It was a Sunday afternoon when my family decided to take a hearty lunch that complements our relaxing visit to Laguna’s natural hot spring pools. Thanks to my brother who dropped some knowledge on us about this particular restaurant that serves good food for veggie-lovers like me, we traversed the roads of Los Baños and made our way to Herb Republic.
Upon entering Herb Republic, we were greeted by different paintings in vibrant and earthy colors. Sturdy wooden tables and rattan furnishings, capiz windows, and subtly-lit capiz lamps completed the vibe of a typical home of noble Filipinos during the Spanish-Colonial era. The piano, available for anyone who wishes to play a tune while waiting, fills the space of this cozy restaurant.
I couldn’t wait to place our order upon seeing the menu! The menu showcased sumptuous and affordable dishes from their appetizers down to their desserts, and here, we have come up with our top choices (and we are definitely coming back to try them all!):
Stuffed Tofu (P180) – Bacon-lovers, delight! This generous helping of tofu is stuffed with crispy rolls of bacon and drizzled with a special sauce.
Bok Choy Balls (P176) – Steamed to perfection, this vegetable entrée is packed with nutrients and flavor. My one-year old daughter loved eating her share of bokchoy balls with brown rice.
Pork Basil Lettuce Wrap (P250) – According to the menu, the pork is sustainably farmed and antibiotic-free. For my husband and brother who preferred a meat entrée, we included this in our order. I never expected this to be so delectable until I tried it. The juices of the ground pork and the bright, sweet taste of basil made this dish one-of-a-kind.
Fresh garden salad (P235) – This salad stays true to its name. The fusion of fresh vegetables and organic cheese made the salad so satisfying. It goes well even without a dressing. The dressing, which has a garlicky-ranch flavor, served as a perfect dip for the pieces of crispy flatbread included in the salad.
We stuffed ourselves GREEN with all the veggies. The meal wouldn’t be complete without our fruity/minty brews, namely, Tarragon Iced Tea, Garlic-Kissed Carrot, and, Calamansi with Gotu Kola. Hot tarragon and lemongrass tea (P65/pot) was served afterwards to calm our full tummies.
Mrs. Pearl Pantua happened to be at the restaurant when we dined. She is the wife of the late Mr. Herbert Pantua who built Herb Republic along with his brothers, Rainer, and Homer, and other agricultural experts in 2009. We listened with delight as Mrs. Pantua shared the restaurant’s success stories. Obet, as Mr. Pantua was fondly called, was extremely dedicated to organic farming. He grew organic crops and even concocted a medicine to prevent their poultry and swine farm from stinking. In fact, their neighbors in Victoria, Laguna, were surprised to find a farm within their vicinity because it never emitted a foul smell at all. The restaurant was built simultaneously, and its previous location in Brgy. Maahas allowed visitors to pick their own herbs.
Herb Republic stays true to its motto: From seed to table. Every crop is grown naturally and well-taken cared of, and ready to be served in meals!
Craving for flavorful, healthy, filling, and, reasonably priced food? Visit Herb Republic for your fresh and home-cooked meals, and share your experience with us!
Km 63 Lopez Ave, Batong Malake
Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines
Open from 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM (SUNDAY TO FRIDAY)