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tampabayrealtor

Going to Manila, Philippines - Restaurants?

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I've searched the site and can't find ANYTHING about dining out in Manilla. Does anyone have suggestions, or could you point me to a good resource? Will be there for a little over a week and would like great local food ranging from local dives to the finest restaurants. Thanks in advance!

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I've searched the site and can't find ANYTHING about dining out in Manilla.  Does anyone have suggestions, or could you point me to a good resource?  Will be there for a little over a week and would like great local food ranging from local dives to the finest restaurants.  Thanks in advance!

CAV at Bonifacio High Street is great. People Palace at Greenbelt 3 is also excellent.

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I've searched the site and can't find ANYTHING about dining out in Manilla.  Does anyone have suggestions, or could you point me to a good resource?  Will be there for a little over a week and would like great local food ranging from local dives to the finest restaurants.  Thanks in advance!

CAV at Bonifacio High Street is great. People Palace at Greenbelt 3 is also excellent.

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Hi Tampa Bay Realtor, I'll share part of an e-mail I sent to a guy who was inquiring me before about the same thing.

I live in Quezon City, and for now there aren't a lot of shopping malls, so restaurants are still located on main streets. Be sure to check out Tomas Morato Avenue, where it's one restaurant after another. Café Juan is a good Filipino restaurant. Also on Tomas Morato is Restaurant Uno, which is not a Filipino restaurant per se but it is my favorite and has a good blend of classic and unique dishes. A few minutes away you have West Avenue, where you will encounter KKK and Kamay Kainan (literally "Hand Eating"). I wanted to cite a good eat-all-you-can buffet (so you can sample plenty of Filipino dishes in one go) and it looks like Kamay Kainan is it. KKK is an a la carte Filipino restaurant that also has had a lot of good reviews.

In Manila (proper), Remedios Circle has Café Remedios and Café Adriatico. The former is a well-renowned Filipino restaurant. You might also like to eat at Aristocrat nearby: their chicken barbecue is what all chicken barbecues here aspire to be. Traveling along Manila Bay you might see some dampa, which is a restaurant next to a fish market (don't worry, the eating area has a boundary and is not fishy at all) so you can choose your fresh catch and have it cooked and served on the spot. Pantalan near Manila Hotel is such a place.

In Makati you have several high-end restaurants, most of which are associated with shopping malls. Greenbelt in Ayala Center seems to have accumulated most of them. Sulohiya and Sentro are two good Filipino-themed restaurants. If you're suddenly not feeling Filipino food, just take a walk around Greenbelt-- the selection will wear you out. I'm talking three buildings-- a total of 7 floors of restaurants.

In Taguig, a short distance from Greenbelt, you have Serendra and The Block, which is not really a shopping mall but totals three blocks of shops and restaurants. Serendra is battling Greenbelt for restaurant supremacy. I haven't eaten here often (the prices at one restaurant, Mezzaluna, shocked me), but you might like to try more reasonably-priced fare at Conti's (mixed cuisine).

In San Juan, Greenhills shopping center will just blow you away in terms of density. The stalls inside are jam-packed with knock-offs, jewelry, local handicrafts, and pearls. (Just beware pickpockets.) They have some restaurants-- Arya (Persian cuisine) was named best restaurant by a high-society magazine here. The only French-style patisserie, Bizu, can also be found here (though it has a branch in Greenbelt also).

Long story short-- if you're feeling confused, it helps that all sorts of restaurants and fast food places have aggregated in shopping malls. Though there are still a lot of gems that are located on the streets.

http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/20...o_filipino.html

Our Awesome Planet is a great site. Above I've linked to its review of Bistro Filipino, a place I forgot to mention above.

EDIT: I just now realized that KKK must sound alarming. It stands for "Kataastaasang Kagalanggalangang Katipunan" ("Highest, Most Honorable Organization"), a revolutionary group during the Spanish occupation, formed in 1892.


Edited by jumanggy (log)

Mark

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Has anyone been to Antonio's Fine Dining in Tagaytay? It made the Miele list (not that I have a high opinion of that list) of top Asian restaurants. The blogs I've read seem to like it, but I'm still wary...

Would it be worth a trip out to Tagaytay from Manila?


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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Yeah, I think Tagaytay is well within reach travel-wise. Two hours south, and shorter if you make a run for it before the morning traffic.

I did eat at breakfast at Antonio's once. It was a good experience, even if it was one of the more expensive ones (not saying much in the Philippines). I'm not much of a steak person (blasphemy, I know, but hey, I'm a dessert guy, heh), but I was impressed with the quality of the food. Even if you ultimately decide it's not for you (you might prefer their more casual grill, or Sonia's garden, or, uh, Josephine's), a trip to Tagaytay is a great way to get some fresh, cool air and great produce without having to take a long trip.


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Yeah, I think Tagaytay is well within reach travel-wise. Two hours south, and shorter if you make a run for it before the morning traffic.

I did eat at breakfast at Antonio's once. It was a good experience, even if it was one of the more expensive ones (not saying much in the Philippines). I'm not much of a steak person (blasphemy, I know, but hey, I'm a dessert guy, heh), but I was impressed with the quality of the food. Even if you ultimately decide it's not for you (you might prefer their more casual grill, or Sonia's garden, or, uh, Josephine's), a trip to Tagaytay is a great way to get some fresh, cool air and great produce without having to take a long trip.

I'm not much for steak, either! The food at Antonio's seems to be French-influenced. Is that right? I sort of doubt I can get any kind of French-influenced food in the Phil that's better than what I can get in Japan, but I think the price in the Phil would certainly be cheaper! I am curious about what they can do in the Phil, though. Quite honestly, I have a very bad image of food in the Phil, other than "commoner" food.

There are a few other places in that direction that I've read about, which is kind of why I want to head out there (like a place that has good native chocolate).

What did you have for breakfast? Any tocino? I'm looking for an awesome tocino/longganisa place. Even raw would be OK, because we'll have somewhere to cook it! Well, we'll have somewhere the maids can cook it...

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Yeah, I think Tagaytay is well within reach travel-wise. Two hours south, and shorter if you make a run for it before the morning traffic.

I did eat at breakfast at Antonio's once. It was a good experience, even if it was one of the more expensive ones (not saying much in the Philippines). I'm not much of a steak person (blasphemy, I know, but hey, I'm a dessert guy, heh), but I was impressed with the quality of the food. Even if you ultimately decide it's not for you (you might prefer their more casual grill, or Sonia's garden, or, uh, Josephine's), a trip to Tagaytay is a great way to get some fresh, cool air and great produce without having to take a long trip.

I'm not much for steak, either! The food at Antonio's seems to be French-influenced. Is that right? I sort of doubt I can get any kind of French-influenced food in the Phil that's better than what I can get in Japan, but I think the price in the Phil would certainly be cheaper! I am curious about what they can do in the Phil, though. Quite honestly, I have a very bad image of food in the Phil, other than "commoner" food.

There are a few other places in that direction that I've read about, which is kind of why I want to head out there (like a place that has good native chocolate).

What did you have for breakfast? Any tocino? I'm looking for an awesome tocino/longganisa place. Even raw would be OK, because we'll have somewhere to cook it! Well, we'll have somewhere the maids can cook it...

Just got invited to a wedding shower for one of the ex nannies - tocino in my future!

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Hi Rona-- it was a while back (before I developed any interest in food at all), but I don't recall the breakfast having much of a Filipino flavor. I could be wrong-- haven't recently read the reviews of the place either.

My preference for tocino is either Pampanga's Best or Tita's. I dunno if there is really a place out there that cooks tocino the way I like-- deeply caramelized (scorched in places) and syrupy. Only Jollibee comes close to cooking it this way. You'll have to boil the tocino in a bit of water, then as the water dries up and the sugars start to caramelize, add a bit of oil and fry until it starts to blacken and the pork is a deep red. It's a bit of a pain to clean up the pan afterward (use a pan that can handle a lot of scouring), but totally worth it in my opinion.


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Any favourite cake shops or bakeries in the Manila area? Cakes and other sweets are the one area that I think Filipinos excel at (in terms of cooking). I'm looking mostly for ensaimada, sans rival, chocolate cakes, mocha cakes, brazo de mercedes, sans rival, mamon. . .

Basically anything yummy. I've been reading Dessert Comes First for hints, but am always looking for others.

I think I'm staying in the Greenhills (Green Hills?) area, so something local would be nice, but we'll probaby have a car&driver and will be willing to travel for food.

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Any favourite cake shops or bakeries in the Manila area?  Cakes and other sweets are the one area that I think Filipinos excel at (in terms of cooking).  I'm looking mostly for ensaimada, sans rival, chocolate cakes, mocha cakes, brazo de mercedes, sans rival, mamon. . .

Yeah, I suppose DCF would be a good place to start, and maybe she can recommend a good sans rival (not my cup of tea-- too buttery and nutty!). As for the more general bakes-- brazo, mamon, puto-- Goldilock's is still a good bet and quite accessible. Don't buy their cakes though, they've taken a nosedive in quality. Red Ribbon actually came out on top (which is weird because 5 years ago I would have said the exact opposite), so you might want to try the usual fudge cake with natilla filling, etc. (I am, however, going for accessibility again... People swear by a certain fudge cake with natilla from a gas station in the Los Banos area, and it's quite good, but unless it's along the way? Forget it.)

There are a few more cake shops (that boast their avocado or ube cakes or whatever), but since I'm not home I can't remember what it's called! It's near Greenhills, near where the Homemade Carrot Cakes are sold (sorry I've forgotten!). In any case, I've never tried the cakes either so that's probably why the name's not sticking :)

Mary Grace, which you can find in the arcade area beside Unimart (along with a few dozen other stalls throughout Manila), have great ensaymada (the sponge type, not the coiled panaderia type), lemon squares, and cheese rolls.

If you're in luck, there may be a pastry fair at the basement of Power Plant (Rockwell), but Valentine's will be long over before you arrive, I think, so they probably won't set up. I've had the best macaron de Paris in Manila there.


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Yeah, I suppose DCF would be a good place to start, and maybe she can recommend a good sans rival (not my cup of tea-- too buttery and nutty!). As for the more general bakes-- brazo, mamon, puto-- Goldilock's is still a good bet and quite accessible. Don't buy their cakes though, they've taken a nosedive in quality. Red Ribbon actually came out on top (which is weird because 5 years ago I would have said the exact opposite), so you might want to try the usual fudge cake with natilla filling, etc. (I am, however, going for accessibility again... People swear by a certain fudge cake with natilla from a gas station in the Los Banos area, and it's quite good, but unless it's along the way? Forget it.)

There are a few more cake shops (that boast their avocado or ube cakes or whatever), but since I'm not home I can't remember what it's called! It's near Greenhills, near where the Homemade Carrot Cakes are sold (sorry I've forgotten!). In any case, I've never tried the cakes either so that's probably why the name's not sticking :)

Mary Grace, which you can find in the arcade area beside Unimart (along with a few dozen other stalls throughout Manila), have great ensaymada (the sponge type, not the coiled panaderia type), lemon squares, and cheese rolls.

If you're in luck, there may be a pastry fair at the basement of Power Plant (Rockwell), but Valentine's will be long over before you arrive, I think, so they probably won't set up. I've had the best macaron de Paris in Manila there.

How can you not like sans rival!?!?!??!?!?! :shock: Nutty and buttery are what make it delicious!

I actually dislike Golidlocks a lot. We went the last time I was in the Phil, and I'm quite sure they used margarine in their sans rival. What's up with that? And most of their polovoron are also made with margarine. Heathens!

I'll look for Mary Grace. I'm planning an ensaimada taste test, so I need all I can get! I want to find that fudge cake. I bet DCF must have something about it. Off I go to look!

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Bringing this back up--will be in Manila for just a few days in December, right before Christmas. I'll miss the Salcedo Market by a couple of hours :sad: , but will be able to make the Legaspi Market on Sunday.

Any suggestions for eats around Makati? Food of any ethnicity, but I'm always on the look-out for a good Filipino breakfast! I'm still on an ensaimada quest, too. I tried Mary Grace and I think Hizon? during my last visit, and thought they both sucked!

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Sorry I didn't see this in time, Rona, but considering how much I led you astray the last time, I'm not sure you would have wanted more of my recommendations! (To be fair, you did skip Cafe by the Ruins...) I'm also not sure if your degree of displeasure with the ensaymada was brought on by its unexpected mutation into closer-to-yeasted-butter-cake territory than the chewy, margarined and sugared coils of bread (which still do exist, though there are no gourmet ones to be had to my knowledge, get thee to a panaderia :) Speaking of panaderias, I can't recall if you went to Sonia's Garden in Tagaytay and had their Spanish Bread laced with crack.

Anyway, I hope you had a great trip and please share any new finds (or disappointments) with us :)


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Thanks for the reply! I only spent about 48 hours in the area, and part of that time was wasted in San Fernando trying to see the Giant Lantern Festival. We ended up eating at a buffet place specializing in Pampangan foods that night.

The only other place I remember eating at was a Vietnamese place in the basement of Rockwell. It was fine for a mid-morning breakfast. I wanted tocino, but none of the restaurants around there really serve Filipino breakfast food.

We did a taste test of various ensaimada from home bakers. That was probably the most fun I had during the trip, even if it involved running around the area to pick them up!

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A buffet? That was probably... Acceptable :)

Rockwell's Power Plant doesn't have a Filipino restaurant in the basement, but at Cafe Via Mare one floor up, they have breakfast. The tocino isn't the sticky, nearly candied variety I love, but it's still good. Then there's Jollibee...


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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I guess Lola Dad's & Aubergine...

but Cebu & Bohol is definitely where its at if you want good food, especially if your a pork lover like me.


Edited by sebastian wilde (log)

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