Dining
Town & Country Takes 200 Guests Out to Dinner at 53 of Manila's Best Restaurants in One Night
Together with Globe Platinum, we round up the dining destinations that matter in Manila in our first ever T&C Dine Around.
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Town & Country Philippines knows that the best celebrations happen with good company and exceptional food. As we continue to commemorate our 10th year anniversary this month, we present our first T&C Dine Around, where over 200 friends and partners were invited to celebrate with us through their own intimate parties simultaneously happening at 53 of the city’s finest restaurants. In partnership with Globe Platinum, the T&C Dine Around is slated to happen on the night of September 19, 2017 and promises to end on a high note. At the end of the dinner, all guests will converge at Bank Bar to party the night away. 

Here are the participating restaurants that were tasked to serve fabulous spreads for our guests. Special thanks to our other sponsors, Moët & Chandon and BMW.

12/10


To locate this izakaya-style eatery located on the fringes of Makati’s business district can be a challenge—but most will agree that it’s worth finding your way to this intimate restaurant, the second of young couple Gab Bustos and Thea de Rivera, who first stepped into the dining scene with the equally remarkable The Girl and the Bull. Gab reimagines a range of Asian taste profiles led by Japanese and Korean flavors and puts out dishes that are as beautifully presented as they are delicious. Crowd favorites such as the salmon kushiyaki, Korean fried chicken with charred eggplant, and faux Twix bars are consistent draws for diners, but so are the friendly, attentive service and the superior cocktail list. 7635 Guijo Street, San Antonio Village, Makati, 0915.663.2823

210° Kitchen + Drinkery


Recognized for his fine dining expertise from helming the kitchens of two Michelin-starred restaurant Spondi in Greece and City of Dreams’ The Tasting Room, chef William Mahi proves that he, too, can master casual fare through his menu at 210° Kitchen + Drinkery, which he calls “fun dining.” The number in its name also signifies his perfect roasting temperature. By day, the Kitchen takes on global cuisine that elevates comfort food. By night, the second floor Drinkery transforms Mahi’s space into a watering hole that features specialty cocktails and an extensive wine list. On the must-try list are the Egg, an organic egg cooked sous vide with potato puree, pan-seared foie gras, and homemade marinated salmon. Icon Plaza, 25th Street corner 6th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, 0995.015.2129; 210degrees.ph

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Azuthai


Azuthai wonderfully blends the tastes, colors, and textures of Thai cuisine. The modern and minimalist dining room with subtle but distinct touches of Thai décor is elegant and comfortable, making it the perfect place for a quiet lunch or dinner. Diners can consistently expect palate-pleasing dishes marked with just the right blend of hot, sour, sweet, and tangy flavors. Our favorites include the spring rolls, steamed apahap with lime, chicken in green curry, pad thai, water chestnuts with coconut milk. The Thai-style suckling pig with tamarind and chili sauce is one-of-a-kind. If you still have space after all that, end with a refreshing Thai halo-halo. Milky Way Building, 900 A. Arnaiz Avenue, Makati, 817.6252; azuthai.com

Bar Pintxos Tapas Y Mas

The original Bar Pintxos Tapas y Mas branch in Alabang began as a discreet neighborhood joint between the two friends behind Spanish deli Tierra. Both Martin Gonzales and Miguel Vecin pledged to a full-time career in food with almost no experience of the professional culinary world, apart from Tierra. Despite this, the duo managed to pull off an impressive selection of Spanish creations inspired by the same pintxos establishments Vecin grew up with in Barcelona. Don Gesu Building, Don Jesus Boulevard, Muntinlupa, 831.0065; Fairways Tower, 5th Avenue corner McKinley Street, Bonifacio Global City, 810.1307

Blackbird


Located in the Nielson Tower, a landmark building that first served as the control tower of the Philippines’ first commercial airport, Blackbird is often praised for its grand foyer and glamorous interiors. But the drama of the space doesn’t take away from the food by Scottish chef and restaurateur Colin Mackay—everything on the menu, ranging from European to contemporary Asian to New World, is eclectic yet impeccable. Just like Colin’s other restaurants, Sala, Sala Bistro, and People’s Palace, Blackbird, with its spotless culinary executions and warm, exemplary service, is here to stay. Nielson Tower, Ayala Triangle, Makati, 828.4888; blackbird.com.ph

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Canton Road


Canton Road offers a rich dining experience in an opulent setting awash in celadon and violet. Gracious and grand, the restaurant is highlighted by towering ceilings, crystal chandeliers, luxurious textiles, and oversize windows. The menu is a modern marriage of Cantonese and Huaiyang specialties and the intense and delicate Guangdongcai flavors are evident in the seafood, dim sum, noodles, and soups. Must-orders include steamed Iberico pork dumpling with abalone and black truffle, roast suckling pig, calamari infused with X.O. sauce, baked pumpkin puff with black truffle and chicken, Mignan five-spice marinated pork belly wrapped in dried bean curd sheets, and almond tofu in coconut cream. Shangri-La at the Fort, 30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, 820.0888; shangri-la.com/manila/ shangrilaatthefort

China Blue


High ceilings, picture-perfect views of the bay, hand-painted porcelain tableware, and a sophisticated dining atmosphere welcome guests at this modern Chinese restaurant by executive chef Jereme Leung. Born and raised in Hong Kong, he runs a Shanghai-based food and beverage consultation company, which has created many dining concepts in Asia. Must-orders include the steamed truffle mushroom buns, goose liver mousse cherry with squid ink crumble, eight-hour golden broth soup with seafood, Shanghai soya braised fish, and black gold egg custard buns. Conrad Manila, Seaside Boulevard corner Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay, 833.9999; conradhotels3.hilton.com

Cirkulo


Cirkulo has been wildly popular since 1995 with its consistently good food and its casually elegant atmosphere. Much of its success certainly has to do with the attention the owners—brother and sister duo J and Malu Gamboa—lavish on the restaurant and its patrons. The global range of cuisines on offer is a mélange of all the influences the contemporary Filipino palate: Spanish tapas and paellas, what is probably hands-down the best sisig ever, U.S. roasts, and nouvel continental fare. Our favorites include the slow-roasted beef belly with horseradish cream, roasted bone marrow with beef mole asado, and the special cochinillo asado that makes every meal a celebration. Milky Way Building, 900 A. Arnaiz Avenue, Makati, 817.6252; elcirkulo.com

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CRU Steakhouse


With an open-themed kitchen at its core, diners get a first-hand look at how the Cru Steakhouse staff season, hand-cut, and carefully prepare its rib eyes and other steaks. But perhaps the highlight of their preparation is one thing diners don’t get to witness—the dry ageing method that involves hanging meat in a refrigerated cooler at a precise temperature for a set number of days. Essential to all great steakhouses, the wine menu provides a long list of pairings for your viands, while a separate vegan menu also find its place at this highly rated steak joint. Marriott Manila, 2 Resorts Drive, Pasay, 988.9999; dining.marriottmanila.com

Crystal Dragon


A dimly lit dining room adds to the intimate atmosphere at this authentic Cantonese and classic Chinese cuisine restaurant in City of Dreams. As diners take their seats around elegant tables set with traditional Chinese crystal centerpieces, they may choose from an interesting dim sum selection during lunch time, while the chef’s menu is recommended for both midday and evening meals. Favorite dishes include the steamed abalone sao mai dumplings, roasted US Farm Peking duck, and the pan-fried Ohmi wagyu beef with morel mushrooms and black pepper sauce. Pair the meal with one of the premium Chinese teas on selection. Crown Towers, Tower 1, City of Dreams, Aseana Avenue corner Roxas Boulevard, Entertainment City, Parañaque, 691.7782; cityofdreamsmanila.com

Donosti Pintxos y Tapas


These days it finds itself under the management of the M Group, which is best known for M Dining and Bar M. This new development introduces a wider selection of wine from varied growing regions and a catering service. Imported boquerones en vinagre, platters of jamon and chorizo Iberico, pulpo a la Gallego, and the housemade butifarra are among the delectable must-try dishes at Donosti. Diners interested in a full meal may order ahead to enjoy a roast suckling pig or imported Spanish suckling lamb. NAC Building, 32nd Sreet, Bonifacio Global City, 856.0206; donosti.com.ph

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Finestra

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What was once Solaire’s entry into fine Italian cuisine has lately reinvented itself into an Italian steakhouse to highlight their standout steaks. Set apart by its premium grade meat, high quality ingredients, and selection of fine wine, Finestra also boasts the expertise of an in-house sommelier and Italian chef Alan Marchetti. Its beef selection features three flavorful house specialties: the Snake River wagyu beef, Australian Blackmore wagyu beef, and USDA Omaha Angus beef. Solaire Resort, 1 Aseana Avenue, Entertainment City, Tambo, Parañaque City, 888.8888; solaireresort.com/articles/finestra

F’OOD By David Oldani


The renowned chef opened the first branch of his first Michelin-starred restaurant in Manila last year, and it instantly became popular thanks to its offerings of delectable Italian pop dishes at accessible price points. A four-course tasting menu, for instance, starts at only P800. The 50-seater restaurant also features a stylish cocktail lounge. Order the Milanese D’O, its signature risotto; the cipolla caramellata, a caramelized onion tart; the spring chicken and prawn with veal jus entrée; and the house’s special dessert, a lemon curd served with dehydrated meringue, cacao crumble, curry almonds, and lettuce gelato. Shangri-La at The Fort, 30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, 950.8492, 0917.7114469

FLAME


Combining modern European and Asian cuisine prepared through contemporary techniques, each dish on the FLAME menu was inspired by a balance—between local and global, and between familiarity and originality. General manager David Pardo de Ayala maintains that it’s all about “cooking techniques, ingredients and flavor associations, rather than hard and fast rules” when it comes to perfecting Modern European cuisine. Depending on your purpose for eating out, FLAME provides an array of menu choices for tasting, private dining, and power lunches. Discovery Primea, 6749 Ayala Avenue, Makati City, 955.8888; discoveryprimea.com.

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Grace Park


Margarita Forés’ rustic Grace Park is a charming hodgepodge of a space with its unfinished cement walls and chandeliers, its mismatched tables and chairs, plates and glassware. Asia’s Best Female Chef for 2016 manages to marry her expertise in Italian cooking techniques and knowledge of ingredients sourced across our islands. Favorite dishes include fresh pasta paired with whatever she can find at the market, such as spaghettini with uni carbonara or fresh pappardelle al telefono and Negros burrata. Other must-tries are the carabao butter organic chicken with Ilocos garlic, or perhaps the Philippine seabass served on a tultul salt slab from Guimaras. When avocados are in season, you must try them in Margarita’s pie. The name Grace Park refers to the Caloocan neighborhood where her grandmother used to live, evoking happy childhood memories for Margarita and her siblings. One Rockwell, Rockwell Center, Makati, 843.7275, 939.934.7223; margaritafores.com

Hey Handsome


A hip collaboration between the young chefs of Your Local and Charlie Paw’s the Tasteless Group, the menu at Hey Handsome showcases modern interpretations and personal renditions of Southeast Asian favorites that the tick off all the right boxes. Every dish is flavorful and worth coming back for, from the fried egg, soft tofu, and bbq pancake to the beetroot curry, bbq pork belly, and steamed seabass. It also serves specialty cocktails, perfect for late night get-togethers. Net Park Building, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, 0917.102.0355

Hibana


Occupying the space that was once chef Mark Tan’s Allium is his latest venture, Hibana, a modern Japanese restaurant where the chef takes his culinary exploration in a more personal direction. Dishes are cooked over a Japanese charcoal grill or robata in order to bring out smoked flavors. Known for his time-consuming techniques that come from the desire to do things right, Tan constructs dishes such as housemade prawn crackers with uni sabayon dip with great care. Favorites include the chilled miso butter-poached prawns, wagyu beef saikoro with black garlic, and the Iberico baby back ribs. Some notable sweet endings include the mango passion fruit mousse cake and Kyoto miso soufflé. Grand Midori Building, Bolanos Street, Legazpi Village, Makati, 519.1088

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Hook by Todd English


Definitely a seafood paradise, Hook by Todd English offers the freshest catch, from giant oysters to prawns and other shellfish, in a sophisticated, nautical-themed environment. Instead of blues and reds, find luxe furniture and accessories in gold, bronze, white, and black—giving the space a modern vintage feel. Go in the middle of the afternoon for a quiet and relaxing time. Try the baked mussels and oysters, tuna poke, and salt-crusted whole fish or order the special seafood platters for big groups. Uptown Parade, 36th Street Corner 9th Avenue, Uptown Bonifacio, Bonifacio Global City, 960.2248

Inagiku


After starting as a mere tempura restaurant in Asakusa, Japan, in 1866, Inagiku can attest to over 150 years of mastering the art Japanese cuisine. Chef Wataru Hikawa helms the Makati kitchen, and his dishes boast flavors so authentic that Japanese natives and the local power set continue to patronize the restaurant nearly two decades since opening in Manila. The kaiseki is an experience that must not be missed. Aside from freshly made tempura wrapped in light breading, the flame-kissed aburi sushi is another crowd favorite. For the best seats in the house, make a beeline towards the teppanyaki section. Makati Shangri-La, Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue, Makati, 814.2580; shangri-la.com/manila/makatishangrila/ dining/restaurants

Kazunori


From Steak Room’s Elbert Cuenca comes this three-part dining concept highlighting Japanese cuisine. Upfront is a casual café, in the middle, an exclusive nine-seat omakase bar, and a traditional sit-down dining room at the back. What ties all these parts together is the izakaya’s open-working kitchen. No expense is spared in the creation process: a soba master was brought in to assist the chefs in perfecting the soba and udon dishes, specialty rice is sourced from Japan, and high-grade wasabi prepared only before its service. 2301 Chino Roces Extension Avenue, Magallanes, Makati, 0917.836.2695

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Las Flores


Set in a cleverly designed contemporary yet casual dining room, this modern dining establishment reinvents classic Catalan cuisine with innovative finishes. Among its specialties are the tartar de atun, croquetas de chorizo, paella de cochinillo, and chocolatisimo. Meanwhile, the bustling bar serves strong, original cocktails—the sangria blanca and mint julep are a few noteworthy orders—to keep customers in until the wee hours. One McKinley Place, 25th Street, Bonifacio Global City, 0916.619.3365

Lusso


Margarita Forés consistently delivers a luxurious experience at Lusso. One of our favorite dining spots in the city to indulge in leisurely meals paired with afternoon tea or Champagne, the elegantly appointed restaurant features Fiori di M arrangements alongside a well-loved menu filled with decadent ingredients such as truffles, caviar, lobster, and foie gras. Popular dishes here include the truffle fries with Asiago or Cambozola cheese, luxe mac and cheese, and demi-pound burger, but those in the know also go for the lobster and river prawn roll, deviled eggs, and spinach taglierini. Greenbelt 5, 756.5893

M Dining


M Dining has kept a low profile since its first opened in 2009 but still counts many high-powered business executives as its regulars. Now open in a new location, the restaurant is helmed by operations manager Tippi Tambunting and chef Tom Bascon. A veteran of the New York restaurant scene, Bascon infuses a Japanese twist in his global dishes that include hamachi crudo with Japanese soy, tagliatelle with shimp, tobiko, and yuzu cream, and roast pork with sweet ponzu. The menu also lists Tippi’s classic dishes such as the cheese soufflé, tagliolini bottarga, grilled prawns with chorizo risotto, beef cheeks with spinach and polenta, and duck leg with lentils. Allegra Alpha Building, 2294 Chino Roces Extension, Makati, 810.3565, 0917.843.3565; mgroup.com.ph

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Made Nice Supper Club

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With all five of its proprietors (chefs Jack and Gabbi Flores, Raulito Fores, Toby Panlilio, and Wren Go) still in their 20s, Made Nice Supper Club has proven to be a refreshing addition to the thriving local dining scene. Worldly but unpretentious, the menu is comprised of a few carefully chosen dishes, starring a grilled octopus and pan-seared foie gras; tagliolini with duck yolk, Pecorino, and parmesan; short rib prepared with red wine, leeks, and potato puree; and the Milk Chocolate, a deconstructed dense chocolate cake, dulce de leche, and malt ice cream. PPI Building, 109 Esteban Street, Legazpi Village, Makati, 0995.017.2482

Man Ho

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Helmed by chef Wui Wing Law, a Hong Kong native who has more than 30 years of cooking experience under his belt and who places a premium on sourcing only the finest ingredients available, Marriott Manila’s signature Chinese dining outlet proves to be a reliable destination for Cantonese cuisine and dim sum. Must-tries include the beef fillet with black pepper sauce, Szechuan-style fried prawns, sautéed lobster with supreme sauce, pan-fried shrimp, scallop and broccoli in chili sauce, and other elevated Chinese favorites. And, when available, the roasted goose is a sight to behold. Marriott Hotel Manila, Resorts Drive, Pasay, 988.9999; dining.marriottmanila.com

Mecha Uma


Experience wunderkind Bruce Ricketts’ feverish intensity at his private chef’s table at Mecha Uma. He works magic with organic produce from local farms as well as special ingredients flown in from Japan. Revel in the tasting menu or check out the daily blackboard of specials with dishes that are inspired by the ingredients Bruce finds at the market that day. A gargantuan modern steel structure hangs above the open kitchen in the awardwinning space designed by Jorge Yulo. Bruce collaborated with the Moment Group’s founders, Abba Napa, Eliza Antonino, and Jon Syjuco, on the project, whose name is “an abbreviation of a Japanese expression, mechakucha and umai meaning absurd, unreasonably delicious, and a good mess.” Corner 25th Street and 6th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, 964.9605, 0917.855.7230; mechauma.ph

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Mireio


Named after Nobel laureate Frederic Mistral’s famous poem that happens to be an ode to Provence, Mireio is a sophisticated brasserie that honors traditional French culinary techniques while subtly incorporating Mediterranean flavors. A native of Provence himself, chef de cuisine Nicolas Cegretin has mastered a number of dishes, including the beef tartare, oxtail Parmentier, and bouillabaisse that have become the restaurant’s signatures. Located on the ninth floor of the Raffles, Mireio’s stylish dining room leads to its equally charming rooftop lounge and bar, Mireio Terrace, where a breathtaking view of the sunset is best enjoyed with a flute of Champagne or two. The Raffles Makati, Raffles Drive, Makati Avenue, Makati, 795.0707; raffles.com/Makati/dining

Nobu


Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is known the world over for the mingling of Peruvian and Japanese flavors at his namesake restaurant. Nobu has over 30 dining destinations around the world, including at the Nobu Hotel in the City of Dreams Manila. His most popular signature dishes include black cod miso, lobster with wasabi pepper sauce, and Nobu-style tacos. Creative cold dishes include yellowtail with jalapeno, toro tartar with caviar, and spicy bigeye tuna with crispy rice. The fabulous Sunday brunch buffet that includes many of chef Nobu’s signature dishes is one of the city’s most popular. Level 1, Nobu South Tower, City of Dreams, Aseana Boulevard corner Macapagal Avenue, Paranaque, 691.2882, 691.2885; cityofdreamsmanila.com

Old Manila


The fine dining restaurant’s beautiful gray, cream, and black space is accented in Art Deco-style geometric patterns with large photographs by Francisco Guerrero, who has photographed some of Town&Country’s fabulous cover subjects. The modern interiors complement the lovely contemporary market cuisine prepared by the kitchen run by chef Allan Briones, the first Filipino to be appointed Chef de Cuisine at the over four-decades-old restaurant. Try the Scotch eggs, baked oysters with truffles, the twice-cooked pork belly with brown apple butter and pork cracklings, or the T-bone of wagyu beef or the Angus tomahawk steak from the grill. The restaurant won a 2017 Wine Spectator Award for having one of the most outstanding wine lists in the world. The Peninsula Manila, cor. Ayala and Makati Avenues, Makati, 887.2888; peninsula.com

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Pablo

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On the ground floor of the Picasso Residences, you’ll find the hard-to-miss Pablo Bistro-Bar. The elegant interiors meld Old World and modern elements such as hardwood parquet floors, oxidized mirrors, distressed finishes, and Bertoia and Cobonpue chairs. Pablo is the perfect spot for boozy brunches, business meetings, and post-work nightcaps, with an al fresco dining option adding to the cozy charm of the neighborhood joint. Try the lobster bisque to start, ensaymada with foie gras pate, paella duck & foie, steak frites bone marrow butter, and vegetable lasagna. Pablo, The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences, Salcedo Village, Makati City, 403.0626; picassomakati.com

Paparazzi


The popular Italian restaurant at EDSA Shangri-La is a welcome sanctuary for those who prefer a quaint and private dining experience. Taking its name from a character in the 1960 film La Dolce Vita, Paparazzi is an homage to the movie’s spontaneity and creativity with innovative Italian cuisine. The hotel’s executive chef Giuliano Berta prepares a diverse selection of Italian cuisine, done in a modern presentation. Try the ossobuco with saffron risotto, vitello tonnato, fettuccine verdi with parma ham and mushroom, bistecca Fiorentina, and tiramisu. EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, 633.8888; shangri-la.com

Paper Moon


Businessman Edi Tekeli and partner Joey Antonio sought to bring authentic Italian food to Manila, and in a narrow street in Milan, they found just that. The restaurant stands on top of the Antonio’s newest development, in what used to be a bare rooftop. A family restaurant, Paper Moon’s arrival was accompanied by restaurant co-founder Enrica del Rosso’s final touches. Milanese food is taken seriously here, highlighted with Paper Moon’s sharp pappardelle, spaghetti alla vongole, and petto di pollo alla griglia con insalata mista. Knightsbridge Residences, Poblacion, Makati, 793.8630; papermoonrestaurants.com

People’s Palace

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An all-time favorite of many diners who want authentic phad thai goong or seafood cakes, People’s Palace has served modern Thai fare by chef Colin Mackay for nearly two decades. While the main dining room can seat up to 88 guests and the al fresco lounge can accommodate 50 more, it is recommended to make reservations as the restaurant is almost always full. Try the bestsellers: Prawn and pork relish with crackers; son-inlaw’s eggs; prawn, pomelo, and coconut salad; roast duck curry; crispy lapu-lapu fillet with red curry and basil; and pad Thai noodles. Greenbelt 3, Esperanza Street, Makati; 729.2888; peoplespalacethai.com

Rambla


Spanish expatriates Uri Singla, Sergi Rostoll, and Dani Aliaga’s follow-up to their popular Las Flores restaurant, the trendy Rambla masterfully combines great food and cocktails with a convivial atmosphere. The group’s Catalan heritage is evident in Rambla’s tapas selection, which can be described as traditional yet accessible, familiar yet imaginative. Though the menu has seen a number of additions throughout the years, Rambla’s laid-back ambience and consistently delicious offerings keep its loyal patrons coming back for more. Joya Lofts and Towers, Rockwell Center, Makati, 823.6468

Raging Bull Chophouse and Bar


This fine dining establishment at Shangri-La at the Fort has gorgeous interiors featuring a vintage-inspired black-and-white flooring and decor reminiscent of the Jazz Age. The bar and interiors are marvelous with gold, leather, and brass details. It serves one of the best steaks in the Manila, hands down, using only premium quality meats from sustainable farms for its various cuts, and an extensive list of wines and Champagnes to go with each dish. Our recommended chops: Tenderloin (1824 Grain-fed, Queensland, table smoked); Ribeye (Darling Downs Wagyu MS 5+ Grass-raised, Grain-finished, Queensland); Stripling (John Stone 49-day dry-aged Grass-fed, Rathmore, Ireland); and the Black Angus Prime rib chop (Grain-fed, Brandt, California). Shangri-La at the Fort; 30th corner 4th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, 820.0888; Shangri-la.com/ manila/dining/restaurants

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Ruby Jack’s


Spacious with contemporary design cues, Ruby Jack’s is not your typical steakhouse. With ingredients sourced from Japan, Australia, and America. The steakhouse takes pride in using A5 OHMI Wagyu, consistently at the top of wagyu competitions in Japan. The menu contains steakhouse classics and is complimented by red and white wines, Champagne, and an assortment of cocktails. Try Ruby’s Caesar salad, gorgonzola boutique sugar tomatoes, wagyu steak tartare, Crabbe cake donut, sizzling scallops, wagyu striploin, and for dessert, the light mango cajeta pavlova. City of Dreams, D. Macapagal Boulevard, Parañaque, 246.9069; rubyjacks.ph

Samba


This Peruvian restaurant is headed by Peruvian chef Carlo Huerta Echegaray, thus, expect lots of seafood and vegetable-based dishes and an ambience reflective of the colorful and tropical feel of Peru. Must-orders include the Prawns Quinotto, a delicious quinoa risotto wth calamari, Parmesan, arugula, feta, and chargrilled prawn tails; the Tanigue a la Chorillana, a chargrilled king fish with sweet and sour paprika sauce; and the Arroz con Moriscos, which is Peruvian seafood rice with calamari, octopus, shrimps, and scallops in white wine, paprika creole, Parmesan, and coral butter. Shangri-La at the Fort; 30th corner 4th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, 820.0888; Shangri-la.com/ manila/dining/restaurants

Sage


Armed with a modern Mediterranean menu, Sage is Makati Shangri-La’s answer to the new age of dining. Designed by the international firm Hirsch Bedner Associates, the bar finds a striking centerpiece using English onyx and is accented by herringbone floors, jewel toned upholstery and brass accents. Behind kitchen doors, chef Gilles Galli takes the reins at Sage. Armed with his training at Paris’ Michelin-starred Michel Rostang restaurant, Galli delivers a contemporary touch to the menu using locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. Try the foie gras and apple burger, stuffed dolmas, pan-seared duck breast with caramelized fennel and puree, and hazelnut Paris-Brest. Makati Shangri-La, Ayala corner Makati Avenue, Makati, 813.8888; shangri-la.com

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Salvatore Cuomo


Known as Japan’s “Pizza Man,” Salvatore Cuomo, the man behind the eponymous restaurant, was born to an Italian father and Japanese mother. Cuomo decided to mix his parents’ backgrounds and open a small restaurant in Tokyo with a focus on Neapolitan pizza. Cuomo has since become a celebrity chef, opening restaurants all over. Landing in the Philippines, the restaurant interiors take an industrial turn with steel accents, bright lights, and an open kitchen. Our favorites are the mozzarella, cherry tomato and basil pizza, porcini mushroom risotto, chocolate souffle, and pistachio gelato. Uptown Parade, Bonifacio Global City, 246.9069; salvatorecuomoph.com

Senju


The serene, minimalist, and distinctly Japanese restaurant has been a Manila classic since its launch. Currently headed by chef Yusuke Hino, Senju offers authentic Japanese cuisine with strong flavors all while still maintaining tradition. Not without style, the food is spectacularly presented where you can dine in the modern tables or opt for the sushi or teppanyaki tables. We recommend the crazy maki, spicy tuna, gindara teriyaki, grilled hamachi jaw and salmon belly, yakiniku ju, ebi tempura, and rib eye teppanyaki. On Sundays, Senju presents their version of a buffet, a great way to maximize all that the restaurant has to offer. EDSA Shangri-La, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, 633.8888; shangri-la.com

Shang Palace


The Makati Shangri-La’s signature Chinese restaurant has long been popular for its overflowing dimsum buffet for lunch and its extensive range of classic Cantonese dishes. Apart from the elegant and dramatic dining area, it also has comfortable booth seating and private rooms for more intimate meals. Top dishes include the fish fillet in hot pot, codfish in black bean sauce, wok-fried wagyu beef in black pepper sauce, and the hot prawn salad. You can also order ahead: roast Peking duck, beggar’s chicken, and the “Buddha jumps over the wall” specialty. Makati Shangri-La, Ayala corner Makati Avenues, Makati; 813.8888; shangri-la.com/manila/makatishangrila/dining

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Spices


One of the Peninsula’s flagship restaurants, Spices serves favorite dishes from around Asia. The restaurant takes its name from the aromatic flavoring found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Sri Lanka and India. Aside from the food, the restaurant presents a floor-to-ceiling view of the hotel pool and its lush tropical flora. The Balinese-inspired décor plays a hand in transporting diners to a mystical Southeast Asian paradise. Specialty chefs from Thailand and India bring the best of Southeast Asia to diners’ palates. Try the tom yang goong, traditional lamb satay, yoghurt spiced chicken tandoori, nasi goring, phad thai, ending with a sumptuous mango sticky rice. The Peninsula Manila, Ayala corner Makati Avenue, Makati, 887.2888; manila.peninsula.com

Spiral


Arguably the country’s most popular buffet, Spiral at Sofitel offers a spectacular selection of dishes with no less than 21 dining ateliers featuring a range of cuisines from Japanese and Italian to Indian and Filipino. Because this is the Sofitel, a number of Spiral’s ateliers are devoted to French gastronomy, including the patisserie and chocolaterie, where sweets and pastries are freshly crafted daily; the French oven that puts out expertly prepared duck confit and foie gras; and the notable l’epicerie which offers a wide assortment of cheese and charcuterie from Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and France. Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, Roxas Boulevard, Manila, 551.5555; spiralmanila.com

Summer Palace


A full fine-dining experience all the way through, Summer Palace’s exceptional Cantonese offerings are complemented by a highly personalized service overseen by Nancy Farm, the food and beverage manager, that keeps patrons coming back. The restaurant interiors are adapted from Chinese representations of heaven, perfect for the many family dinners and business meetings that are finalized here. Try the dim sum, king prawns with cornflakes, soft shell crab with pork floss, pan-fried sea bass with light soy. EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, 633.8888, shangri-la.com

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The Black Pig


Right in the heart of Alabang lies one of Manila’s best charcuteries. Offering more than that, The Black Pig doubles as a casual and contemporary bar and restaurant. Accented with British flair, the modern gastropub is headed by Chef Carlos Garcia, who formerly helmed London’s Michelinstarred restaurant Gauthier Soho as head development chef. The Black Pig carries an extensive selection of beer and wine. Holgate’s craft beer on tap takes centre stage, along with boutique estate wines from France’s Chateau Haut-Brignon, Spain’s Baron de Ebro, and Australia’s Taltarni Vineyards. The restaurant’s richflavored food is highlighted with dishes like the black ink risotto, baba au rum with cream cheese ice cream, oven-baked pork belly and bone marrow. The Black Pig, The Commercenter Alabang, Filinvest, Muntinlupa, 808.1406; theblackpigbar.com

Terry’s


Owner and chef Juan Carlos de Terry elevates tapas with Terry’s. The food is taken right at the restaurant’s delicatessen, where impeccable ingredients are highlighted. An extensive selection of wine from all over the world is available to be purchased or enjoyed on the spot. Terry’s must-trys are the croquetas de tres quesosand croquetas with prawns and scallops, stuffed piquillo peppers, chuleton, chorizo on “piggy back,” rabo de toro, and chocolate marquis. 2297 BCS Prime Building, Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati, 729.7906; terryselection.com

The Test Kitchen


Tucked away in one of Makati’s bustling streets is a by-reservation restaurant that serves multi-course meals. With a seating capacity of 20, The Test Kitchen is The Bistro Group’s creative outpost for its newest and experimental dishes. Two communal tables lend to a personalized experience filled with spontaneous interaction with both guests and chef Josh Boutwood. Diners have a choice between six- or eight-course degustation meals with menus changing by the season. Sometimes, the chef will even surprise with off-menu items that aren’t part of the single-tasting menu of the day. 9780 Kamagong Street, San Antonio Village, Makati, 403.5952; thetestkitchen.ph

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Tomatitosexy Tapas Bar


El Willy Fun F&B Group partnered with the people behind Manila’s Rambla, Las Flores, and La Lola to create this tapas specialty restaurant, which serves popular small plates such as chicken croquettes, Montaditos de gambas, chorizo, Iberian cold cuts, boquerones, and open-faced sandwiches. You will never get enough of the Salmon TNT, puff pastry with smoked salmon, yogurt, honey, and truffle inside. BGC Corporate Center, 11th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, 805.7840

Vask


Chef Chele Gonzalez wows at Vask, named the Best Restaurant in the Philippines in 2017 by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Chele uses innovative techniques that marry molecular gastronomy experiments with remarkable ingredients from around the world and from farmers and fishermen. The casual tapas room serves modern and traditional tapas from the north of Spain and Basque country. For a more formal and adventurous affair, experience Vask Gallery, where Chele explores bold and creative dishes inspired by Philippine art and history, culture and traditions in what he calls “anthropological cuisine.” Corner of 11th Avenue and 39th Street, Bonifacio Global City, 507.7047; vaskmanila.com

Toyo Eatery


Chef Jordy Navarra has made Filipino cuisine cool again at Toyo Eatery. Named after—you guessed it—the Filipino term for soy sauce, the restaurant puts the spotlight on old favorites such as silog, bangus, and pork BBQ. Some dishes are straightforward in preparation, while others are upgraded; all of them are simple yet elegant in presentation. Jordy’s tasting menu is highly recommended, but the three-course set menu offers just as proper an introduction to his interpretation of Filipino cuisine, with a choice between grilled loin and belly of bangus, lightly grilled mackerel in grass-fed butter, or three-cut pork BBQ for your main course. The Alley at Karrivin, 2316 Chino Roces Extension, Makati, 0917.720.863

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Wildflour Café and Bakery


The brainchild of chefs Walter and Marge Manzke with Ana Lorenzana de Ocampo, Wildflour has undeniably upped the ante in Manila’s casual dining scene, with a range of perfectly baked breads and pastries to complement a largely continental menu at each of its buzzing, light-filled locations. A table’s orders can run the gamut from coffee to mimosas and ricotta pancakes to reuben sandwiches or kimchi fried rice. Wildflour’s pastry chef, Marge, was a finalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef at this year’s James Beard Awards, and one must not leave without at least one of her baked goods—our pick is the salted chocolate cake, consistently voted one of Manila’s best. 8 Rockwell, Rockwell Center, Makati; 111 Rada Street, Legazpi Village, Makati, 833.9799; L.P. Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati, 808.7072; Net Lima Building, 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, 856.7600; The Podium, Ortigas Center, 571.8588; O Square Greenhills, San Juan, 775.3543

Your Local


This hip spot uses a range of stylishly distressed elements, from wood and industrial lighting fixtures to subway tiles, to help convey its playful and modern take on Asian cuisine. With a focus on Singaporean, Malaysian, Thai, and Cantonese flavors, the stars of this short but succinct menu by chef Nicco Santos include the torched salmon donburi, steak fried rice, and lamb rendang. We suggest that one conclude a meal here with one (or both) of its desserts: cereal milk ice cream and chocolate Earl Grey pudding and lime mousse. Universal LMS Building, 106 Esteban Street, Legazpi Village, Makati, 823.6206; yourlocal.ph

Photos by Aldwin Aspillera, Kai Huang, Toto Labrador, Patrick Martires, Miguel Nacianceno, Sonny Thakur (Eat Out Now 2012), Aldwin Aspillera, Cyrene De La Rosa, Kai Huang, Toto Labrador, Patrick Martires, Miguel Nacianceno, Sonny Thakur (Eat Out Now 2014)

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