Manila’s food culture is growing faster and faster as each day passes. Today, it is easy to satisfy any craving because of the diverse selection of eateries in and around the metro. A simple reservation at Chef William Mahi’s 210 Degrees can quickly transport one to the top restaurants in France. While for those looking for old favorites, it is our delight to report that the gastronomic offerings over at the Champagne Room (located at the landmark Manila Hotel) are still delicious as ever. We decided to conduct a short poll of some of our favorite foodies, asking them: where are you eating these days?
A list about food is never complete without the insights of our very own Editor-at-Large Cheryl Tiu. The famous foodie is known for building a career out of her love for food, which has resulted to her popular namesake blog, a television series, and the events platform Cross Cultures by Cheryl Tiu. Although often spotted on food adventures abroad, Cheryl still has a soft spot for Filipino food. Her current favorite restaurant in the Philippines is Toyo Eatery by Chef Jordy Navarra. Her must-haves on the menu: the pork BBQ served with silog rice. The dish is a play on the classic Filipino street food. Chef-owner Navarra elevates the traditional dish into new levels of gastronomy, using three cuts of pork (the shoulder, butt, and liempo) and cooking it over charcoal and wood. The result: a play on flavors and textures, all while using local produce.
TOYO EATERY is located at 2316 Chino Roces Ave, Makati, 1231 Metro Manila. For reservations phone 0917 720 8630.
It is no secret that blogger, host and fashionista Ingrid Chua is a food lover. All over her Instagram account one can see that she has a particular fondness for the creations of her good friend, Chef William Mahi. “My current favorite is 210 Degrees Kitchen and Drinkery. I love the food above everything else. The staff is friendly and I love the very chill and relaxed atmosphere.” When dining with her close circle of friends at the Fort-based restaurant, Ingrid always finds herself enjoying the flavors of the smoked salmon, the Egg (in which she describes as “to die for”), the fried chicken (“so damn good”), and the mashed potatoes served with it. After a heavy meal, Ingrid always has room for dessert. The restaurant has her “favorite dessert in the Philippines” the Tarte Tatin (or apple tart). She claims that no other restaurant can beat its flavors.
210 DEGREES KITCHEN + DRINKERY is located at Ground Floor, Icon Plaza, 25th Street Corner, 6th Ave, Taguig, Metro Manila. For reservations phone 0995 015 2192.
“Tricky question,” says fashion maven Kai Lim, when asked about her favorite restaurant in the Metro. “My family and I are creatures of habit. We always eat in the same places,” she shares with a laugh. But when forced to answer the question, Kai was able to narrow it down to two choices. The first is Tsukiji, where she admits to loving their Chirashi Sushi. “But my new favorite, that I’ve been dreaming of is the Salted Fried Chicken at Bench Café. I’m not just saying this because I’m biased but I’ve really been thinking about it all week!” We believe you Kai, we dream of it too whenever we see you post about it on your Instagram stories.
TSUKIJI is located at 900 A Arnaiz Avenue Corner Paseo De Roxas Street San Lorenzo Village, Makati, Makati, 1200 Metro Manila. For reservations phone (02) 812 2913.
BENCH CAFE is located at 2/F BENCH flagship store, 9th Ave. corner Lane O, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila.
Karl Chusuey is a world traveler. The 20-something year old gentleman has always been fond of traveling to exotic places around the globe. His love for travel goes hand in hand with his love for food. It even reflects in the signature restaurants within his family business, the Henann Group of Resorts, in which the Chusuey family owns and operates. Whenever in Manila, Karl’s choice of restaurant is M Dining + Bar. He shares that the perfect ambiance, the size, and the delicious French-Italian menu always has him always coming back for more. “The food is always the best version of everything in Manila,” he claims. When dining there, he recommends the grilled prawns on top of chorizo risotto, Tagiolini andochina, the beef cheek, cheese soufflé and for desert, the Ile Flottante with vanilla sauce!
M DINING + BAR is located at 3/F, Alegria Alta Building, 2294 Chino Roces Ave, Makati, 1231 Metro Manila. For reservations phone (02) 810 3565.
Once you’ve been invited to one of the Liechtenstein’s legendary dinners, you will never see food the same way again. Their grand festivities are always an overindulgent (and extremely welcomed) treat for their friends. They transform one of their properties in the south into a food haven, filling single rooms with cold cuts, boulders (literally, large stones carved to be soup bowls) containing soup, edible trees, and exotic ingredients flown in from different parts of the world. As one of Manila’s best hosts, we’re surprised that the future doctor still enjoys eating out. When she does, Lauren has a soft spot for the iconic Manila Hotel and its Australian wagyu tomahawk. “(The Champagne Room) is still one of the most beautiful dining rooms in Manila. How can you not love dining underneath crystal chandeliers while being serenaded by a string quartet?”
THE CHAMPAGNE ROOM is located at The Manila Hotel, One Rizal Park, Manila, Metro Manila, 0913.
At this moment, Auro Chocolate proprietor Mark Ocampo is fawning over Souv! by Cyma. “I love their Roasted Cauliflower with Harissa tomato sauce. And I also love (Souv) because they have a lot of delicious vegetable dishes. You can eat healthier and not feel like you’re depriving yourself of something tasty,” he shares. The young entrepreneur has a growing reputation in the food scene, mainly because of his brand Auro Chocolate, a revelation made from local produce. Lately, he has been participating in several culinary events including Cross Cultures and the Red Charity Gala.
SOUV! BY CYMA is located at Ground Floor, Net Park, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. For reservations phone (02) 9466422.
The young working girl lives a life of fashion with her career as brand manager of several luxury Maisons like Gucci and Givenchy under the SSI Group. When not on her constant travels abroad or sipping cocktails with friends at Makati hot spots, Rach can be found enjoying Japanese comfort food at Kikufuji. “Although the food scene in Manila has boomed tremendously in the last few years, my answer will go to the restaurant that I can eat in all day, any day, and that is Kikufuki. Being a Japanese food lover, this place has no frills, just quality. Not to mention, reasonably priced. The long lines can attest to how good it is,” she shares about the restaurant located in Makati’s Little Tokyo. Her must orders: salmon sashimi, gindara, and the sinful wagyu cubes!
KIKUFUJI is located at Little Tokyo, Central Bus. Dist. Brgy., 2277 Chino Roces Ave, Makati, 1230 Metro Manila. For reservations phone (02) 893 7319.
By Chino R. Hernandez