Where to Celebrate Christmas in Manila?! (2019)

Gather your loved ones and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with mouthwatering feasts and sweet escape promos around the Metro.

Who says you have to travel far to enjoy staycation choices, various sights, and activities to unwind, bond and relax with the Family as you celebrate the holidays?

Here’s a list of ideas for an awesome 2019 Christmas in Manila…

Read more


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


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)


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
Facebook: Metronome
Instagram: @restaurant.metronome

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!


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
Facebook: a mano

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


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
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


Read more


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)


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!


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


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!


High Street corner 5th Avenue, 2Floor, Exchange Stock Market Mall, BGC, Taguig
Mobile: +63 927 172 4480
Facebook: La Picara Manila
Instagram: La Picara 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


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
Facebook: George Town Super Steak
Instagram: @georgetownsupersteak


Read more


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
Instagram: @malongoph
Facebook: Malongo Atelier Barista Philippines

Read more


Nature Escape – Coron: Emerging Trend in Exploring the Philippines! @ Discovery Fleet

Finally, you can now cruise from Manila to Coron on Discovery Fleet’s live aboard boat designed with the lifestyle non-diver market. Cruisin’ with your friends and family is the best way to travel around the Philippine archipelago—exploring islands by day, traveling by sea by night.

Watch the Manila-Coron cruise: Emerging Trend to Travel the Philippines: Nature Escape – Coron!

We experienced the inaugural trip of Nature Escape – Coron onboard My Discovery Palawan with the following route: Batangas – Apo Reef – Calumbuyan Island – Culion – Coron Bay – Siete Pecados – Busuanga.



Take the route less traveled and explore the Philippines’ immaculate island destinations.
Discover stunning marine sanctuaries and unspoiled islands. By escaping the crowds, you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty around you even more and experience nature at its best. Our unique and exclusive itinerary takes us around Apo Reef, Calumbuyan Reef and the picturesque Siete Pecados. The gorgeous panoramic views are like no other, and the experience will always be etched in your memory.

Join us on our next voyage! Starts at US$ 1,200 (₱55,000+ per person + 12% VAT).

5-day/4-night accommodation
Air-conditioned Regular Cabin (twin occupancy) with private toilet and shower
Full board buffet meals (excluding drinks)
Welcome drinks
One (1) Complimentary Massage
Snorkeling and island-hopping activities
*Unless otherwise indicated, lunch and dinner will be served on board.

For more information, visit

Read about our first experience Discovery Fleet bound for Visayas here:
Nature Escape – Visayas: Exploring Oslob, Apo Island and Cabilao @DiscoveryFleet

Discovery Fleet Philippines

Discovery Fleet is the Live-a-Board Cruise service of the Discovery Hospitality group.

Discovery Fleet
4th Floor JTKC Centre 2159 Chino Roces Ave. (former Pasong Tamo), Makati City, Metro Manila
Office Hours: 7:30am – 4pm (Monday – Friday), 9am – 12nn (Saturday)
Telephone:+63 2 8 5195674 – 76 ext. 328, +63 2 8 4031999

Read more

#Philippines, #Travel, Japan

Fukuoka: Top Local Dishes to Try!

When you think of Fukuoka, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Yup, Ramen!!!

Fukuoka is home to one of the best ramens you can ever taste in Japan, the birthplace of the tonkotsu (hakata) style ramen, known for its milky-white pork bone broth goodness that we are most familiar with in Manila.

But the Kyushu region has much more cultural and gastronomical feasts to offer. Situated in Japan’s third-largest island and close to Korea and China, Fukuoka has developed a unique interesting culture that has been influenced by Korean and Chinese cuisine.

These local specialties are probably best sampled at popular yatai street food stalls found around the city. Here are our top recommendations…


Related Article:
Fukuoka Awesome Itinerary! @CebuPacificAir
Fukuoka: Top Local Dishes to Try! @CebuPacificAir

Read more


LEGOLAND Malaysia: 12 Secrets to Know Before You Go!

LEGOLAND Malaysia: 20+ Tips for an ‘Everything is Awesome’ Trip in 2020!

If you are planning a trip to Legoland Malaysia with your family, here are 12 secrets you need to know before you go.


LL Malaysia Taman Tema Sdn Bhd
7 Jalan LEGOLAND, Bandar Medini Iskandar Malaysia
79250 Iskandar Puteri (Nusajaya), Johor Darul Takzim, Malaysia
Telephone: +607 597 8888.
Facebook: LEGOLAND Malaysia
Instagram: @legolandmalaysia
Youtube: LegolandMalaysia

Operating Hours:
Theme Park
Sunday to Friday: 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
Saturday: 10.00 am to 7.00 pm
Water Park
Sunday to Monday: 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
Sunday to Thursday: 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11.00 am to 7.00 pm

2-DAY Combo Ticket
2-Day access to Theme Park, Water Park & SEA LIFE.
Adult: RM 381 (~$92 ~₱4,600)
Child/ Senior: RM 324 (~$78 ~₱4,000)

> Check out lowest Legoland in Johor Bahru Admission Ticket via Klook

> Check out low Legoland Hotel rates and availability from Booking.

Read more


Wolfgang’s Steakhouse Catering sa Bahay!

Did you know that you can enjoy Wolfgang Steakhouse USDA Prime Dry-Aged Steak during your home festivities this holiday season?

We celebrated our friend Spanky’s birthday with an awesome Wolfgang Steakhouse feast catered at the home of our lovely hosts Ray and Love Lynne of En Route.

Here’s what you can expect from your Wolfgang NY Steakhouse celebration in the comforts of your home…

First Things First

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener Catering
Available only within Metro Manila
Telephone: +632 7505 6272
Mobile: +63 917 702-8913
Instagram: @wolfgangsteakhouseph
Facebook: Wolfgang’s Steakhouse PH

Set Menu A
: ₱3,500/head + service charge (minimum 12 up to 50 guests)
Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Sizzling Canadian Bacon, Caesar Salad, USDA Prime Dry-Aged Porterhouse Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Steak Rice, Creamed Spinach, Sauteed Broccoli, Chocolate Mousse Cake

Set Menu B
: ₱5,500/head + service charge (minimum 12 up to 50 guests)
Seafood Platter, Wolfgang’s Crab Cake,  Sizzling Canadian Bacon, Beverly Hills Chopped Salad, USDA Prime Dry-Aged Porterhouse Steak, Grilled Salmon, Mashed Potatoes, Steak Rice, Creamed Spinach, Sauteed Broccoli, New York-Style Cheesecake

The Wolfgang Steakhouse Catering truck serves as the mobile kitchen for your event, and it only requires 10A electricity to plug into.

The kitchen is outfitted with the same broilers used for sizzling, cooking steaks.

The USDA Prime Steaks are flown in weekly from the US and dry-aged for 28 days for tenderness and flavor concentration.

The steaks are guaranteed good with Executive Chef Chris Oronce and his culinary team running the mobile kitchen.

Read more


YOUR LOCAL: Best Asian Breakfast on this side of Legaspi, Makati

The brunch scene in Manila is getting exciting. The popular Southeast Asian eatery, Your Local, in Legaspi recently changed their opening hours to 8.00 am daily, offering breakfast curated by Chef Natalia Moran of Boracay fame.

GF Universal LMS Building, 106 Esteban Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
Telephone: +632 823-6206
Mobile: +63 917 654 3355
Instagram: @YourLocalPH
Facebook: Your Local
Operating Hours:
Monday to Saturday: 8.00 am to 2.00 pm  and 6.00 pm to 10.00 pm
Sunday Brunch: 8.00 am to 3.00 pm

Your Local Menu: To Start, Main | Main, Sides, Dessert | Breakfast Menu | Cocktails, Beer, Drinks, Craft Beer | Specials | Red Wines | White Wine, Sparkling

We tried all the breakfast menu items, together with the drinks, and here’s what we recommend.

Read more


HUNI LIO: Fall in Love with Huni Resort in Lio, Palawan

Located in Lio’s master-planned sustainable estate in El Nido, Palawan, Huni Lio is Ayala Land’s newest eco-friendly resort in this side of town.

Recently opened this July 2019, Huni Lio is a chic, 50-room, two-story boutique resort located inside the vast 325-hectare Lio Estates.

The first Huni Resort opened in Sicogon Island in Iloilo last July 2018, exactly a year before the El Nido opening.

Huni Lio is named after the Filipino word meaning “Hum of the Sea.”


Lio Beach, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
Facebook: Huni Lio
Instagram: @hunilio
Contact: +63 917 570 8179

Check out low Huni Lio rates and availability from

Read more

Looking for a new place to eat?
Or a guide for your next destination?

Looking for a new place to eat?

Or a guide for your next destination?

Our travel tips and restaurant reviews delivered straight to your inbox. Join our mailing list to receive the latest food reviews and travel guides from Team Our Awesome Planet.

You have Successfully Subscribed!