape of farms and habitation. Coming off the main road after almost two hours of travel, we pass through eight kilometers of farm after farm, a strip which we learned was known as the Millionaires Row as these are private farms of celebrities and tycoons, on the narrow path leading to Barangay San Benito.
Real good food with the absence of impurities and natural is done by going back to nature. In my recent Tour with Lakbay Norte 2, we visited the isolated forest town of Adams in Ilocos Norte. After our hike to visit Anuplig falls, we had a late lunch where they served us meals which they consider organic. It’s those simple dishes with ingredients freshly hand picked from their surroundings which made them good on their own.
What happens if a young surfer couple decides to build a resort, stumble upon this beautiful spot in the middle of nowhere at Maira-ira Cove, constructs a tastefully east-meets-west design edifice, serve food with ingredients freshly picked from their garden and then regale you with stories in upbeat fashion? That’s Kapuluan Vista Resort for you. We drove hours under the stormy weather during the Lakbay Norte 2 and was glad to find this warm and comfortable place for the night just in time for dinner.
THE SETTING: Located in the heart of the Makati business district, just a few flights of stairs from Valero Street upwards to Fraser Place Building at Streetside. Le Bistro Vert is a welcoming place, with its high ceiling, cool colors and large windows lending a feeling of being inside a greenhouse. There is a loft for private dining and special occasions and tables outside for al fresco dining.