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Foodie Guide: 10 Most Awesome New Restaurants in Manila 2013! #AwesomeRestos!

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Here's a wrap-up of the 10 BEST NEW Restaurants in Manila where you can have the perfect place to celebrate your special moments this holiday season :)

1. GREEN PASTURES

Green Pastures by Chef Robby Goco-33.jpg

GREEN PASTURES is the farm-to-table, back-to-basics, organic resto of Cyma's Chef Robby Goco. Most of the ingredients are proudly locally-sourced, they don't use MSG or canned ingredients, and nearly all of the items are homemade.

Its name is inspired by the desire to look for greener pastures and something a lot better than the status quo, especially when it comes to the Manila dining scene. Unlike that of its restaurant neighbors, Green Pastures' concept is not a rehash. The excitement for this place is actually reminiscent of when Cyma first opened in Shangri-La Mall.

Yes, the Chef did it again! This is, so far, the BEST among the many successful restos he launched in Manila over the years. This is definitely one of the must-try restaurants of 2013. :)

Read More: 
GREEN PASTURES by Chef Robby Goco: Farm-to-table, Organic Restaurant

VERDICT:

Overall, we really admire the great execution of Green Pastures' farm-to-table restaurant concept, focusing on the use of organic and locally-sourced ingredients and with the committment to back-to-basics preparation by avoiding MSG and canned or commercially packaged products.

We recommend the house-made cheeses, the innovative pasta combinations, the Kitayama Wagyu burger, the popcorn crunch ice cream, and the organic honeycomb dessert. And how could we forget Tequila Joe's iconic salpicao? :)

Budget is P700/head and make sure you're there early.

The facade of the restaurant looks commercialized because it's in a mall and is beside other commercialized restos. It would have been nice if it were in an outdoor-type mall or stand-alone location like the original Cyma in Boracay. I also hope they take the necessary steps to ensure the freshness and cleanliness of their salad ingredients moving forward. 

Congratulations to Chef Robby Goco for a well-executed Green Pastures!  

GREEN PASTURES by Chef Robby Goco
4/F East Wing, Shangri-la Plaza, Mandaluyong City
Telephone Number: +632 654-3219
Operating Hours: Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
FacebookGreen Pastures Resto

2. VASK GALLERY

VASK Gallery Degustacion-11.jpg

Chef J. Luis Gonzales has worked for 3 of the Top Restaurants in the World for 2013 -- #1 El Celler de Can Roca, #4 Mugaritz, and #8 Arzak, all in Spain.

After launching the Vask Tapas Bar featuring traditional Basque cuisine, he is now ready to launch his signature 14-Course Modern Asian-European Degustacion. It's an exciting integration of his learnings from the top fine dining restaurants in Spain, using modern gastronomy techniques and infusing Asian flavors and ingredients. 

This is THE degustacion that Manila will be known for in the culinary world, something we can all be proud of! :) 

Read More: 
VASK Gallery: Chef J. Luis' 14-Course Modern Asian-Western Degustacion!

VERDICT:

Overall, I love the unique combination of textures and flavors in the dishes, and the playfullness of everything without trying too hard. It's a degustacion that Manila  has never tasted before. :) I like that you can finish and enjoy the degustacion without getting too full by the end.

Hats off to the passionate Chef Chele for making us proud with the knowledge that we can execute this kind of degustacion in the Philippines! Compliments also to Carlo Calma for the innovative designs to enhance the degustacion experience. :)

I do hope they add a rice component in one of the courses to stay true to the Asian roots. I also hope the quality of service improves to be at par with the food, the culinary team, and the chef.

A must-try! Best to eat here for a special occasion like your anniversary, or with close friends who appreciate good food and are open to flavor possibilities. Budget is about $115/head.

VASK 14-Course Degustacion: Carluccio Menu
VASK’s 14-course degustacion tasting menu has 14 seats every Tuesday to Saturday, dinner time only.  P4,900/head inclusive of VAT plus 10% tax.

Additional P1,500/head for wine pairing degustacion.

VASK MODERN TAPAS & GASTRONOMIC CUISINE
5th Floor, Clipp Center, 11th Avenue Corner, 39th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
(Beside CVC Law Building, near The Goose Station and St. Michael the Archangel Church in BGC) 

Telephone: +632 217-6563
Mobile: +63 920 974-4742 or +63 917 806-5292
Email: vaskmanila@gmail.com
FacebookVASK Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine
Twitter@VaskManila

✮ - Highlight of the degustacion

3. STOCKTON PLACE

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STOCKTON PLACE is hip and cozy restaurant by Chef Celine de los Angeles hidden in Legaspi Village, Makati City. Its well- curated menu is described by the Chef as “approachable and thoughtful”. 

Chef Celine is a fresh young talent who shifted  from a para-legal and advertising career in LA to a culinary field back in Manila. She graduated in culinary arts from CCA, worked for Manila Peninsula, and hone her craft in The Goose Station before setting up her first- ever Resto,  Stockton Place. 

The buzz about the resto spread like "Wildflour" reminiscent of the excitement around the opening of Lolo Dad's in Malate.

Read More: STOCKTON PLACE by Chef Celine: Hidden Makati Resto Every Foodie is Raving About!

VERDICT:

Overall, highly recommended for its well- executed concept with a carefully selected menu, wine pairings, and sweet endings. The ambiance is cozy, casually cool, with a San Fo resto vibe

Budget P1,500/head for a 3-course meal with wine to P2,500/head if you are getting the raved-about Rib Eye Steak. (The Rib Eye Steak would cost P450/100g usually with 700g minimum weight)

Most of the dishes served are wiped out clean,  a testament to the consistent yumminess of the food. 

You got to try this resto!

STOCKTON PLACE
227 Salcedo St. (corner Gamboa), Makati City
Telephone: +632 844-9530
Mobile Number: +63 917 856-1419 
Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday Dinner 6.00pm to 10.00pm 

 

4. 100 Revolving Restaurant

Chef Jessie 100 Revolving Restaurant-9.jpg
Chef Jessie's 100 Revolving Restaurant is a modern 360 revolving, fine dining restaurant in the Philippines, featuring the classic French cuisine of Chef Jessie Sinsioco of Le Souffle fame.

(Trivia: Manila Royal Hotel's Revolving Restaurant is credited to be the first in the Philippines located in Quiapo, Manila in the 1970's.)

We recently tried it with our Mercato partners, RJ and Vanessa, who are fans of Chef Jessie's food.

Read More: CHEF JESSIE: 100 Revolving Restaurant @EastwoodCityPh

VERDICT:

Overall, we like Chef Jessie's 100 Revolving Restaurant for its excellent and authentic French cooking, served the classic Chef Jessie way. The ambiance has a classic fine dining look but a bit old school. 

It's best to order the dishes the Chef is famous for. The menu is actually familiar if you're already a fan of Chef Jessie and Le Souffle. We recommend the French onion soup, the seared tuna salad, the mushroom truffle pasta, the grilled lamb chops, the chilean sea bass with foie gras, and the souffles for dessert. They also have a good selection of wines that would go well with your meal. 

But aside from the usual favorites, it should also be interesting to try something new from Chef Jessie. Are there any? Do you have recommendations?

So whether you're just searching for a quiet, romantic fine dining evening, looking to host an impressive business meeting, or celebrating a special milestone in your life, Chef Jessie's 100 Revolving Restaurant is the perfect place for you. 

Budget is about P1,750/head for a 3-course meal with wine.

CHEF JESSIE 100 Revolving Restaurant
33rd Floor, MDC 100 Building, C5 corner Eastwood Drive, Quezon City
Operating Hours: 11.00am to 11.00pm
Telephone: +632 962-1016
Email: 100@chefjessie.com
Websitewww.ChefJessie.com 

 

5. GRACE PARK

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GRACE PARK is Margarita Fores' much-anticipated farm-to-table Italian restaurant in One Rockwell in Makati. It is named after her paternal grandmother Angie Geronimo Forés' home in Grace Park, Caloocan (the former Elpo rubber shoes compound).

The concept is inspired by similar farm-to-table, slow-cooking restos in the US (like ABC Kitchen, Vinegar Hill House, and Joseph Leonard). A lot of people have raved about the interiors tastefully done by Jorge Yulo (congrats!). It transports you to a rustic yet industrial loft, making you forget that you are in a mall.

The food is a mix of healthy and sinful comfort food, but the taste is a bit bitin. It adopts the "cleaner" Western taste versus the bolder, malinamnam flavors that some Pinoy foodies prefer.

Read More: GRACE PARK: Farm-to-Table Organic Restaurant by Margarita Fores

VERDICT:

Overall, we love the solid concept of Grace Park, and the resto design by architect Jorge Yulo. :) It's a nice place for a date, a family celebration, or a barkada reunion dinner.

We recommend the pasta dishes, the Muscovado Beef Belly, and the sweet vegetables! It would be nice if the resto can feature the farms where the vegetables and produce come from.

Take note, though, that some flavors may be bitin, especially since a lot of foodies expect bolder flavors like in Lusso. For dessert, go for coffee and cakes in UCC beside it. Budget P1,300/head for a 3-course meal (starter-main-dessert).

GRACE PARK
Ground Level, One Rockwell, Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center Makati
Operating Hours: Open 11 AM to 3 PM and 6 PM to 10 PM
Mobile: +(63 917) 513-8945
Telephone: +(63 939)-93-GRACE , +(632) 843-PARK (7275)
FacebookGrace Park

 

6. VICTORINO'S

Victorino's-28.jpg
VICTORINO'S is a homey restaurant in Quezon City specializing in authentic Ilocano-Filipino dishes with signature cakes by Heny Sison.

It is owned by DV Savellano, the vice governor of Ilocos Sur, his sister Queenie Paras, and family friend Chef Heny Sison. It is a tribute to their father and patriarch of the Savellano's of Ilocos.

Finally, we now have a really good Ilocano restaurant in the Metro Manila.  Also, I'm glad that one can savor Heny Sison's creations in a warm homey setting :)

Read More: VICTORINO'S: Sunday Lunch @ Authentic Ilocano-Filipino Homey Restaurant in Quezon City :)

VERDICT:

Overall, I'm happy that we now have a really good Ilocano Filipino restaurant in the Metro that offers the true flavors of the Ilocos region. Make sure to order the unique Ilocos dishes like Lomo-Lomo, Poqui-Poqui, Kinirog and the popular bagnet with KBL. Best of all, you can end your meal with Chef Heny Sison's cakes :) Budget P500/head.  

It's a great family bonding place, and perfect if you are treating out a balikbayan. Make sure to reserve because they are always full on weekends.

Congratulations Chef Heny Sison, Queenie Paras and DV  Savellano for a well executed Filipino resto concept!

VICTORINO'S
11th Jamboree St cor Sct Rallos Laging Handa, Quezon City
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday 11.00am to 10.00pm
3.00pm to 5.00pm for Merienda Only
For reservations, contact Queenie Paras +63 917 833-4148 

 

7. MARIA LUISA'S GARDEN ROOM

Maria Luisa's Garden Room-27.jpg

There's a secret garden resto at the Makati Garden Club by Chef Sandra Fernandez of Savoy Bistro fame. They serve the Chef's French & European dish specialties and authentic European bread amidst a homey, girly ambiance.

This is a nice place for great conversations over a good meal. Check out Maria Luisa's Secret Garden Room...

Read More: MARIA LUISA's Secret Garden Room @ Makati Garden Club!

VERDICT:

I love the idea that this place is still hidden from the hustle and bustle of Makati, serving fresh European breads and interesting French-European cuisine. The place is girly-romantic, perfect for a girl's night out or a baby shower meet.

Try the salad, cheese fondue, the breads, and the main entrees like the lamb or the steaks. (If you've been here, let me know of any particular dish you'd also recommend).

It's a nice and cozy place to be with friends and family when you're in the Makati area. Budget P1,000/head.

MARIA LUISA'S GARDEN ROOM
The Makati Garden Club
Recoletos Street corner Ayala Avenue, Brgy Urdaneta, Makati City
Telephone: +632 552-7051, 552-7045
Operating Hours:

  • Open Everyday from 11.30am to 9.00pm
  • Breads are available at 10.30am
  • Breakfast 7am by Reservation only minimum of 10 

Note: Cash basis only. Personal Checks are also accepted.

8. EL CHUPACABRA

EL CHUPACABRA-2.jpg
EL CHUPACABRA is the hottest street tacos hang-out place in Makati conceptualized by Dixie Mabanta of Mexicali, Cafe Mediterranean, Fishbar Boracay fame. It is located in the current commisary of Mexicali which turned into a street tacos resto with a Mission St. Sanfo vibe.

It is named after the legendary crypid El Chupacabra which literally means Sucker (Chupa) + Goat (cabra) that sucks blood out of livestock, especially goats.

We love the tacos and the whole streetfood with an expat hangout vibe. Check out El Chupacabra:

Read More: EL CHUPACABRA: Yummy Street Tacos and the "Goat Sucker" Reinvention of @Mexicali!

VERDICT:

Overall, really yummy street tacos and cool Mexican street food ambiance. I love the intriguing name and the story on how this place just organically spread through word-of-mouth. 

It's packed at night and hard to get a seat, specially on weekends. Best to go before dinner time, and avoid it when it rains. Budget about P200/person.

EL CHUPACABRA
5782 Felipe St. cor. Polaris St., Makati City
Telephone Number: +632 895-1919
Operating Hours:
Sunday to Wednesdays - 11.00am to 12mn, 
Thursdays to Saturday - 11.00am to 3am

9. MESCLUN BISTRO

Mesclun Bistro-25.jpg

MESCLUN BISTRO is the casual version of the MESCLUN Restaurant & Cafe in Linden Suites by Chef Katrina Kuhn-Alcantara, also the creator of Chuck's Deli, Paulene Chocolats Suisses, and the now-defunct Cuillere French restaurant.

Its name is inspired by the mixture of culinary inspirations (not only from French cuisine but also from other European cuisines) from Chef Kat's travels and collaborations with other chefs.

It's nice to follow Chef Kat's journey from Cuillere to Chuck's Deli and now to Mesclun. You get to notice the maturity over the years and see her personality in her culinary creations.

I'm happy to know that she's back in Serendra in the original location of the French resto that made her famous in the foodie circles.

Check out Mesclun Bistro when you are in Serendra (where Cuillere used to be located):

Read More: MESCLUN BISTRO (formerly Cuillere) by Chef Katrina Kuhn-Alcantara in Serendra

VERDICT:

Overall, we liked Mesclun, especially the the Watermelon & Feta Roquette salad, the House Cured Corned Beef and the Sarangani Bay Apahap. (Although, we did get mixed reviews for the pizzas-- from the adults and the boys.)

You've got to try their selection of wines when you dine in Mesclun Bistro. Budget about P700/head.

It's a good hangout for a nice meal with wine in the Serendra area. Congrats, Chef Kat!

MESCLUN BISTRO
G/F Serendra Place, Bonifacio Global City (Cuillere's former location)
Telephone: +632 954-2100
Emailinfo@kuhnkitchen.com
Operating Hours: Daily 11.00am - 11.00pm
FacebookMesclun Bistro

 

10. CALDERON

Calderon Birthday-19.jpgThe Little Baguio, San Juan area is starting to feel like Malate and becoming a melting pot of different European and Asian cuisines.

Monchet and Ellen Carballo of Sabor de Espana fame in Salcedo recently opened CALDERON, a Spanish Kitchen and Tapas Bar, together with their partners (including my foodie friend Marmi Perez who is known for her heirloom recipe of Iberian Chicken, and Chef Rafa Ysip who runs the kitchen).

We celebrated our son Raphael's 3rd birthday last Chinese New Year there. Here's our experience:

Read More: CALDERON: Raphael's Spanish Birthday Dinner

Overall, Calderon is a good neighborhood hangout for Tapas + Sangria pairing, Paella and their specialties Pollo Iberico and Cangrejos ala Calderon. Budget about P500-P800/head (it depends if you just want to graze on tapas or if you want to try their main entrees).

Their menu prices are a bit tricky because the price should include VAT, but if you read the fine print, the VAT is excluded. It's best to arrive for early dinner because they run out of the best sellers at night. Make sure to have a reservation if you are a big group and pre-order in advance.

For dessert, I suggest you hop over to La Creperie next door. 

CALDERON Spanish Kitchen & Tapas Bar
Authentic home-style Spanish food, Tapas, Sangrias, Wine and Beers in a quaint, cozy hole-in-the-wall setting in San Juan's new restaurant row
Address: 403 F. Calderon Street, San Juan, Metro Manila
Email: calderontapas@yahoo.com
Telephone: +632 238-2264
Mobile: +63 926 727-9465 (Globe);  +63 919 806-0358 (Smart)
FacebookCalderon
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11.00am to 11.00pm

Note: Credit Cards Accepted. Parking is an issue during the peak lunch and dinner hours.

Live an Awesome Life,

anton  signature
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

P.S. Let me know if there's a new restaurant that opened in Manila this 2013 that is included in your list of Top 10 Most Awesome restaurants in Manila :) 

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Comments

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I must agree with the choices!

I've tried both Grace Park and Green Pastures and they are way overhyped! Overpriced no good food. Grace Park offered the worst Chicken breast I've ever tasted in my life (Their Chiken Scallopine). I only liked one/two dishes from Green Pastures among the 6 we ordered, and service was terrible!

Theres a new branch of Mesclun Bistro that just opened at the G/F of Eastwood Mall

6 out of 10 :-D your reviews helped a lot Mr. Anton! Cheers to a more awesome 2014 for the food industry!

Hi Anton! Mesclun is also available at the ground floor of Eastwood Mall :)

You can try checking Pio's Kitchen at Sct. Fernandez QC. Really awesome spanish food! Way better than Calderon.

Hi, Anton, I like your list, from high end like Vask to hole in the wall El Chupacabra.

However, I feel 3 other restaurants should be included in your list (My opinion):

1. Rambla- Good Spanish food that's actually edible and filling!
2. Recess- By far, this is Chef Chris Locher's best restaurant, tailoring to the Manila crowd, with a cool hip industrial place to boot.
3. Kettle- I never thought I'd like a Mall restaurant, but Kettle is an exception! Their much instagram-ed and blogged about Butter Milk Fried Chicken and Pork Potato Strips lives up to the hype. I'm surprised you didn't include Kettle on your list, as it's at Par, or even better than Green Pastures, located also in Shang Mall.

Hi Coconut,

Thanks for the comments! Yes, you are right I should have included them.

I was actually contemplating of including them but got mixed reviews from different people.

I'll probably release a top 20 list which would certainly include them and a lot more other restos that we like.

Anton

Been to all 10 and I only liked 3- Vask, El Chupacabra and Revolving Resto of Chef Jessie.
I agree with commenters above on Pio and Kettle. Pio's Kitchen serves the to-die for-need lipitor- bagnet Paella, and the sandwiches of Kettle and butter milk fried chicken should be included here.

there is another nice restaurant, 8 Street Bites restaurant at the SM Manila 4th floor facing cinema C. it caters to the students and yuppies, for Italian and Mexican dishes, the best resto in SM. come and visit and try their menu at reasonable prices.

YUmmy!!!

There is no need to ad any "RICE" to the Vask Gallery!!! That would be not selling Spaniard food. Rice is not an important and it is way to simple for the uniqueness that the Vask Gallery brings to Manila. Innovate, try something new....,get out of the routine (hole).

I wanna eat there too! :)

Include Cafe Santijandro! Classy and Elvis Presly-ish style cafe and resto. Definitely worth every penny. :-)

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