Searching for a romantic restaurant this Valentine’s Weekend?
Impress your significant other with a special, one-of-a-kind experience at one of these romantic restaurants in Manila…
1. NINYO Fusion Cuisine & Wine Lounge
Ninyo has long been part of my list for the most romantic restaurants in the city. Located in the ancestral house of Chef Nins Laus, the humble residential home, is transformed into this quiet and intimate hidden paradise with its garden charm, beautiful pavillions, and antique accents in the interior. —which keeps taking the breaths of many lovers.
NINYO Fusion Cuisine & Wine Lounge
66 Esteban Abada Street, Loyola Heights
Quezon City, Philippines
Landline: (02) 426 0301
2. 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 private 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
Email: [email protected]
3. LA CABRERA
You’ll love the romantic leather couch set-up where you can have your own little private corner.
A traditional Argentinian steakhouse grill by Gastón Riveira in Buenos Aires, Argentina, La Cabrera is recognized as one of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2017. It opened its flagship store in Asia at 6750 Ayala Avenue Office Tower in 2014 and the second branch at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel end of 2018.
It’s one of our favorite steakhouses in Manila because of their charcoal-grilled steaks cooked over a traditional parrilla (iron grill).
I do hope they soon serve really good Argentinian or Bolzico Beef cooked on a parrilla and paired with a full-bodied Malbec to complete the Argentinian steak experience.
LA CABRERA MANILA by Gaston Riveira
Mezzanine Level, Tower Wing, Edsa Shangri-La, Manila
1 Garden Way, Ortigas Centre, Mandaluyong City
Operating Hours: 11.00 am – 2.30 pm for lunch, 6.00 – 10.30 pm for dinner
Telephone: +63(967) 236-7940
Email: [email protected]
4. RAGING BULL
RAGING BULL is a modern American Steakhouse & Bar concept in the heart of BGC at Shangri-La Fort. They offer steaks using grain and grass-fed dry aged beef from Australia and serve classic American cocktails and wines from non-commercial boutique wineries.
It’s operated not as a hotel dining outlet but as a standalone restaurant ready to compete with the best of BGC in terms of pricing, quality, and ambiance. A homegrown Shangri-La concept, it will soon have a spinoff outlet called Raging Bull Burgers.
Finally, an awesome steakhouse restaurant and bar in BGC! I like how it transports you to a different world, even for a moment–modern, romantic, and approachable.
Arrive early and start at the bar with your favorite classic cocktail. Order the Beet Root Salad and Maryland Crab Cake as appetizers.
Get the grain or grass-fed dry-aged Rib Eye from Australia and order enough for sharing. For dessert, order the Pistachio Creme Brulee or Candy Floss Pavlova.
Budget about P2,000/head + wine and cocktail drinks.
Tip: Make sure to reserve the Black leather couch tables or the red one for added privacy.
RAGING BULL CHOPHOUSE & BAR
Level 3 Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila
30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Facebook: Dining at Shangri-La at the Fort
Telephone: +632 820-0888
5. BLACK BIRD
BLACKBIRD is the Aviation-themed, Contemporary European and Asian Restaurant of Chef Colin Mackay of Sala and People’s Palace fame. It is located at the Neilson Tower of the old Manila International Airport and is named after the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft. The ambiance is inspired by an Airport Terminal and its Art Deco building in the heart of Makati City.
Overall, I love the Sala x People’s Palace flavors and the Aviation Theme x Art Deco ambiance. Highly recommended for a nice, happy meal with friends, or for celebrating a special occasion with your family and loved ones.
It’s elegant but still chic-casual. No wonder it attracts the chi-chi crowd of Manila.
I recommend the Prawn Scotch Eggs and Twice Cooked Beef Short Rib for your starters, order the The Blackbird Burger and Blackbird Fish Pie Salmon for your Main Course, then finish with the Burnt Butter and Vanilla Seed Ice Cream for dessert!
Budget P3,000/head for a 3-course meal with wine. Reserve the private room at the top floor if you’re dining with a big group.
BLACKBIRD by Chef Colin Mackay
Nielson Tower, Ayala Triangle, Makati City, across the Peninsula Hotel.
Telephone: +632 828-4888
Operating Hours: Open Daily 11.00am to 12.00mn
6. GALLERY by Chele
Gallery by Chele is a new restaurant concept by Chef Chele Gonzales and Carlo Villaflor based on the learnings from Vask Gallery and Tapas Bar.
It’s flavor-forward; celebrating local ingredients in the Philippines refined by Spanish culinary techniques.
I like the casual, open ambiance with inviting wood and nature-inspired interiors. You can order a la carte and even dine in the bar area even without a reservation. Best of all, the tasting menus are priced reasonably.
It’s a cool place to celebrate a special occasion or reunion; or to showcase what Manila has to offer.
Start with the Tropical Crab or Pearls and Clams. Order the Beef Curry or Mahi-Iberico for your mains. End with Ube Torrija and the Coco-Nuts. Budget about ₱1,500/head + drinks for a dinner date for two.
But, I must admit, I miss the pintxos and the dessert sungka of the old Vask.
Gallery by Chele
5F Clipp Center, Bonifacio Global City, Manila, Philippines
Operating Hours: 5 pm to 1 am, Tuesday to Saturday
(Dinner seatings begin at 6 pm with last call at 10:30 pm.)
Telephone: +63 2 218-3895
Mobile: +63 917 546-1673
Email: [email protected]
7. MINISTRY OF CRAB
Ministry of Crab Manila is the best restaurant in Sri Lanka—consistently ranked in Asia’s 50 Best (#25 in 2018)—featuring the best export-quality Sri Lankan mud crab in Colombo. It is founded by Chef Dharshan Munidasa and cricket players Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara in a preserved 400-year old Dutch hospital in the heart of Colombo.
Like its Sri Lankan counterpart, MoC Manila serves the best export quality Philippine mud crab with a medley of signature Sri Lankan spices, Japanese techniques and unique Filipino flavors in its Shangri-La at the Fort branch in BGC.
The Chili Garlic Crab is worth it! You’ll love the fresh taste of the crab meat and the spices + chilies that Sri Lankan cuisine is known for. The crabs are caught in the wild and delivered live daily from Bulacan or Roxas City and perfectly cooked using Japanese techniques.
The chili garlic sauce is super addicting. Best to scoop it with the kade bread or rice. I would order the Black Pepper and Curry sauces to add variety and to taste what Sri Lankan flavors are all about. Make sure to go with a group so that you can order a bigger crab to make it sulit. Budget about ₱2,500/head for a 3-course crab meal with drinks experience. Don’t miss the starter of Crab Sisig and Baked Crab plus Agar-Agar Jelly with Fresh Philippine Mangoes for dessert.
Here is our guide on how to best experience Ministry of Crab Manila…
MINISTRY OF CRAB MANILA
Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila, 30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Open Daily from 6.00pm to 10.30pm (one seating only)
Telephone: +(632) 820-0888
E-mail: [email protected]
Facebook: Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila
LEMURIA is a private dining French restaurant conceptualized by Mrs. Marina “Kitt” Schroeder, hidden in Horseshoe Village, Quezon City. It’s name is inspired by the mystery behind the lost continent of Lemuria.
The cozy dining area is located on top of the Brumms Quality Wine Cellar, with a curated wine list from Germany, Austria, Romania, and other boutique wineries the Shroeders love.
After so many years, it continues to be one of the most romantic garden restaurants in Manila. It never fails to lure lovely couples to dine because of its charm, focus on quality, and personal touch.
I think the attention to freshness and quality of ingredients, the boutique romantic ambiance, a well-curated selection of wines, and having a trained passionate staff is the secret behind Lemuria’s success and what keeps it going strong after 8 years.
If you order ala carte, I would recommend the MUSHROOM AND GRUYERE, SCALLOPS WITH MUSHROOMS AND BEURRE BLANC, SEA BASS, and HERBED LAMB CHOP.
A Lemuria dinner isn’t complete without the wines. I recommend starting with the Prahova Valley Demi-Sec and having the 2007 Salzberg (Limited) for your main course.
The desserts are OK. It would be nice to have a mystical dessert to cap the experience.
Don’t miss this chance to try the Lemuria Infinite 8 degustation!
5 Julieta Circle, Horseshoe Village, Quezon City
Telephone Numbers: +63.2.724.5211, +63.2.722.2185
LUNCH By exclusive booking only
DINNER: Tuesday-Sunday 6:00 pm-11:00 pm
Reservations strongly recommended
E-Mail Address: [email protected]
Website: http://www.lemuria.com.ph, http://www.brumms.com.ph
Facebook: Lemuria Gourmet Restaurant
9. WOLFGANG’S STEAKHOUSE
Arguably one of the best steakhouses in New York, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener opened its first branch in the Philippines in partnership with Raymund Magdaluyo and Marvin Agustin.
What we love about Wolfgang’s is how they’ve brought the New York quality to all of their restaurants. Every detail from the procedures, service, cooking, and dry-aging, down to the meat itself is the same as how you would get it in their New York branch.
The meats are flown in fresh and never frozen! Dry-aging is a highly controlled process that allows the beef’s natural enzymes to break down connective tissues in the muscles, resulting in a tender slab of meat.
Humidity and low-temperature levels evaporate moisture–this enhances the beefy flavor of the USDA Prime steaks. On average, this process takes about 28 days.
The Zwieners live to serve only the highest quality steaks you can buy. This is the best place in Manila to have steaks where you can really taste the beef flavor, using only USDA Prime beef. We recommend the Porterhouse Steak cooked rare to medium and served with the T-bone and salted butter dripping. The Porterhouse for Two is already good for 3-4 persons. Order the creamed spinach andmashed potatoes on the side and pair the steak with a Napa Valley red, like the Freemark Abbey Merlot 2011.
2F Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, Pasay City
Monday – Friday: 11:00 am – 12:00 am
Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 12:00 am
Email: [email protected]
10. RUBY JACKS
RUBY JACK’S STEAKHOUSE & BAR MANILA
Upper Ground, City of Dreams Aseana cor. Roxas Boulevard, Parañaque
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 am
Fri and Sat: 10:00 am – 2:00 am
Sunday: 10:00 am – 12:00 am
Telephone: +632 801-8888, +632 886-9646
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Ruby Jack’s Steakhouse & Bar Manila
11. MARIA LUISA’s Secret Garden Room
Note: The resto is open for Makati Garden Club members only…
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.
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.
12. RAMBLA SALCEDO
RAMBLA COCINA MODERNA Salcedo is the second branch of Bistronomia restaurant group’s popular Spanish tapas bar in Rockwell named after the famous street of La Rambla in Barcelona. It’s bigger in terms of space but still exudes the good neighborhood tapas bar vibe.
One of the best Spanish tapas bars in the Salcedo neighborhood area, here’s what we love about Rambla Salcedo…
Overall, our team’s favorite during the Rambla taste tests are: Tartar de Atun and Montadillo de Solomillo for the tapas; Paella de Setas and BBQ Costillar de Cerdo Iberico for the mains; and Flan de Huevo Con Crema de Limon for dessert.
The cocktail program and wine selection are well curated and you can spend the whole night enjoying tapas and wine. Budget about ₱800/head.
#129 Unit G12, Tordesillas cor. Bautista St., Salcedo Village, Makati City
Operating Hours: 11.00 am – 2.00pm
Mobile: +63 966 331-1351
Email: [email protected], [email protected]
13. CRU STEAKHOUSE
We love good steaks, which are culinary staples in any milestone celebration with your special someone. We’ve been to most of the steakhouses in Manila, and we decided to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary with our all-time favorite.
CRU is the award-winning steakhouse of Marriott Hotel Manila located in Newport City. We were pleasantly surprised by how Cru was able to maintain its steakhouse charm and continue to reinvent the steakhouse experience.
CRU is the perfect place to celebrate anniversaries if you are looking for tried and tested food, ambiance, and overall experience. It’s really good value for money, being able to taste all the appetizers and soups on one platter and having noticeably bigger side dishes that can even stand on their own.
Order the Long Fed Gold Rib Eye, which is cheaper but tastes better than the US Certified Angus Beef Prime. We’ll always prefer a la carte than the set menus. Budget about P2,500/head.
It would be nice to have a dessert sampling plate so we could taste all the desserts. They could also maybe serve salt on the side and go easy on the seasoning.
The service is attentive and friendly, and even the chefs contribute to the less stiff atmosphere and enjoyable steak experience.
Ground Floor, Marriott Hotel Manila, 2 Resorts Drive, Pasay City, Manila
Sunday to Thursday, 6:00pm-10:30pm
Friday and Saturday, 6:00pm-11:30pm
Telephone: +632 988-9990 local 8109
Website: Cru Steakhouse
(Dress Code: Strictly Smart Casual. No shorts for men, no flip-flops)
14. CHAMPAGNE ROOM
One of the most beautiful fine dining restaurants in Manila, the Champagne Room in Manila Hotel, over the years has continued to captivate it’s loyal patrons with it’s lavish regal interiors and excellent dishes, that makes it a top choice for couples spending a special occasion.
Live an Awesome Life,
ABI of Team Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: We were media guests of the establishments. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. Anything else, you would like me to add? 🙂