With a decision to become a vegetarian comes the acceptance that there are some foods that I love that I will never be able to eat again. One of them is the Ilocos empanada, a half-moon-shaped, deep-fried pastry with meat, veggies, and egg fillings. I still remember the best Ilocos empanada I’ve ever tasted; I bought it from a small stall near a bus station in Laoag. On my recent trip to La Union , my friends and I discovered a vegan restaurant that offers a plant-based option of this pastry, which they aptly named veganada. So see, my fellow vegetarians, all hope is not lost. This vegan empanada is available at Kape de Arko.
Within old church ruins on gravel-covered grounds lay, Kape de Arko, a vegan cafe along the national highway in the municipality of San Juan. The ambiance is rustic and has its charms.
Since everything on their menu is plant-based, my only dilemma was choosing which dish to order. I got Veganada (PHP 50 – USD 0.90) and Plant-based kornbiflog (vegan corned beef). The veganada is made with monggo, squash, and papaya. The taste reminded me a lot of samosas, a famous Indian pastry. The dough was thick and a bit tough, so I struggled to cut it in half. It was pretty filling that by the time they served my kornbiflog, I was already full.
Apart from individual orders, we shared a plate of Stir-fried canton noodles made with cabbage, monggo sprout, carrots, nuts, and sugar-glazed coconut shreds. My friends also ordered Vevengka avocado and Marinara pasta (PHP 180 – 3.24 USD).
All in all, it was a lovely lunch, and my friends, even the non-vegan ones, enjoyed the food that we had. My only suggestion for improvements would be better ventilation. While the place is al fresco, there was no fan, so it could get quite hot, especially in the summer.
Author’s note: Prices may change without prior notice. USD conversion is based on the currency exchange rate on August 6, 2022.
Address: Mc Arthur National Highway 2514 Ili Sur, San Juan, La Union
Business Hours: Mon-Fri – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. | Sat – 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KapeDeARKOSanJuanLU
Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/kapedearkosanjuanlu/