Author

Anton Diaz

#Hotels, Staycation

Grand Hyatt: Guide to Your Grand Family Staycation in BGC!

❗️As featured in 20 Best Staycations in Manila of the Decade (2020)!

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:

 

Grand Hyatt Manila
Address: 8th Avenue corner 35th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City Manila, Philippines, 1634
Telephone: +632 8838-1234
Email: [email protected]
Instagram: @grandhyattmanilaph
Facebook: Grand Hyatt Manila
Website: Grand Hyatt Manila

Rates: The cheapest weekend rate for Grand King: ₱ 8,500 /night.

Pricing changes based on day and availability so best to check out Grand Hyatt Manila’s low rates and availability here:
Booking.com | Grand Hyatt Manila (9.0 Superb ratings)*
Agoda.com | Grand Hyatt Manila (9.0 Exceptional ratings)*

The Grand Hyatt Staycation Series
Grand Hyatt: Guide to Your Grand Family Staycation in BGC!
No. 8 China House: The Grand Hyatt Chinese Lauriat Experience!
The Cellar: The Best of Grand Hyatt’s Spanish Tapas Bar!
The Grand Kitchen: Guide to the Grand Buffet, Meatless Mondays and Sunday Brunch
The Peak by Grand Hyatt: A Sneak Peek of the Highest Restaurant in Manila!

 


* DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links where the site gets a commission if you decide to purchase from that link with no additional cost to you. We only feature awesome experiences on the site properly disclosed as sponsored or paid at our own expense. The commission will help the site continue our awesome service by paying for the website’s cost, maintenance and review expenses.

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. Thank you for the continued support!


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#Restaurants

The JASMINE Cantonese Restaurant Experience @NewWorldMakati

Read first: A New World Hotel Makati Holiday Staycation Story

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.

JASMINE
2nd Level New World Makati Hotel
Esperanza Street corner Makati Avenue, Ayala Center, Makati City 1228, Philippines
Operating Hours: Open Daily
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Dinner: 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Telephone: +63 2 8811 6888
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: New World Makati Hotel
Instagram: @newworldmakati
Website: http://newworldhotels.com/manila

Check out low New World Makati rates and availability from Booking.com.

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#Philippines

A New World Hotel Makati Holiday Staycation Story

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…

 

New World Makati Hotel 
Esperanza Street corner Makati Avenue, Ayala Center, Makati City 1228, Philippines
Telephone: +63 2 8811 6888
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: New World Makati Hotel
Instagram: @newworldmakati
Website: http://newworldhotels.com/manila

Check out low New World Makati rates and availability from Booking.com.

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#Hotels, Staycation

CRIMSON BORACAY: The Most Awesome Family Experience in Boracay!

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.

Crimson Resort & Spa Boracay
Barangay Yapak, Boracay 5608 Philippines
Telephone: +63 (36) 669 5888
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Crimson Resort & Spa Boracay
Instagram: @crimsonboracay

Check out low Crimson Boracay rates and availability.

The resort provides direct transfers from Caticlan port to Crimson Boracay in Station One using their own private speed boat service.

You get a warm drumbeat welcome as you take off your shoes, imbibe the Boracay vibe and walk towards your home villa at the resort.

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#Philippines

10 Best NEW Homegrown Restaurants in Manila of 2019!

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:

1. Metronome

Duck

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.

This is the much-anticipated restaurant opening of 2019 in Manila because of the rave reviews about Chef Miko’s food in the underground supper clubs, not to mention the place was featured in Chris Dwyer’s CNN article—Great plates: 15 new restaurants to try in 2019.

Read more: METRONOME by Chef Miko Calo: The Best French Bistro in Manila? (Review)

Verdict:

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.

Metronome is the best French bistro in Manila.

METRONOME by Miko Calo
G/F The Grand Midori Makati, Bolanos St., Legaspi Village, Makati
Operating Hours:
Monday to Saturday 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Reservations taken between 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Mobile: +63 917 147 3776
Telephone: +632 618 4337
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Metronome
Instagram: @restaurant.metronome
Website: www.restaurantmetronome.com

Metronome Menu: Small Plates | Mains | Tasting Menu | Desserts | Coffee, Digestif
Drinks Menu: Champagne, White, Rose | Red | Bar List Spirits | Cocktail, Beverages

 


2. a mano

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!

Read More: a mano: Best New Italian Restaurant in Manila!

Verdict:

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

A Mano Menu: Antipasti, Insalate | Pizze | Paste | Secondi (Mains) | Dolci (Desserts)

 


3. Test Kitchen 2

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.

Read more: Test Kitchen 2.0 by Chef Josh Boutwood in Rockwell

Verdict:

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

The Test Kitchen Menu: Snacks, First | Second, Third | Beverage Menu | Wine by the Glass

Drink Menu: Red Wine (France) | (Italy, Spanish) | (USA, South Africa, South America) | White Wine (France, Italy) | (Spain) | Rose Wine (France, Italy), Dessert Wine/ Port, Sparkling Wines/ Champagne

 

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#Restaurants

Linamnam by Don Baldosano: Joshua’s Birthday Celebration (A Review)

As featured in 10 Best NEW Homegrown Restaurants in Manila of 2019!

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).

It’s a quaint bahay kubo with a hardin courtyard and an outdoor open kitchen where Don cooks. (Tasting Menu and Family A La Carte Menu)

Don Baldosano, the cook, has Junior Masterchef experience, training at Toyo Eatery and a culinary degree at Enderun and is going for internship abroad soon.

Since we were celebrating with seniors and kids, Don agreed to create an a la carte set for the kids and seniors while serving the tasting menu to the adults.

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#Restaurants

METIZ Modern Filipino by Stephan Duhesme (A Review)

As featured in 10 Best NEW Homegrown Restaurants in Manila of 2019!

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…

 

METIZ
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

Five Courses choice of mains (₱1,500++). Dishes vary according to the seasonality and availability of our locally sourced, organic and sustainable ingredients.

Metiz Menu: Menu Carte Blanche | Cocktails | Wines

Stephan personally wants you to experience a progression of flavors in 5 courses with a choice of main course based on what’s seasonal and fresh.

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Staycation

The Sphere Manila x Little Flour Makati Staycation!

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.

The Sphere Serviced Residences
The Stratosphere 136 Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati
Operated and managed by Hospitality Innovators, Inc. (HII)
Telephone: +632 8635-7288
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: The Sphere Serviced Residences
Instagram: @thespheremanila
Website: www.thespheremanila.com

Check out low The Sphere Manila rates and availability from Booking.com.

(L-R) Lisa Zakharka (Group Director), Alec Yatco (The Sphere Operations Manager), Luis C. Monserrat (HII Founder and CEO), Mitzi Gonzales, Agnes A. Luna (HII Executive Vice President and CFO)

There are 20 well-appointed studio and one-bedroom suites per floor, all managed by Hospitality Innovators, Inc. (HII).

The Stratosphere lobby, sandwiched by Starbucks and Little Flour Cafe, also serves as the check-in counter of The Sphere.

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#Philippines

10 Best Restaurants/Cafes of One Bonifacio High Street!

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.

blog: Elephant Grounds Manila (A Review)

Verdict

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:

blog: LA PICARA: This Awesome Spanish Restaurant at One Bonifacio High Street

Verdict

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!

 

LA PICARA MANILA
High Street corner 5th Avenue, 2Floor, Exchange Stock Market Mall, BGC, Taguig
Mobile: +63 927 172 4480
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: La Picara Manila
Instagram: La Picara PH
Website: http://lapicara.ph

 


3. George Town Super Steak

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…

blog: George Town SUPER STEAK: How Mibrasa-Cooked Meats Ruined the Steak Experience Anywhere Else

Verdict

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

 

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#Philippines

Malongo Barista Atelier in Manila (Review)

As featured in 10 Best Restaurants/Cafes of One Bonifacio High Street!

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.

 

Malongo Barista Atelier Philippines
Ground Floor, One Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Operating Hours:
Sunday to Thursday: 7.00am to 10.00pm
Friday and Saturday: 7.00am to 11.00pm
Email: [email protected]
Instagram: @malongoph
Facebook: Malongo Atelier Barista Philippines

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