One of my dad’s long-time friends had invited us to the opening of Namaskar Vegetarian Café in Caloocan City last September 8, 2014, Monday. Luckily, I was on vacation leave that day so I was able to join them for dinner. Food being served at this new establishment is sentient (sattvik) vegetarian that’s good for the body and mind promoting higher consciousness. For that, Namaskar Vegetarian Café has our undivided attention—and there are more reasons why you should be excited, too.

Review of Namaskar Vegetarian Café (Caloocan City)

Ambiance: ★★★★☆

Namaskar Vegetarian Café owners Butch Lazaro (Amitavha), Jesus Gayatao (Jayadeva), Iris Amit-Gayatao and Ricardo Bacani Jr. (Ranjan) firmly believe that the right time has come when vegetarians no longer need to be relegated to the side dishes. More and more health-conscious folks are in the search of a hang-out place where they can gather up and engage in nightlife activities minus the drinking, smoking and other social vices. At this café, there’s a total counter-culture which is different from traditional, old-fashioned, static night bar and restaurant.

Namaskar Vegetarian Café features live bands playing different themes and genres of music (i.e. sentimental, blues, new age, tribal fusion, jazz, etc.) using modern style of instruments to set an upbeat and vibrant mood. The quaint and charming ambiance will delight everyone as pure positive vibration enhances relaxed, peace and serene state of mind.

The interior design of the dining area is decorated simply with artsy paintings hanged on the wall and elegant lights draping from the ceiling for almost every table. All eyes turn to the band in front or at the kitchen counter where orders come out.

It’s worthy to mention that Namaskar Vegetarian Café transforms into a yoga classroom during the day. All dining chairs and tables are moved out and are replaced with yoga mats. At max, the venue can accommodate 16 learners in one session.

Service: ★★★★★

We experienced fast and efficient service on the first day, and hopefully that can remain consistent when more customers visit the restaurant in the months to come. The staffs here are trained to showcase a positive vibration to guests, so you can rest assure that they will do their best to serve you in the friendliest and most graceful way they know how.

Aside from food, Namaskar Vegetarian Café also conducts yoga sessions. Their style is “fusion yoga,” which is a combination of yoga postures/poses from different yoga disciplines/styles though mainly influenced by tantra system of yoga (the oldest and the main origin of all branches/school/discipline of yoga system).

A day at this café starts not with meals but with three hourly yoga sessions: 6AM-7AM, 7AM-8AM, and 8AM-9AM. This is because they believe that exercises (and not only healthy food) should be integrated into our lives’ daily routine to achieve a higher state and sense of existence and attain the optimum level of physico-psycho and psycho-spiritual development. I was like “wow” upon hearing it. It’s the first time we’ve encountered a café offering both food and yoga together.

Food: ★★★☆☆

It’s time to talk food. Since it was their soft opening, they presented a “soft opening menu” to us, and we ordered almost everything written on it. Everything at Namaskar Vegetarian Café is made to order and delivered directly to your table.

First on the lineup were the Shanghai Rolls (PhP 50), which were tender and full of flavor. I bet that even non-vegetarians will want to bite into these freshly fried rolls with shell breaking off in crispy, golden-brown shards to a hot center of the veggie meat filling. So, order it with confidence!

The Seaweeds Fritter (PhP 50) consisted of seaweed blocks which were light, crispy and melt-in-the-mouth good. It’s deep-fried seaweed having a uniquely dry and flaky texture, much like those seasoned seaweed Japanese snacks.

The Spinach Salad (PhP 69) was basic and refreshing. It was just made with a handful of baby spinach leaves and some olives. Taste was original and excellent even without the soy sauce with honey dressing. I prefer adding pine nuts, corn kernels and walnut halves.

Next, the pastas. We tried the three available pastas by Namaskar, and I’m sad to report that 3/3 didn’t pass my taste test. The Pasta Arrabiata (PhP 90) lacked in spice and taste when I was expecting that the Arrabiata sauce in the pasta should be wickedly spicy and cooked with savory garlic, tomatoes and red hot chili peppers.

Similarly, their Ziti (PhP 120) was bland and forgettable. Was this because I’m not a fan of pasta with white sauce? Quite possibly. My mom liked this pasta dish most among all food on our table.

I’m not going to lie. The Celestial Spaghetti (PhP 90) wasn’t too salty or sweet, and that’s okay but the sauce also lacked in the flavor department and seasoning level. I would want it to be bolder and brighter with some added sweetness in the form of carrots. Advancing my hope further, my ideal vegetarian spaghetti consists of a bevy of vegetables including broccoli and mushrooms simmered in tomato sauce until gently cooked and then napped over al dente spaghetti.

Moving on, we also sampled their Honeygoose Sandwich (PhP 40) and Banana Blossom Burger (PhP 69). I didn’t get to try the Honeygoose Sandwich, so you may base judgment on the picture below. On the other hand, the Banana Blossom Burger (puso ng saging patty) is a no-meat burger that you will praise for keeps. Whatever the reason, this needs to be on your table.

Oregano Juice (PhP 65) looked also interesting on the menu so we ordered a glass of it. It was made with highly aromatic extract of oregano, and bits of oregano leaves can be seen on top. The drink was mixed with honey and it was really good.

Price for Value: ★★★★★

While the food should most definitely be the reason to keep patrons returning, I think what we liked the most about Namaskar Vegetarian Café is that it’s the antithesis of every other restaurant we typically find ourselves in. It’s not the coolest thing you’ll come across, and there are no culinary trends on display. Nonetheless, it’s great to have a relaxing meal that’s guaranteed to be healthy. For food that are cooked and prepared with mantra and love, prices are reasonable and are very friendly on the wallet.

Watch out for more updates on their menu very soon! 🙂

Owners inspired to serve humanity by spreading awareness on health and wellness

If you’re wondering about the rates of yoga sessions, take a quick look here:

  • Free – first session (trial)
  • PhP 250 – walk in
  • PhP 2500 – 10 sessions for two months
  • PhP 3000 – Unlimited sessions for one month
  • PhP 4000 – Unlimited sessions for two months
  • PhP 5000 – Unlimited sessions for three months

How to go to Namaskar Vegetarian Café

1. If you’re coming from EDSA South-bound (Cubao), take a bus ride going to Monumento/MCU, alight at SSS Caloocan (a kilometer away from Balintawak bridge), take the footbridge across the other side and from the left you will see and find Namaskar Vegetarian Café just beside Chinabank.

2. If you’re coming from LRT 1 South-bound (Baclaran) alight at Monumento terminal and take a jeep ride going to MCU ikot SSS. Get off before the jeep make a u-turn to SSS. Walk a little bit around 100 meters and to the right you’ll find NAMASKAR Vegetarian café just beside Chinabank. Direction same as if you’re coming from Samson road or McArthur highway.

531 EDSA (beside Chinabank) cor. Biglang-awa Street, Caloocan City 1403 Caloocan
For inquiries, call (02) 4637478, (02) 4637470 or 0918-7840309
Date Published: 09/11/2014
Restaurant operating hours: 10AM-10PM
17 / 20 stars

About 

Digital marketing strategist. Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

Related Posts

100 Responses

  1. mindy

    That’s great to see more and more health conscious kind of eateries popping out, having said that i must admit that i probably wouldn’t go into a vegetarian restaurant willingly *LOL*. The yoga place/restaurant concept’s pretty interesting tho!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Being a vegetarian in Metro Manila nowadays is not the challenge that it used to be. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Most restaurants offer one or two decent vegetarian options. Whaha you have to try this one when you have the chance, Mindy. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Fred

    One of the few times a resto in Caloocan gets featured! And that is a good thing for me. The prices look very attractive as well. But will parking be a problem since it is along EDSA?

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Namaskar is a positive spiritual greeting, so by using it we can improve our interactions and help each other grow spiritually. 😀 Yup, it’s a suitable name for this restaurant. I can’t think of a better one.

      Reply
  3. Tiffany Yong

    Vegetarian food tend to be either very expensive or very unappetizing over here in my country. I like your truthful reviews and look forward to more in future!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks for reading, Tiffany. Going to a vegetarian restaurant years ago meant an unexciting meal of salads or “health food.” But with the openings of restaurants like Namaskar Vegetarian Cafe, we’ve seen more and more that don’t play by the old sanctimonious rules. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Janine Daquio

    Even myself tends to get conscious with what I eat everyday. Puro fats hahaha! But sometimes veggies are still hard to market bec it is unappetizing.

    Reply
  5. Jill

    What a cool place! I love that it turns into a yoga studio during the day and is a nightclub without alcohol or smoking at night. And those Shanghai rolls look delicious.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      The Shanghai rolls is a great appetizer for sharing–that is, if you’re even willing to share it with others. Those pieces can be devoured only by one person. Yup, it’s that good. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Sara

    Vegetarian food when done well…is amazing…I must admit…even as a dedicated food lover. These photos look soooo good! Hope I get a chance to try them out one day.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      You’re welcome, Rachael. We had a pretty long drive to get to this cafe but it was surely worth the trip. Try to attend one yoga session in the morning and enjoy breakfast with them. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Emily

    I always find I’m disappointed with pasta dishes in restaurants. Often I feel that I could make it better at home.

    Reply
  8. Catherine S

    Thanks for the review. Sounds like a great place to go eat especially if you are a vegetarian. The Shanghai Rolls sound and look good.

    Reply
  9. XmasDolly

    Well, although I do love fresh vegetables from my garden, and I’ll eat almost any kind of vegetable (I said almost)… I am NOT a vegetarian. Some of this did look really good though… but I have to have me some meat in my pasta sauce.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha that’s very NOT in all capital letters there. In any case, it’s good to also try vegetarian dishes once in a while. You never know when you’d want/have to be a convert. 😛

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks. You heard me talk about my love for vegetarian food and my adoration for most of the dishes. Now it’s your turn. 😛 The opening of this vege cafe brings a positive new angle to the growing population of vegetarians. 😀

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks, Agarwal. The owners are Filipinos. who just happen to understand and value that vegetarian food should not be compromised and healthiness and taste should be consistent. 🙂

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah, but it’s not only the Indians who are popularly known as vegetarians. Would you believe that there are many countries that are vegetarian/vegan-friendly now? Elsewhere, Barcelona is fast becoming a hot spot for vegetarians. Peta’s choice for the top city in the US this year was, surprisingly, Austin, Texas! 🙂

      Reply
      • Madhavii

        Portland, Oregon is a vegan/vegetarian friendly community, too. It’s not a problem looking for vegan/vegetarian restaurants and vegan supermarkets/groceries here. Namaskar to you and to our fellow friends/owners of the NVC.

  10. Sandy

    Vegetarian food is so good for you – your body doesn’t have to spend the extra effort to digest meat. It looks like a great restaurant with live music and good food.

    Reply
  11. Kaustav Banerjee

    Fantastic pictures! I generally don’t prefer vegetarian food. I love to have non-veg. But these delicious pictures really made me hungry. 😀
    By the way, the ambiance seems awesome. I would have loved to visit this place of it was somewhere near to me.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks, Kaustav! Well, it’s time to put to an end that vegetarian food and deliciousness are mutually exclusive. Many people dislike eating vegetarian delicacies because they think they’re unappetizing. The truth is, they just found a number of restaurants which don’t serve great and appealing vege food. This cafe happens to offer good ones and you have to take my word for it. 😛

      Reply
  12. eliz frank

    What a vibrant place with great good and music. I’d love to share a meal there too. Fantastic!

    Reply
  13. Vanessa Ally

    I like counter cultures and the atmosphere this colorful mixture creates. No matter the dishes are vegetarian they look incredibly juicy and tasty, at least looking at your photos. The place seems really friendly and comfortable for me!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks, Vanessa. 🙂 If this restaurant is just somewhere near my office, I would want eaten here almost every day. 🙂 They have to update their menu soon though so there will be more options.

      Reply
  14. yan

    that’s a pretty neat vegetarian cafe! 🙂 the prices are really affordable! would love to try the oregano juice and spinach salad! >XD thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Reply
  15. Deann

    The Celestial Spaghetti looks yummy! I really want to try the sandwiches! 😀 I’m glad it’s just near Monumento! I’m from Malabon anyways. 😀

    Reply
  16. papaleng

    those foodies are simply yummies. But having a live band playing is what I like most. kasing age ko pa sila. Nice to jam with them.

    Reply
  17. Jayadeva

    Your review of NAMASKAR VEGETARIAN CAFE had gone a long way! More power to you and your family too! Keep the positive vibes always!

    Reply
  18. Kat

    I’ve been looking for a yoga house and a vegetarian restaurant in Camanava area, then I saw Namaskar this morning on my way to work. Then I read this blog. Imagine my happiness 🙂 Great review! I have to visit soon. Namaskar!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.