December 23, 2013
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 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. :)
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.
Facebook: Green Pastures Resto
2. VASK GALLERY
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! :)
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)
Related Blog Posts:
- OAP | VASK: Traditional Basque Cuisine and Modern Gastronomy
- Cheryl Tiu | VASK’s new 14-course degustacion menu
3. STOCKTON PLACE
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.
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!
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
(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.
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
5. GRACE PARK
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.
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).
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)
Facebook: Grace Park
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 :)
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!
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
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...
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
- 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 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:
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.
5782 Felipe St. cor. Polaris St., Makati City
Telephone Number: +632 895-1919
Sunday to Wednesdays - 11.00am to 12mn,
Thursdays to Saturday - 11.00am to 3am
9. MESCLUN BISTRO
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):
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!
The 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
Telephone: +632 238-2264
Mobile: +63 926 727-9465 (Globe); +63 919 806-0358 (Smart)
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,
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 :)