March 4, 2024

■  Nonnette C. Bennett

Eunoia is like dining in the patio with a view of Mt. Santo Tomas and the soft breeze to cool you on warm days.

A new place with a Greek name that means beautiful thinking or a pure and well-balanced mind, a good spirit, Eunoia has the effect on you after a meal and even with the unusual ambience of eating on a patio.Located at the Summer Place along Marcos Highway in Baguio City, this food hub takes you away from the crowded malls and cramped central business district eating sites.

Eclectic in food preparations, there should be a favorite in the menu for everyone.

Eunoia berry salad has crispy rice noodles in a lettuce based green salad with shrimps, cheese, and peanut brittle with a berry vinaigrette dressing to give it a balance.

Eunoia berry salad is a different combination of green leaf lettuce, salad dressing, shrimp, cheese, and peanut brittle with fried noodles as crunch. Rice noodles are deep fried to a crisp and could be crumbled with the green lettuce leaves or eaten plain. The berry part comes in the vinaigrette with sweet berries and olive oil that gives this blend of greens, noodles, and garlic sautéed shrimps a tangy twist. The peanut brittle chips are there to balance the salty cheese flakes and the sweet-sour dressing. I enjoyed the shrimp heads that were separated from the shelled body. The best part of the seafood is the head where all the dangerous cholesterol lies with its rich flavor. The tender shrimp meat needs to be shelled, which gives the salad more excitement. On its own, this makes for a good meal for light eaters.

Braised beef rendang is a filling meal with deliciously tender beef chunks in coconut milk sauce with turmeric, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg with rice and crispy besuto prawn crackers.

Crunchy tuna tartare is raw tuna cubes on a green lettuce leaf atop a crunchy bite sized taco chip. This is topped with thin shaved squid flakes, if my taste buds are right. Lemon is squeezed on the fish and seasoned with soy sauce; this is a fancy version of sashimi less the wasabi. A perfect match with the salad, the chip gives it a fresh flavor for those who do not relish raw food that much. Perhaps, a request of wasabi could perk this up a little more for those who enjoy sashimi in a different package.

Crunchy tuna tartare is a surprising appetizer with tuna cubes topped with shaved squid flakes and sesame seeds on lettuce and a crunchy taco. 

Beef rendang is Indonesian flavors that have captured the Filipino palate. The tender braised beef chunks that were slow cooked with coconut milk, cinnamon stick, tamarind puree, bay leaves, brown sugar, and salt then sautéed in curry sauce fell apart in the fork. The rich flavor of Asian spices like ginger, turmeric, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and lemongrass stalks on fluffy white rice is a perfect meal. Beef in this edition is different and can be spicy according to your taste buds. There are sliced fresh chili peppers added to the garnish to satisfy the strong chili eaters or pushed aside for those who don’t relish them. The besuto prawn crackers gave this meal added texture.

Buttermilk fried chicken is simply delicious with potato chips and mayo.

Buttermilk fried chicken is an all-Americanrecipe that beats the heavily battered fast-food counterparts. The secret to this recipe is that the chicken is marinated in buttermilk to keep it moist and juicy, then baked before it is breaded and deep fried again to make the skin crispy. This is a must try or an alternative for the children whose diets are oriented towards fast-food chains and potato chips or fries.

There are many more exciting recipes to try here. As this easily converts to a bar, the selection of alcoholic beverages is perfect for a relaxing evening with a backdrop of stars on a clear night. There is ample parking and WiFi too.