Have you tried the 10 Most Awesome NEW Homegrown Restaurants that opened in Manila 2017?
SOUV! is a progressive Greek concept focusing on spit fired meat by Chef Robby Goco and the hip restaurant cousin of Cyma. The name is short for Souvlaki referring to grilled skewered meats in Greek cuisine.
Chef Robby Goco did it again! He creates winning restaurant concepts like Cyma, Ristras, Charlie’s, Green Pastures and now Souv! for over a decade now in Manila.
Overall, I’m impressed that Chef Robby Goco was able to create concepts for the new generation of diners with a deep understanding of what they look for. I like how he synergizes what he learned from the Cyma and Green Pastures menu.
I would recommend the following:
Mezze: Greek Nachos, Clams & Spinach Fonduta, Sticky Chicken Wings, and Strapatsada.
Salad: Cranberry Grains Salad
Lunch: Lamb with a side of Clam saffron avgolemono soup
Pasta: Greek Tuna Roe and Seafood Yiouvetsi to share.
Mains: Angus Beef Short Rib, Lavraki and Meat Platter to share.
Drinks: Vineyard Lemonade (Red or Retsina) and Santorini Donkey
Dessert: EVOO & Sea Salt and the Pistachio Rice Pudding (off menu item)
Budget about P600/head. The pricing is about the same with Cyma but I like the food better.
Best to go with a group so that you can try a little bit of each. Don’t forget to reserve.
Congratulations to Chef Robby Goco and the Cyma team!
2. DR. WINE
DR. WINE, one of the best wine bars in the Metro today, recently opened their private dining area called The 3rd Floor.
It was awesome experiencing their inaugural wine dinner, with a vintage Pelissero Barbaresco, and the winemaker himself in attendance.
The Third Floor is open for private dining reservations at P25,000 during weekdays and P50,000 consumable during weekends. The communal table with bench sitting can comfortably seat 15 diners, but the whole place can accommodate more with people standing or sitting in the sala area.
You can bring your own music or enjoy the sounds from the vinyl player. You can also bring your own chef or cook your own food from the open kitchen. Just note that it actually is on the third floor with a steep staircase.
It should be a great place to celebrate your private parties this Christmas season, or your birthdays or other milestones with close friends and family.
Congratulations to Dr. Wine and the launch of The Third Floor concept!
For The 3rd Floor reservations, please call +63 917 887 4426
ZUBUCHON is the Cebu-based Lechon Restaurant by Joel Binamira of Market Manila specializing in what Anthony Bourdain described as the “Best Pig… Ever!” The name is a coined word from “Zubu“, the 18th century reference to the island of Cebu, and “Chon” from lechon, which means roasted pig.
The restaurant concept is inspired by native dishes dating back to the time when Magellan Landed in Cebu in 1521. Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan’s Chronicler, mentioned the Filipino food during that time, which includes black pig, grilled seafood, millet and rice cakes, coconut in the form of water, milk, vinegar, and liquor.
We love Zubuchon! This is the Best Lechon Restaurant to open Manila this 2017!
I like how they are committed to a No MSG philosophy, support Backyard-raised pigs, and serve dishes that are deliciously affordable at less than P300/dish. I also like how Joel created this as a social enterprise to provide employment, where the employees are stockholders, and making a lot of money isn’t a priority.
Make sure to order the Baked Scallops, Dinuguan, Ensaladang Talong or Kamatis, Spicy Zubuchon, Kamias Shake, and the Dessert Sampler of Biko, Budbud Kabog, and Mango. Budget about P500/head.
Best to eat here as a group so that you can taste as many dishes as possible. Vegetarians and Seafood lovers are also guaranteed to enjoy this lechon restaurant.
Congratulations to Joel and the whole Zubuchon team for successfully bringing Zubuchon to Manila!
4. IKOMAI & TOCHI
IKOMAI is a collaboration of Chef James Antolin and Nagoya Chef Hide, serving progressive Japanese street and comfort food. The premium casual concept is an extension of their Saturday Salcedo market stall of the same name, which means “Let’s Go” in Japanese.
TOCHI, on the other hand, is the raved about dessert line of Chef James, co-located in the same restaurant. The name literally translates to “Land”, an allusion to it being a “Land of Desserts.”
We like the overall vibe of Ikomai x Tochi. It’s conducive for conversations and hanging out with friends over quality Japanese food. Make sure to reserve seats if you’re going with a group of friends or family, especially if you plan to go for dinner.
I recommend the Tebasaki, Wasabi Salad, Tuna Poke, and Karaage for a light dinner, and ending with the satisfying Tochi desserts (they are known more for their solid desserts than their food). Budget about P700/head.
I do hope they offer more dinner a la carte-type menu items in the future that are fit for celebrating special occasions with friends and family.
Congrats to Chef James Antolin and Chef Hide for the opening of Ikomai!
IKOMAI x TOCHI
ACI Group Building, 147 HV Dela Costa, Salcedo, Makati
Telephone: +632 816-4588
Monday to Friday 11:00 am – 12:00 mn with lunch, high tea, and dinner service
Saturdays 6pm until midnight (dinner only)
Closed on Sundays
KAZUNORI is a 3-in-1 Japanese Restaurant concept — Kazu Cafe, Sushi Bar and Fine Japanese Restaurant specializing in seafood sushi and sashimi. It is located inside the Mazda showroom, along the slowly gentrifying area of Pasong Tamo Extension.
The restaurant is named after the chef himself and was conceptualized by Ryan Cruz and Elbert Cuenca of Yushoken and Mendokoro Ramen fame.
The hype behind Kazunori is real, as evidenced by the packed crowds they still get every weekend. You can really taste the high quality of their seafood, which is air-flown from Japan.
I recommend the Kaisen Chirashi, Otoro Sashimi, and the Karai Niku Soba. The other dishes are decent, and it’s good that they have some variety for those times you’re craving for your favorite Japanese comfort food. Budget about P1,000/head.
You can order their off-menu Saito Special with Uni, Otoro, Ikura, and Chutoro (P5,000) if you want to impress, celebrate, or simply indulge.
Make sure to reserve if you’re eating at the restaurant with a big group during the peak weekend dinner hours. But you can usually just go in casual attire and eat at Kazu Cafe without reservations.
Congrats to Ryan Cruz and Elbert Cuenca for another winning Japanese concept!
KAZUNORI JAPANESE RESTAURANT
2301 Chino Roces Avenue (Pasong Tamo Extension), Makati
Telephone: +632 989 3152
Kazu Cafe: Open daily 11.00am to 11.00pm
Japanese Restaurant: Monday-Sunday 11:00am-2:30pm and 6:30pm to 11:00pm
6. LA PIAZZA
LA PIAZZA is an Italian trattoria and ristorante serving Italy’s best-kept fine dining secrets, with an awesome view of the Okada fountain.
It’s a great place to experience what Okada is all about in terms of its dining philosophy. You can also witness the world’s biggest multi-color dancing fountain here, before heading off to party at the Cove Manila.
We highly recommend La Piazza for a romantic dinner date with your significant other, especially if you have not been to Okada Manila.
I recommend the Octopus Carpaccio for your antipasti, Urchin Risotto for your first course, Salmon for your second course, and ending with the Hazelnut dessert. Budget about P1,600/head + drinks.
Make sure to be there around 7PM so you can eat your antipasti and first course then watch the fountain performance at 8PM. You can then go for your second course and still catch the 9PM show while having dessert. Dress Code is smart casual attire.
LA PIAZZA RISTORANTE ITALIANO
Okada Manila, New Seaside Drive, Entertainment City Parañaque City, Philippines.
Lunch (Sat to Sun) 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Dinner (Mon to Sun) 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Telephone: +632 555-5799
KYO-TO is the best Kaiseki restaurant in Manila. The restaurant, whose name is a tribute to the cultural capital of Japan, is the brainchild of Japanese Chef Ryohei Kawamoto.
Kaiseki is the highest expression of Japanese gastronomy, inspired by the traditional tea ceremony. Its elegant multi-course set format showcases the finest local ingredients of the season and highlights the culinary artistry of Japanese cuisine.
Chef Ryohei worked at Kitcho kitchen in Osaka and the famed Tsukiji Market in Tokyo before becoming a private chef of the Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines. He has since decided to open his own Kaiseki restaurant in Legaspi Village.
This was easily one of our best Japanese restaurant experiences in Manila! Each course was served with Chef Ryohei’s signature artistry and desire for perfection.
Kyo-to is great for celebrating anniversaries and significant life or career milestones, or even for a date with your special someone.
Make sure to reserve in advance to get a seat in the Kappo for that full Kaiseki experience. The private dining and main dining areas are good for big groups, but you can still have an intimate meal here if you want. Budget about P5,200 for the 5-Course Kaiseki.
(Note: There’s no a la carte menu and there’s just one set menu per night, which means you get to enjoy the same dishes.)
KYO-TO KAISEKI RESTAURANT
G/F 119 C. Palanca Jr. Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
Telephone: +632 805 7743
Mobile: +63 917 596 9697
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
(Closed on Mondays)
8. TEPPAN OKOCHI
TEPPAN OKOCHI is an authentic Japanese fine dining Teppanyaki restaurant in BGC by Grand Chef Akihiro Okochi of Mangetsu Osaka in Japan.
They specialize in quality seafood and beef from Japan, cooked on Iron Plates (Teppan) and paired with unique Japanese Sake and carefully selected wines from Napa Valley.
It is the first restaurant by the Dize Link Philippines group offering the finest taste of Osaka Cuisine featuring Okonomiyaki, Wagyu Beef, and Eel, with a carefully designed Japanese ambiance in the heart of BGC.
Overall, this is the perfect place to treat your special someone or celebrate that special milestone with the fine taste of Osaka cuisine. We love the Japanese Seafood (Scallops, Shrimps, Oysters), A5 Wagyu Steak, Eel course, and Osaka Okonomiyaki paired with either special Sake or wines from Napa Valley.
Budget about P1,000/head for a la Carte course or P2,500/head to 5,000/head for Chef Okochi’s courses.
This is indeed one of the finest Teppanyaki places in Manila! Congrats to Daniel Labudahon and partners for successfully opening Teppan Okochi by Mangetsu Osaka in Manila!
TEPPAN OKOCHI by MANGETSU OSAKA
Unit 7, Ground Floor, Ore Square Building, 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Facebook: Teppan Okochi by Mangetsu Osaka
Telephone: +63 917 795 0051
Operating Hours: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, 5:30 PM – 11:00 PM
9. BOUTIQUE BURGER KITCHEN
Boutique Burger Kitchen or BBK is the brainchild of famed Chef Carlo Miguel and wife Ria, the first restaurant they opened together (without any partners).
This diner-themed restaurant serves a variety of American classics, with a focus on quality and freshness. You can expect to find good old-fashioned burgers that have been given the gourmet treatment, and served at affordable prices.
Almost everything at BBK is made in-house, which is one of its strong points. This ensures that the quality and consistency of the food is maintained, and guarantees the customer gets the freshest burger possible.
The food here may be simple and straight to the point, but we were blown away by it.
BBK is a good restaurant and they make great-tasting burgers using quality ingredients. Priced affordably, BBK is perfect for lunch or for just hanging out and getting a good meal.
If burgers aren’t your thing, their other selections are just as good and made with the same dedication and care.
You can really tell how passionate Chef Carlo and Ria are about their burgers, and the decor and staff make the BBK experience feel familiar and nostalgic.
Order the Classic Cheeseburger with a side of Skinny Fries and a Strawberry Milkshake! Budget about P500/head for a burger meal at BBK.
The price is affordable for the quality of food being served. Truly, a welcome addition to the Burger scene in Metro Manila.
Congratulations to Chef Carlo and Ria and the awesome staff of BBK! We wish you great success in your burger endeavors 🙂
BBK BOUTIQUE BURGER KITCHEN
The Fort Stip, 28th St, Cor 7th Ave, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Telephone: +632 964-2050
Mobile: +63 917 893-4913
Operating Hours: Mon-Thur, Sun 11am-12mn, Fri-Sat 11am-2am
10. THE COMMON TABLE
THE COMMON TABLE is a progressive gastropub concept in Salcedo by Chef Ian Padilla of La Girolle fame. The name is inspired by the communal dining habits of foodie bar goers.
We’ve missed Chef Ian Padilla’s tasting menus and casual fine cuisine from the La Girolle days. We are happy he’s back in the Manila scene with a fresh new concept in the former location of Chef Sau’s Le Bistro Vert, beside Fraser place.
Overall, the appetizers and desserts are solid. It’s the type of food you can enjoy slowly over good conversations with friends.
We recommend the Wagyu Salpicao Cubes, 5 Cheese Queso Fundido, Uni & Truffle Oysters, and the Mushroom Soup. We also recommend the Caramelized Lemon Tart and Macadamia & White Chocolate Skillet Cookie for desserts.
Budget about P700/head + drinks. It’s a good place to hangout with friends in Makati while waiting for traffic to ease up.
We hope to be back to try out the other main dishes and hopefully soon, some breakfast food as well.
BEST RESTAURANTS SERIES:
• 10 Best Homegrown New Restaurants in Manila this 2017!
• 10 Most Awesome NEW Homegrown Restaurants That Matter in Manila 2016!
• 10 Most Awesome NEW (Franchised) Restaurants in Manila 2016!
• 10 Most Awesome New (Homegrown) Restaurants in Manila 2015!
• 10 Most Awesome New (Franchised) Restaurants in Manila 2015!
• BEST OF MANILA: 40 Most Awesome NEW Restaurants in Manila 2014!
• Foodie Guide: 10 Most Awesome New Restaurants in Manila 2013!
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: I wrote this best restaurant ranking with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. This is the best sustainable place that opened in Manila this 2017.
HINELEBAN CAFÉ x PH@ Gallery
Hineleban Café (pronounced as hě-nē-leu-bän) is the only farm-to-cup third wave cafe co-located with a bike and surf shop in Manila. Founded by Claudia Perrine and family with the mission to change the way Filipinos appreciate coffee in the Philippines.
The concept of the cafe highlights the traceability of the coffee beans, the process from the farm to your cup, and how it improves the lives of Filipinos and the environment. Talking with the Barista’s is like getting a Coffee 101 appreciation on third wave coffee and the Bukidnon coffee ecosystem.
Ground Floor, 830 Arnaiz Avenue (formerly Pasay Road), Makati City
Telephone: +632 816-4772
Facebook: Hineleban Cafe
Operating Hours: Monday to Friday (7 am – 9 pm), Saturday – Sunday (9 am – 7 pm)
Have you heard of Makati’s secret new bar and gallery? With hidden doors and passages, you’ll only find the PH@ Gallery through word-of-mouth.
The Philippine Artisan Trade Gallery (PH@ Gallery) is a platform that highlights excellence in local products and Filipino social enterprises, where artisans can easily leapfrog challenges by getting into the market faster in a premium downtown location, which is Makati.
The gallery itself is filled with Filipino products with a purpose, each having a charity or community you can give back to. Batala Bar on the other hand compliments the PHat Gallery, serving all-Filipino based dishes and drinks, from your favorite local craft beers to their very own Pinoy-inspired concoctions!
PHILIPPINE ARTISAN TRADE & BATALA BAR
830 Arnaiz Ave. Makati
Opens daily from 3:00pm to 12:00 mn.