MANILA, Philippines – A toast to good health, and elevated cuisine – Sante and Meraki are proof that good food and healthy eats are not mutually exclusive.
These two restaurant concepts are the newest brands under the Visum Ventures Group, currently one of the country’s fastest-growing players in the F & B industry.
Creating waves among food-loving, discerning diners, they’re located in one charming space that shares an open kitchen. You can order from either one or both, whichever strikes your fancy.
Sante makes eating healthy a delightful dining experience
Sante means health in French, often used as a toast to wellness. Add the chic ambiance and topnotch service to the equation and guests can expect a delightful dining experience. From the cozy space, tasteful interiors, and refreshingly healthy food, the menu can easily take guests from brunch to cocktails.
A few of their healthy breakfast options include their whimsical Signature Mini Croissant Cereal that has homemade mini croissants, fresh strawberries, edible flower, served with T2 Tea-infused Very Berry milk. Not to be missed is their Mushroom & Truffle Sourdough made with fresh mushroom, drizzled with truffle oil and topped with fresh parsley on toasted sourdough.
Their delectable tapas selection has their Tuna and Avocado Tartare with fresh tuna and avocado drizzled with sesame oil, topped with micro greens. The crowd favorite Squash Blossoms is a delightful starter of squash flowers with goat cheese, served on a bed of Napoletana sauce and topped with micro greens.
The menu reveals interesting signature dishes, such as the delicately light Pumpkin Risotto, topped with goat cheese and balsamic glaze; Chicken Marsala, a moist chicken breast with cream and Marsala wine, adding depth and contrast, topped with fresh mushrooms. Then there’s the Beef Pot Pie, a dish sure to bring comfort. Sante elevates this humble, traditional dish and made it more savory using a well-balanced combination of beef, potatoes, carrots, and red wine in a puff pastry.
A fitting end to a meal is the choice of desserts: Mike’s Mess, Mike Hilton’s (Visum Ventures Group’s founder, and CEO) take on the Eton Mess, has fresh cream, strawberries, and passion fruit in a crunchy merengue. The Mango Crème Brulee Cheesecake is delightfully light and airy, not the usual dense cheesecake that can be found on most dessert menus in Manila. The T2 Tea Mangoes & Cream tea-infused cheesecake has a macadamia & almond dacquoise crumbs, that’s gluten-free to boot.
Meraki, elevated Greek cuisine
Greek food is based on simple yet elegant flavors, giving diners a quick trip back through the rich history of Greece. Meraki, a modern Greek word used to describe doing something with passion, soul and creativity, offers this experience through its elevated cuisine.
Looking to have a leisurely brunch? Their Smashed Avocado has halloumi cheese, poached eggs, and toasted sourdough.
The flavors are diverse, from subtle to robust, healthy to hearty. For instance, the quintessential, Beef Moussaka. One of the most recognizable Greek dishes, it made hearty and flavorful with layers of beef, eggplant and potato and topped with a decadent sauce.
Meraki also has the Salmon Tzatziki, fresh salmon lightly pan seared, served with crunchy asparagus and fresh thyme. Their Lemon Chicken is pan seared chicken on a bed of potatoes, oregano, lemon, and fresh thyme. For meat lovers, the Filet Mignon is served with herb butter, olive tapenade, grated cured egg yolk, and peppercorn sauce.
The Chocolate Lava Cake is a chocoholic’s dream come true, served with almond dacquoise, vanilla bean ice cream and dehydrated strawberry.
And for those looking for healthy drinks, their freshly-squeezed juices have refreshing variants – from the crowd-favorite orange juice, to their special Immune Booster that has green apple, cucumber, celery, kale, lemon, and ginger, and their Tropical Sunrise with watermelon, pineapple, passionfruit, and orange.
A passion for health and wellness, since 2019
Sante & Meraki are just two of the new concepts created by Visum Ventures, the group that brought Koomi, Manila’s favorite drinking yoghurt, to the Philippines. The company has always believed that healthy eating need not be bland and boring. Sante is the premium casual location for their Zig brand, known for healthy made happy dishes. Meraki is the elegant version of their Oh My Greek!, originally a grab and go concept for accessible Greek food.
As the pandemic turns lives and businesses upside down, Visum Ventures soldiers on to become one of the more innovative restaurant groups that has thrived, growing these concepts and launching them during the crisis.
At its helm is its young and energetic founder, president, and CEO John-Michael “Mike” Hilton. The signature dishes and cocktails at Sante and Meraki will showcase nuanced and delicate flavors meant to be savored and enjoyed, without making you feel the guilt of indulging in a heavy meal. He personally led the development and curation of Sante and Meraki’s menus, together with his research and development team of chefs.
Mike was born in Zamboanga but raised in Sydney, Australia since he was 6 months old. He started his career in hospitality at the young age of 13, rising from the ranks washing dishes and waiting tables. His love for food and travels inspired him to develop menus, in collaboration with his team. He was also influenced by Sydney, a city known for its vibrant food scene. In 2016, Mike moved back to the Philippines to take over management of his father’s businesses.
It was in 2019 while exploring Sydney, when he and Ahtisa Manalo, now one of Visum’s managing directors, became curious about Koomi, impressed by the long queue of people patiently waiting to be served. Their first sips of this yogurt drink got them hooked and decided that to bring the brand to the Philippines. That was how Koomi and Visum Ventures started.
Together with chief finance officer Adrian Luansing, chief marketing officer Andrew Neri, chief human resources officer Hyacinth Luansing, and Marketing Director for PR and social media Ahtisa Manalo, Mike established Visum Ventures,
As the world faces a post-pandemic era, Visum Ventures and its growing brand portfolio infuses its DNA of fun, flavorful and healthy food at accessible price points.