February 11, 2014
Searching for a romantic restaurant for this Valentine's Weekend?
If you're looking for the Tried & Tested Romantic Restaurants in the North & South, check out:
- NORTHERN EATS: Manila's Top 14 Romantic Restaurants in the North!
- SOUTHERN EATS: Manila's Top 14 Romantic Restaurants in the South!
If you're looking for something new, here's a wrap-up of Manila's 10 Most Romantic New Restaurants, just in time for Valentine's...
1. BLACK SHEEP
BLACK SHEEP is a Single Malt Whisky Bar and Modern Gastronomy Restaurant by Chef Jordy Navarra, who formely worked at Bo Innovation Hong Kong.
It is co-owned by Chef Jordy together with Jed Tiu Lim, formerly of Attica, Raphael Cruz, son of the late Larry Cruz, and Kato Chua of Super Sale Organizer fame.
They serve a 4-course set menu designed by Chef Jordy, which ranges from P1,900/head to P4,900/head on special occasions (Note: they don't have an a la carte menu). Their selling point is a unique Single Malt Whisky Dinner Pairing experience -- the first of its kind in Manila! :)
We recently visited Black Sheep with our Mercato partners and here's our experience...
Overall, BLACK SHEEP's Modern Gastronomy Set Menu with Single Malt Whisky pairing is very impressive!
I personally like the Kitayama Striploin with Lagavulin, the Chocolate Praline, and the Petit Four featuring the Foie Gras Rocher and Hopia Mani Popcorn Macaron!
I like the Dalwhinnie for dessert and the Japanese Single Malt Hibiki for casual drinking with friends. :)
Congratulations to Chef Jordy Navarra and Pastry Chef Lesley Onghay for the awesome dinner experience! And thanks to Raphael Cruz for educating us and introducing us to the world of Single Malt Whisky!
Budget is P4,000/head for a full dinner with single malt whisky pairing.
Make sure to reserve the Sky or the View tables for the best dining experience. :)
The Penthouse at W Fifth Avenue, corner 32nd and 5th, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Telephone: +632 478-4498 and +632 506 1380
Mobile: +63917 871 4388
Facebook: Black Sheep Bar and Restaurant
Operating Hours: Open from Monday to Saturday 7:00pm onwards
Note: For reservations via phone, call from 1:00PM-6:00PM
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! :)
Here's a photo essay of our experience at Chef J. Luis' 14-Course Modern Asian-Western Degustacion...
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: VASK: Traditional Basque Cuisine and Modern Gastronomy
3. 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
1. Strictly for members only. You can apply to be a member.
2. Cash basis only. Personal Checks are also accepted.
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
CAVIAR Resto & Champagne Bar is an elegant modern European restaurant that showcases Frank van der Walle’s 8-year culinary experience in Europe, and his sommelier brother Bastiaan Van Der Walle's well-curated strong wine and scotch list.
It's the most romantic restaurant in Alabang because of its elaborate interiors and the lovely outdoor setting with vertical gardens.
To celebrated Aidan's birthday, we treated ourselves to their signature Family-Style Sunday Brunch.
Here's our Caviar experience...
Overall, we loved CAVIAR's ambiance, its good menu, and excellent wine selection. We were pleasantly surprised to see such an elegant restaurant hidden in West Gate.
I personally like the Family Style Brunch even though some of the dishes got mixed reviews, like the Chef's surprise dish, the Orange Power shot, and the pastries.
Best if you can request to have the cheese, cold cuts, and honey served first. Make sure you order champagne or wine to compliment your breakfast treat.
I love the atmosphere of the place in the morning, which should surely be more romantic at night. :) Service was good but needs some improvement in attentiveness and familiarity with the food.
We will be back, this time in the evening, to try their a la carte dishes.
Family Style Brunch (Minimum of 4 guests) P790 per Person/P60 for Children under 12 years old.
CAVIAR RESTAURANT & CHAMPAGNE BAR
Unit A-206 Westgate Centre, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Telephone Number: (+632) 552 79 30
Mobile Number: +63 917 868-3080 / +63 906 574-5916 / +63 915 623-7277
Monday to Sunday, Lunch 11.30am to 2.00pm, Dinner 5.30pm - 10.00pm
Sunday Brunch 09.00am to 2.00pm, Sunday Dinner 5.30pm - 10.00pm
RAMBLA is a Spanish Mediterranean restaurant from the owners of LAS FLORES, with Spanish Chef Pepe Lopez as head chef, and named after the famous street La Rambla in Barcelona.
They specialize in Catalan Spanish food with Mediterranean influences. Its modern menu is like VASK, using Modern Gastronomy techniques, plus LU's Mediterranean food.
It was fun ordering something new and exciting. But I think we got carried away trying out all the new dishes and pairing it with wine and their signature cocktail drinks.
Overall, RAMBLA is one of the best places to explore new flavors this Holiday Season. I love the creativeness of their dishes and the availability of a good selection of vegetarian options. I also find their menu exciting and I look forward to going back again to try the other items on the list.
I recommend the Foie Gras Mousse for appetizer, the Marieta and Sicilian Limonata for drinks, and the For Chocolate Lovers for dessert. For the main dishes, we all had different reactions to what we ordered, so I guess this depends on how adventurous you are. It felt like the mains were too creative, with much emphasis on the form rather than on the flavor.
The price of the food is reasonable, but the drinks are expensive. Budget is about P1,500/head for the full experience (i.e. with wine and cocktail drinks).
Congratulations to Uri, Dani, and Sergi for another winning Spanish resto!
Telephone: +632 823-6468
Mobile: +63 926 690-9774
Facebook: RAMBLA PH
DONOSTI is the name of the San Sebastián region in the Basque tongue, known to serve the best Spanish cuisine in Spain. It's one of the best Spanish restaurants in Manila specializing in San Sebastián cuisine.
Here's our experience at Donosti, BGC...
Read More: DONOSTI Pintxos y Tapas: San Sebastián Basque Cuisine in Manila!
We love the San Sebastián cuisine at Donosti! :)
Be sure to order the Octopus, the different tapas, the paellas, and the Chuleton. Budget is P1,500 to P3,000/head, depending on whether you order the steak or not.
DONOSTI Pinxtos y Tapas
Ground Floor, NAC Bldg, 32nd St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Telephone: +632 216-4677
Mobile: +63917 849-2205
Facebook: Donosti Pintxos y Tapas
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday 11.00am to 11.00pm
MAGOSABURO is a posh Japanese restaurant and wine bar hailing from the Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan founded in 2009. The Mago Manila franchise specializes on Mago Kaiseki which is a 9-course set (think degustation) with Japanese Wagyu steak cooked on a Lava Stone as the highlight.
Some foodies are familiar with the Magosaburou in Singapore which is known for its "Ultra-luxurious Japanese BBQ" concept. The Kaiseki focus and the wine-lounge concept sets the Manila branch apart from Magosaburo international franchises in Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Thailand.
We tried the 9-course Mago Kaiseki and sampled a selection of their famed Japanese wagyu steaks during an intimate lunch with the owner a few days after its soft opening.
Here's what we like and some tips to have an awesome experience at Magosaburo Philippines:
Overall, we love the quality of their Japanese wagyu steaks which include the Sirloin, Chuckroll and even the Tomato Sukiyaki version. We also love the flavor of the meat when cooked over the lava stone.
I did not enjoy the ox tongue and the king prawn that much. And, I hope they will have more unique Japanese dessert selections.
This is highly recommended for romantic couples, foodie barkada, or people celebrating special occasions or milestones. Budget P4,000/head for the 9-course Kaiseki meal, or P2,500 if you are going for the sukiyaki.
Congratulations to Abi for a successful opening week of Magosaburo!
Fort Pointe 2 Building, 28th street, The Fort, Taguig City, Philippines
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday 6.00pm to 11.00pm
Telephone: +632 856-1808
Reservations Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: www.magosaburo.com.ph (in development)
Facebook: Magosaburo Philippines
9. THE BLACK PIG
THE BLACK PIG is a Charcuterie (shop for prepared meat products), Bar & Restaurant by Chef Carlos Garcia, former chef at London-based Michelin Star French Restaurant, Gauthier Soho.
He -- together with first time restaurateur couples Steve & Tricia McDonald and Anton & Berna Garriz -- teamed up to offer well-curated, European-inspired dishes with Spain’s black Iberico pig as the highlight. They also offer signature draft beers and a good selection of wines.
The Black Pig has already been making waves in the foodie community. I couldn't believe that such a place could exist in the Alabang area at first, but it's great that it's located in the south for a more casual feel. It's also great that they're family-oriented and most importantly, affordable.
Here's our The Black Pig experience...
I'm very happy that we got to try The Black Pig. I was impressed by their Jamon Iberico, signature dishes, and good selection of craft beers and wines. Best of all, I love the casual family feel of the place and their affordable prices. :)
I recommend starting off with the beer flight, the Charcuterie board, and the Pumpkin Risotto. After, order the grass-fed Rib-eye and pair it with some Rioja red wine. Then end with the Chocolate Praline Mousse.
The only downside for me is some of the dishes are overly presented. I like simple and elegant presentations but still functional. Maybe the servers can also be trained to explain the dishes for a better appreciation.
Budget is about P800/head for a full meal & drink experience.
Congratulations to The Black Pig for providing the best Gourmet Resto & Bar Experience in Alabang!
THE BLACK PIG Charcuterie, Bar & Restaurant
2f The Commercenter Alabang, Commerce Ave. corner East Asia Dr., Filinvest, Muntinlupa City
Telephone: +632 808-1406
Mobile: +63 917 846-2674
Facebook: The Black Pig
Instagram: The Black Pig Manila
10. LE JARDIN
LE JARDIN is a penthouse garden-themed French restaurant by celebrated French Chef Gils Brault, famous for his top-rated Trois Gourmands restaurant in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. It's popular for serving classic dishes cooked the traditional French way, and for making their own breads, cheeses, and desserts.
(See related articles: Time Travel | Hearty French Fare at Ho Chi Minh's Le Toit Gourmand and review at Trip Advisor | Trois Gourmands Restaurant )
Chef Hasset Go of MedChef, together with Chef Jonas Ng of Mango Tree and Huat Pot fame, trained and worked as apprentices under Chef Gils Brault in Vietnam for 6 months. They were able to convince Chef Gils to partner with them and open his traditional French restaurant concept in Manila.
Working with owner partners James Ng, Peter Mangasi, and Mike Tayag, they opened one of the most romantic French restaurants in Manila on the penthouse of W 5th.
Here's a preview of the LE JARDIN experience...
Overall, I love LE JARDIN's romantic French garden ambiance and its penthouse location with a great view of BGC. :) I also like the traditional French way they cook their food, taking no shortcuts.
I appreciate how they insist on making their own breads, cheeses, and desserts to offer the best experience for foodies. They plan to smoke their own salmon, bacon, and other future offerings in the resto. :)
The 4-course Degustation is enough. Just don't forget to order the Assiette de trois foie gras or Soupe de poisson for appetizer, the Joue de boeuf et foie gras poele or Pave de thon et foie gras poele, sauce aux truffle for main dish, and the Profiterole au chocolat for dessert.
I also recommend getting the La Calisse Rose to add some spice to your meal. :)
Budget is P3,500/head.
I just regret ordering too much foie gras dishes. Make sure to balance your meal with other dishes to maximize your experience.
LE JARDIN Cuisine de Gils of Trois Gourmands
Penthouse, W Fifth Building, 5th Avenue corner 32nd Street
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Reservations: +63 917 8176584
Live an Awesome Life,
P.S. Make sure to get this special Valentine's Villa del Conte Box from the famous Italian artisanal chocolate for your special someone!
These delightful treats in every box are products of Villa del Conte’s 81-year-old heritage of passionately making fine chocolates that began in Padova, Italy.
Here's a guide to VILLA DEL CONTE Chocolates Guide and Our Favorite Flavors!
Visit Villa Del Conte stores at Greenbelt 5, Shangri-la Mall, Resorts World, Alabang Town Center, and Robinson’s Magnolia.
For bulk orders of Villa del Conte chocolates, please contact 893-2575 or 621-6101.