The Grand Hyatt Manila is a most luxurious staycation in the tallest hotel in Manila located in a prestigious address along BGC’s 8th Avenue.
We loved hanging out in the rooms and the Grand Club lounge; going on a food trip from Cantonese food at No.8 China House, to Spanish food at The Cellar, to Western, Filipino and Vegetarian favorites at the Grand Kitchen; and relaxing at the Illume Spa.
Here’s our guide for your next grand family staycation experience in BGC:
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JASMINE, the Cantonese restaurant of New World Hotel Makati, is consistently one of the best Cantonese-style Chinese restaurants in Manila. It’s the Chinese place to go to if you are craving for authentic Cantonese specialty dishes or if you just want to enjoy an eat-all-you-can yum cha just like the ones in HK.
It’s been a while since we tried it, but this time we were able to bring the boys who happen to be our barometer for good dim sum and true enjoyment of the taste of the food.
It was the first time we stayed at the New World Makati Hotel, a Chinese hotel brand that recently celebrated their 25 years in the Philippines. This hotel was the setting of a lot of memories during my P&G and partying days, and the brand stood the test of time in its iconic location on the corner of Makati and A. Arnaiz Avenues (now Pasay Road).
This holiday season, we created awesome staycation memories with our family of 4 boys. Here’s our New World Makati Hotel Staycation story…
We had the best family staycation ever on the island at Crimson Boracay because of its family-friendly foam party, the awesome villas with plunge pools, the food at Azure Beach Cafe and the never boring activities in this sprawling property in Station Zero. Best to just stay and enjoy the resort with the family throughout your stay.
Here’s our guide for your awesome family experience at Crimson Boracay…
First Things First
Crimson Boracay, designed by WATG (Wimberly, Allison, Tong & Goo), makes use of a geometric landscaped architecture that provides ocean views at every angle of the sloping property.
Greetings of a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Our Awesome Planet!
Here are the Best NEW Homegrown Restaurants by Young Chefs and Restaurateurs in Manila of 2019:
METRONOME is a modern French restaurant in Makati by Joël Robuchon-trained Chef Miko Calo, RJ Galang of Bakere/Man Eat Manila fame, Restaurateur Elbert Cuenca and Alain Borgers, formerly from the Shangri-La Group.
Overall, at the end of the meal, we asked Chef Miko, “Why is your food so good?” It looks simple, classic French (not fusion), but when you taste it, the flavors overwhelm you with their simplicity. Ang galing!
For the best experience, make sure to reserve the banquet tables which are very conducive for conversations with friends until closing time. Definitely, order the Egg and Spaghettini for the small plates, the Duck for the mains, Chocolate Textures and Baba Au Rhum for dessert. Budget ₱2,500/head for the dining experience or + ₱1,000 for the tasting menu + drinks. Indeed, it deserves all the hype and the food is worth every peso.
Located at Rockwell’s Power Plant Mall in Makati, a mano is a modern Italian restaurant by Amado Fores—son of Asia’s Best Female Chef, Margarita Fores—that promises faithful and fresh Italian food. a mano means “by hand,” pertaining to the handcrafted quality of the ingredients, the food and the service.
2019 witnessed the osteria battle of new Modern Italian concepts in Manila and, for us, a mano is the winner in that battle in terms of high quality of pizza, pasta, steaks and overall vibe. Ang galing!
Overall, we love a mano because of the hand-crafted quality of the food and the overall service. You can come back here every day and order different items, so you get to enjoy every dish on the menu.
Order our favorites: Taglierini O Tajarin, Bianco for the pasta, Stracciatella for the Pizza, the Bistecca or Pollo al Burro for the main, and don’t miss the Tiramisu for dessert. Budget about: ₱1,500/head for a full 4-course meal.
I think Amado is the next Larry Cruz, who was a great restaurateur (before my blogging days)—with well-executed restaurant concepts based on his well-traveled background and taste for good food even though he does not know how to cook.
Don’t miss Amado’s awesome concept, and make sure to reserve.
a mano by amado fores
R1 Level (Stall 144), Lopez Drive, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Operating Hours: Open Daily 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM Mobile: +63 917 552 6266 Email: [email protected] Facebook: a mano Instagram: @amano.ph
The Test Kitchen 2.0 moved from the actual test kitchen of the Bistro Academy in Kamagong to the posh neighborhood of Rockwell with bigger space, a la carte versions (vs tasting menu) and the cool kitchen lab playground of Chef Josh Boutwood.
Overall, this feels like eating in a Michelin-star restaurant in London with food grounded on aged meats, seasonal ingredients and in-house fermented food. It’s updated with the latest trends (but not faddish) with a nice curated selection of natural biodynamic wines. I love the tour of the test kitchen, aging rooms and different fermented ingredients used in the menu.
Start with the charcuterie and bread of the day and order the appetizer of cucumber, squid, dill and beef, horseradish, cauliflower. For your mains, the chicken, seabass and wagyu steak are quite good. Best to eat family style. The desserts were not remarkable so just order what you want to try to end on a sweet note with cold brew.
Budget about ₱2,000/head for a 4-course meal plus ₱1,500/head if you’ll get the steak and the wine pairings.
The Test Kitchen 2.0 by Chef Josh Boutwood
G/F One Rockwell, Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mobile: +63927-958-9727 Email: [email protected] Instagram: @thetestkitchenmnl
We celebrated Joshua’s 12th 🎁 at Linamnam private dining by Don Baldosano at their kubo-inspired home in Greenvale 2.
Linamnam serves modern Filipino food 🇵🇭 with a 16-course tasting menu at ₱1,700/head.
Here is our Linamnam experience with the family…
Linamnam MNL by Don Baldosano
31 Greenvale 2, Marcelo Green Village, Parañaque City Operating Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 6:30pm onwards Mobile: +63 917 573-0246 (By reservation only) Instagram: @linamnam_mnl
First Things First
We had a hard time finding 31 Greenvale 2 (Dr. Baldosano’s house), inside Marcelo Green Village (via the service road between Sucat and Bicutan).
METIZ is a modern Filipino restaurant by French-Filipino Chef Stephan Duhesme who moved back to Manila from his restaurant stint in Bogotá (formerly Tria Neo Bistro) to embrace his Filipino roots, push our cuisine forward and be part of the young Filipino chefs who are driving the chef-driven restaurant dining scene in Manila.
The name is mestizo-inspired as a tribute to the mixed heritage of Filipino food and the chef’s roots. The menu is a fixed 5-main course experience using 100% local ingredients at ₱1,500/head. We had a Christmas dinner date with the Lechon Diva and here’s what we think…
Karrivin Plaza, Ground floor, Building A, 2316 Chino Roces Ave, Extension, Makati, Philippines.
Open for dinner 6.00 pm and 8.30 pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays. Mobile: +63917 898-5751 Email: [email protected] Instagram: @metizresto Facebook: Metiz
It’s located at the back of the first building of Karrivin Plaza where Toyo is and in front of the Moment group’s Mess Hall.
The open kitchen felt like one big living room with Stephan and his Colombian girlfriend Karen Urriago welcoming you as you enter.
If you are going with a group of 6-8, make sure to reserve the special private table with cool leaf-covered lamps.
Stephan’s food philosophy revolves around fermented ingredients and vinegar as the distinctive difference of Filipino cuisine versus other Asian food.
Our favorite spot is this Chef’s table where you feel part of the kitchen action yet still feel like you’re in a private nook with good lighting for your photos.
Five Courses choice of mains (₱1,500++). Dishes vary according to the seasonality and availability of our locally sourced, organic and sustainable ingredients.
The Sphere Serviced Residences is a cool place to stay at the heart of Salcedo Village for your next family staycation in Makati. The rooms are bigger with a chic modern fit-out and a fully equipped kitchen to enjoy nice meals in the room.
Breakfast is served at the Little Four Cafe for an awesome morning start, and you can enjoy the cafe during lunch, dinner and dessert sessions. It’s a central place where you can have your business meetings around Makati, while your family enjoys the room and dining at Little Flour.
Check out our The Sphere Manila x Little flour staycation with the family.
First Things First
The 120-room serviced residences, owned by Singapore-based Six Stratos, is located on the 21st-26th floors of The Stratosphere.
Here are the 10 Best Restaurants/Cafes of One Bonifacio High Street!
1. Elephant Grounds
Elephant Grounds Manila is the Hongkong third-wave coffee franchise concept by The Standard Group (of Yabu and Ippudo fame) with the dynamic chef duo of Nicco Santos (executive chef) and Quenee Villar (formerly of Hey Handsome).
In Manila, it’s known more as an all-day brunch One Bonifacio restaurant, noted for its food more than its coffee. As the opening hype and queuing lines die down, here’s what we think of Elephant Grounds in Manila.
Overall, you’ll love meeting up at Elephant Grounds because you can feel the creative energy from the people, the service and the food. Excellence attracts excellence; I do hope they maintain this culture and quality of the food and drinks.
It’s like a Chef Nicco restaurant with a third wave cafe hip vibe. Don’t miss the Duck & Waffle, Sourdough Toasts, Duck Krapow and Toasted Rice Ice Cream. Budget about ₱500/head.
Congratulations to Chef Nicco Santos and Quenee Villar for a job well done with the food and execution of the cafe concept at Elephant Grounds!
ELEPHANT GROUNDS MANILA Independent micro-roaster and café concept from Hong Kong
Lower Ground Floor, One Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig Operating Hours:
Monday to Thursday 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Friday to Saturday 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM Mobile: +63 999 887-1417 Facebook: Elephant Grounds Manila Instagram: @elephantgroundsph
2. La Picara
First, La Pícara, pronounced as la pí-cara (with emphasis on the pi), means the mischievious or naughty.
It’s a Spanish restaurant with Tropical Cuban/Central American-inspired design that transports you from the city into an oasis in the center of the Philippine Stock Exchange.
The food was surprisingly very good, Spanish food with a naughty playful twist of Filipino ingredients or Asian interpretation but still classy elegant Spanish food.
We tried it three times in the last few weeks before their grand opening. Here’s what we loved that you should try:
Honestly, we initially thought this was just-another-resto-riding-the-Spanish-wave in Manila, but it turned out to be one of the best restaurant concepts at One Bonifacio High Street Stock Exchange Mall.
We recommend starting with the Sangria Picara and tapas of Kimchi Croquettas plus Sisig Tacos and the Burrata Salad, ordering the Chili Crab Paella and Beef Cheeks for the main course and ending with Puto Flan de Queso for dessert. Budget about ₱1,000/head for a full meal + drinks.
Best to go with a group of 4-6 so that you can really enjoy the paella. Best to reserve the round or group tables inside because this area is where you get transported into a tropical oasis with a relaxing view after a hard day’s work.
Congratulations to Isabel and Felipe for the awesome Spanish restaurant concept. Welcome to the vibrant restaurant dining scene of Manila!
George Town Super Steak is a steak house specializing in steaks and seafood cooked in the Spanish Mibrasa closed charcoal grill oven. The Mibrasa-cooked meats have a nice sear and are not dry because the oven keeps the juice sealed into the meat. Once you’ve tried it, it would be hard to appreciate other meats cooked on a normal grill.
La Cabrera, the Argentinian steak house, uses their own charcoal grill oven, and the steak houses in hotels often use a similar Josper grill to cook their steaks. George Town SS aims to make higher quality Mibrasa-cooked steak more accessible with better value for money in a mall setting.
We visited Super Steak with the family and here are some tips to make your visit memorable…
Overall, after enjoying the Mibrasa-cooked meats, it’s hard to enjoy other grilled meats in other places because you’ll look for that seared tight juiciness in your meat. I love that the ambiance is down-to-earth but with high quality of steaks you can only taste at steak houses in hotels.
Our favorites include Triple Cheese Potato Skins for the appetizer; Super Steak Signature Burger, Fire-Grill Baby Back Ribs, Dry-Aged Ribeye 700 grams, Norwegian Salmon Fillet Skin-On for the meats; and the Strawberry Pretzel Mousse for dessert. Budget about ₱1,500/head. Best to go with a group to share and try more dishes.
Congratulations to George Pua and the No Limits Food, Inc. team for an awesome home-grown steak house concept!
George Town Super Steak (Meat and Seafood)
3rd Level, One Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig Operating Hours:
Sunday to Thursday (7.00 am – 10.00 pm)
Friday – Saturday (7.00 am – 11.00 pm) Telephone: +632 8363-1447, 8361-3937, 8293-5562 Mobile: +63 917 532-0000 Email: [email protected] Facebook: George Town Super Steak Instagram: @georgetownsupersteak
Malongo Barista Atelier is a French specialty coffee studio featuring premium and organic coffees and teas plus a coffee roasting facility inside the workshop. The chain’s first branch outside of Paris, the BGC store also serves authentic French crepes with savory versions by Chef Alain Llorca and sweet versions by Chef Jean-Michel Llorca.