The State of the Nation of Restaurants in Metro Manila

I just came back from a long trip.  And I noticed the places I missed eating at have never even been posted on this blog.  So here’s my list of places I ate at or wanted to eat at when I got back.

The grand poom-bah of all the restaurants right now is Wildflour.  Their kimchi fried rice is to die for, and so is there croque monsieur.  They’re found in Bonifacio Global City (BGC).

Vegetarians, there is Juju Eats on Chino Roces Ext. (formerly Pasong Tamo Ext.) in Makati.

Fiamma is closed, so the best place for drinking is Draft in the Fort BGC, and Power Plant Mall in Rockwell, and Cebu, and soon in Greenbelt Mall.

Speaking about Mexican food, the burrito bowl in Chihuahua is delish.  They can be found on Makati Ave. across A. Venue Mall and in Greenbelt Mall.

Soms still rules the Thai scene.  Get their catfish salad, bagoong fried rice, and mango rice for dessert.  They are found on tiny Algier street near Power Plant, Rockwell.  Or even nearer to Ateneo Law School.  Ask around.

For good affordable Korean, a literal outlier, is Seoul Barbecue on C-5 outside Eastwood Mall.  Too far, if you’re not a local, unless you take a taxi.

Ikkoryu Fukuoka ramen in Shangri-la Mall, SM Aura Mall in BGC and soon in Power Plant, Rockwell wins the ramen wars for me.

Wee Nam Kee on the other hand rules the hainanese chicken rice scene in Serendra Mall, BGC and Ayala Triangle, Makati.

Crystal Jade in Greenhills outside Virramall has the most excellent xiao long bao.  I don’t know how the Singaporeans did it, but they’ve mastered keeping the soup in that little dumpling.  The lemon chicken and the white buns without siopao (asado) meat in them are also amazing.

Bonchon still rules the twice fried Korean chicken scene.  They’re everywhere.

Saboten in Serendra Mall, BGC wins the tonkatsu battle, on the other hand.

I just noticed that we’ve had an influx of good Korean (and Singaporean and Japanese) food lately.

I still keep my fingers crossed for Din Tai Fung one day.

For Italian, it’s still Nuovo Pastelaria in San Antonio Plaza, Forbes Park, Makati. They have the best ravioli. For the best spaghetti and meatballs, go to Charlie’s in Ronac Center, Ortigas Ave. or in Barangay Kapitolyo.

For steak, Handlebar especially on weekends when they have a barbecue. They’re found on Polaris St., Makati. For the best cheesesteaks, Elbert’s in Power Plant Mall, Rockwell.

Oh and how could I forget 2nd’s, the apex of Filipino comfort merienda (afternoon snack) food, but it comes at a price.  It’s found in High Street Mall, BGC.  They also have great Benedict burgers.  Nolita up the road in High Street Central though will give them a run for their money in New York pizza and burgers.

For cheaper Filipino food like halo-halo, in Milky Way on Arnaiz Rd. (formerly Pasay Road), inside Power Plant, Rockwell, and outside Virramall in Greenhills.  Via Mare in Greenbelt 1 Mall, Landmark Shopping Center, Power Plant Mall and now even St. Luke’s Hospital in BGC and it seems much much more ( has the best bibingka.

Kimpura in Greenbelt Mall rules the Japanese food scene and Isshin on Arnaiz Rd. (formerly Pasay Road) the 24-hour Japanese food scene.

And the ultimate in the foodie scene, Salcedo Saturday Morning Market still rules them all.

This was by no means a comprehensive list of all the great food in Metro Manila.  This was just the food I missed when I was away.  So I thought I would just share it with you.  I think I’ll make this an annual list.  To be informative and also to serve as a time capsule 🙂

Now what about clubbing?  I have no idea.  But rumor has it that Club Haze is the newest place to be at.  Followed by Urbn.  Fortunately both at The Fort, BGC.  Republique in Resorts World probably still has some oomph left.  Skye Lounge on High Street caters to the older set.  And probably Prive is awesome, too.  The last place I went to was Relic which is still happening and unpretentious.  But like I said, I’ve retired from the club scene.

And the rocker scene, too.  Saguijo on Guijo St. In Makati is probably still the shizzle (yes, I still use that term) and I’ve heard good things about Route 196 on Katipunan Rd.  If you want to watch Kalayo, they’re there in the Bar 1951  (formerly Penguin) on Remedios Circle in Malate or at 70’s Bistro in Anonas in Quezon City.

Oarhouse and Hobbit House in Malate are good for backpacker drinking.  And Murphy’s in Makati for that Irish pub experience.  Still no Guinness on tap though.

And let’s not forget good, old Big Sky Mind on Broadway Ave. in Quezon City for alternative drinking and Palladium in New World Hotel Makati for alternative clubbing.

And there is still Cubao X and The Collective for the alternative scene.

And how could I forget breakfast.  IHOP is in High Street Mall, BGC but good luck getting in.  Though the lines seem to be shorter.  And if you can’t get into there, there is always Maple in San Antonio Plaza, Forbes Park.  More expensive and not as tasty, but good enough and less crowded (it’s Pancake House).  And there is still good old Paris Delice on Makati Ave.  Mmm, chocolate croissant.

And with that, I go to sleep.  Good night.


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