Congratulations to Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb for the very first Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Awards!

The two big winners during the awards are Lolo Dad’s for the Best Intercontinental Cuisine and Best Chef Ariel Manuel; and Colin Mackay for People’s Palace – Best Thai Restaurant and Sala Bistro for the Best Bistro!

Most of my favorites won like Je Suis Gourmand for the Best French Restaurant; Elbert’s Steak House for the Best Steak House; Terry’s Selection for the Best Spanish Restaurant; Abe for the Best Filipino Restaurant (I like both Abe and Cafe Juanita); Old Swiss Inn for the Best Central European Cuisine; and Aubergine as the Best New Comer. MBKRS honored Larry Cruz with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Related Posts:
My Votes for the Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Award
The 2008 MBKRS Awards. And the winners are...

While I agree with 80% of the winners, I noticed that there are some “bias” despite the fact that it was voted by 75 judges who loves food:

1. Antonio’s did not win any awards. One of the Top 10 restaurants in Asia according to Miele Guide did not win surprisingly.
2. All of the winners are located in Makati with exception of Spiral and Lolo Dad’s which are located in Manila. The restaurants outside Manila did not stand any chance.
3. Zong the Fort won as the Best Chinese Restaurant? huh?
4. Sugi, which is owned by Ines’ Father won the Best Japanese Restaurant. BTW, Ines and Elian are not part of the judging committee.
5. Although in the ballot, MKBRS put an option of Others, it did not matter because they were not even recognized during the awards night.

There were some bias because both the nominees and the academy of judges were decided by Ines and Elian. It would be helpful though if the names of the 75 judges will be published just to be transparent.

Update! Here are the list of the Judges who decided the winners below:
2008 MBKRS Awards Judges

Abba Napa – L’Opera
Amanda Griffin Jacob – Lifestyle TV personality
Anastacio de Alba – Alba’s Restaurante Español
Annie Nisce – Appetite Magazine
Anton Diaz – Food Blogger
Arnie del Rosario – Chaine des Rotisseurs
Audrey Carpio – Metro Magazine
Bel Castro – Manila Bulletin; Enderun Colleges
Boyet Sison – TV Personality
Cacay Moras – Lifestyle and Entertainment Specialist
Carrie Lagdameo – Je Suis Gourmand
Cecile Zamora Van Straten – Lifestyle and Fashion Blog
Chad Davis – Enderun Colleges
Chris Lacson – Habitat
Christine Nunag – F&B World
CJ Juntereal – Manila Bulletin
Coco Anne & Baby Imperial – B+C Design
Colin McKay – Sala and People’s Palace
Cristina Metelmann – Palato Fino
Cyril Ermita – Enderun Colleges
David Pardo de Ayala – Discovery Group
Dr Efren Vasquez – Café Juanita
Ed Quimson – Chef
Edward Simon – Photographer, Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets
Eri Neeman – WAVE 89.1 FM
Eric Kahn – Future Trade International
Ferdi Salvador – Discovery Group
Gabby Licauco – Powerbooks
Gene Gonzalez – Café Ysabel
Gwen Cariño – GJC Public Relations
Hossein Sohrabi – Hossein’s Persian Kebabs
James Aspinall – Call Search
Javi Berenger-Testa – Renaissance Makati City Hotel
Lexi Schulze-Testa – Media Personality
Javier Infante – Enderun Colleges
Jermaine Brown – Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets
Johnny Litton – Inquirer, Lifestyle Columnist and Host
Jenny Serrano-Silverio – ABS-CBN
Jose Mari Ugarte – ROGUE Magazine
Joshua Tiu – Zong
Katrina Tuason Cruz – ROGUE Magazine
Kimmie Assad-Lamata – Di’ Mark’s
Kitt Schroeder – Lemuria
Koby Parcell – Chocolate Fire
Lori Baltazar – Food Blogger
Lorraine Belmonte – Appetite Magazine
Louie Ysmael – Manila nightlife mogul (NUVO, Members Only, Silk)
Luis de Terry – Specialty Foods Expert
Mari Ressa – ABS-CBN
Marivic Diaz-Lim – Apartment 1B
Mark Jentes – PTFJ Ad Consult
Martin Wisniewski – Discovery Group
Mila Tan – International Food and Wine Society (Women’s Chapter)
Nino Laus – In Yo
Paco Magsaysay – Tuesday Dinner Group
Paul Huang – Fire Lake Grill
Pazzy Navarro – Pazzy Manila
Peter Jentes – Schwarzwalder
Pilar Barrenechea – Catholic Women’s Club
Rachelle Ismael – Appetite Magazine
Raymond Rufino – The Net Group
Rene Baltazar – Harbor View
Robert Spakowski – Restaurant Consultant
Rosanna Escudero – Cancer Research Advocate
Roxs Cailao – Katre
Santi Picornell – Entrepreneur
Sau Del Rosario – Kingdom
Sec. Joseph Durano – Department of Tourism
Sergi Rostoll – Barcino Gourmet
Sergio Menendez – CEMEX
Teddy Montelibano – Food and Travel Columnist
Thomas Wenger – Enderun Colleges
Tina Pamintuan – Celebrity Chef
Tita Trillo – Titania Wine Cellars, La Vigne
Tricia Tensuan – Enderun Colleges
U-Sec Oscar Palabyab – Department of Tourism
Vanessa Conanan – Enderun Colleges
Vanessa Fernando – Zafra Motors
Vanessa Vitrano – Galileo Enoteca
Werner Berger – Werdenberg Group

The MKBRS Awards Night Venue in Enderun Colleges

1. Best Italian Restaurant – L’Opera

2. Best French Restaurant – Je Suis Gourmand

3. Best Spanish Restaurant – Terry’s Selection

4. Best Continental Cuisine – Lolo Dad’s

5. Best Steakhouse – Elbert’s Steak Room

The pioneers behind my favorite magazine, Rogue 🙂

6. Best Japanese Restaurant – Sugi

7. Best Filipino Restaurant – Abe

8. Best Thai Restaurant – People’s Palace

9. Best Chinese Restaurant – Zong (fort)

10. Best Central European Restaurant – Old Swiss Inn

I can’t wait to go to Thai Kingdom by Chef Sau!

11. Best Specialty Restaurant – Hossein’s Persian Kebab (Makati)

12. Best Bistro – Sala Bistro

13. Best Enoteca – Barcino Gourmet

14. Best Fusion Cuisine – M Cafe

15. Best Newcomer – Aubergine

The lovely Vanessa of Galileo Enoteca (leftmost).

16. Best Restaurant/Bar – NU-VO

17. Best Wine List – CAV

18. Best Hotel Restaurant: International Buffet – Spiral (Sofitel)

19. Best Hotel Restaurant: Fine Dining – Tivoli (Mandarin Oriental) and Prince Albert (Intercontinental)

20. Best Hotel Restaurant: Specialty – Benjarong (Dusit)

21. Best Chef – Chef Ariel Manuel (Lolo Dad’s)

22. Lifetime Achievement Award – Larry Cruz


Text and Photos by by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
Email: [email protected]