Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

Manila Food Guide: 50 must eat restaurants and food in Manila

I have visited Manila for food trips quite a few times now and I must say the Manila food scene keeps on improving every time I visit. Five years ago, when I had never visited Manila, I’ve never regarded Manila as a foodie’s paradise. and I have fears of security and safety issues. Thankfully, my friends assured me it’s an awesome place to visit and promised to show me around if I visit. Recently at the end of 2018, I paid a visit to Manila to update this guide and was surprised to see a lot of new restaurants making Manila one of the best food cities to visit for International Cuisine!  Updated Dec 2018!

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Manila is indeed a safe place for tourists and a majority of the taxi drivers speak good English. It is also pretty cheap to grab a taxi – expect around 120 to 250 pesos per trip! Make sure the taxi driver turns on their meter! I like to look out for taxis with green lines on the side – these are better in my opinion. If the taxi driver does not want to use meter, don’t get on it. For this Manila Food Guide, I will advise you on how to get around and make it easier for you to plan your Manila Food and Travel trip. This guide is specially geared towards foodies and shoppers to make full use of their time in Manila and I advise you to choose hotels within Makati near Greenbelt or Salcedo village area. Since traffic jam is a big issue, I would advise to get up early and stay in one location for the whole day – therefore, I will list the best restaurants in each popular location and what you can do there besides eating! Let us begin – The Manila Food Guide – The must try food in Manila and How to get there!

Green Belt and Glorietta Area

This is where most tourists would be shopping. Green Belt is more on the higher end side while Glorietta is mid range to budget shopping. Lots of choices in terms of restaurants around here and you can actually hang around this area from morning till supper! There’s plenty of bars and pubs at Green Belt for you to have drinks ~~ the night scene at Havana Cafe, next to Starbucks is a good place for people watching.

Mesa Filipino Moderne

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Mesa Filipino Moderne restaurant is located at Greenbelt 5, shopping hotspot in Makati, Manila, they are pretty authentic when it comes to their food but their food presentation and style of serving in a more classy dining environment gives the modern feel to Filipino Cuisine. Tip: Make sure to book your tables early – I once had to wait 1 hour to get a table.

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Simply awesome fragrant basil duck fried rice!

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Crispy pork crackling with tender pork flesh ~~ how could you say no to this classic Filipino favourite?


They also serve their own answer to Peking duck ~~ the crispy pork wraps ~~ who needs duck when you got yummy pork!


Fancy some baked scallops ~~ mmm ~~~


They have plenty of seafood dishes – such as this salted yolk huge crab dish!

Meso Filipino Moderne  Greenbelt 5, Makati

Telephone: +632 728 0886

Note: They now have around 5 branches around metro manila so it’s best to google the nearest branch to you!


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Mary Grace is located at the ground floor of Green Belt 2 is a great place to have hot chocolate and cakes. Come here for breakfast or tea time – or even supper! Since it’s near some pubs, you can even listen to some live singing if you sit outside Cafe Mary Grace at night time!


Their Signature Mary Grace hot chocolate is one of those WOW drinks you will savour. A must try and be sure to try out their Ensaymadas and cakes ~~


Good cup of hot chocolate with this slice of cake ~~ *swoons*


It’s a lovely place to have breakfast too as they open early in some branches

Cafe Mary Grace, Green Belt 2 Ground Floor

Note: They have plenty of branches around. Google for the one closest to you

Restaurants within Makati and near Greenbelt/Glorietta

You can grab a taxi from Green Belt to these areas for less than 150 pesos but be mindful of heavy traffic! You can reach within 5 – 10 minutes without traffic but might take up to 1 hour to get to your destination during heavy traffic! It might be faster to walk! If you’re a google map pro ~~ I suggest using the google map ~~ but the lazy me usually just use a taxi!

Va Bene Pasta Deli

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Va Bene Pasta Deli is in my favourite restaurant in Manila. In all my trips, I would at least visit here at least twice. Despite having a fast food style decor and located on a second floor of a gas station, they are voted best Italian restaurant of 2013 and very highly rated. If you do not try out this restaurant when you’re in Manila  – it would be a FOOD CRIME!


I still remember fond memories of this delicious eggyolk stuffed ravioli served with pan seared foie gras!

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Gorgeous shaved octopus salad! Sooooooo goood!! OMG!! Those tomatoes are so good because they’re air flown from Italy!


Gorgeous crab meat stuffed pasta with saffron sauce and prawns ~~ another winner!

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My favourite Squid Ink Pasta with seafood tomato sauce – this dish is a MUST have when you’re here! My brother and me seriously love this dish!

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Simply too beautiful to eat at times! They have a lot of different types of salads and pastas so come a few times to try them all! You won’t be disappointed and the prices are very reasonable for the quality!

BGC BRANCH: Cinema Level, 3rd Floor Bonifacio High Street Central Cinemas, Fort Bonifacio Global City


Terry’s Selection – Spanish


Terry’s Selection is located around Salcedo Village area – you can take a cab here and enjoy a good romantic Spanish dinner. What better way to begin your dinner than glasses of Sangria?!


Super-Cochinillo Confit is one of their signatures! A unique suckling pig confit creation with caramelized onions and Calanda peaches and then drizzled with rich Muscovado syrup. Sooo crispy yet tender ~~~ *swoons*



They are also popular for different types of Paellas ~~ I tried the Squid Ink Paella served with their garlic Aioli ~~ which is really good!

Terry’s Selection Segundo Piso: Unit 2, Building B, Karivin Plaza Building, 2316 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati,

Tel: +632-844-1816

Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza


Gino’s Pizza is located near Terry’s Selection around Salcedo Village as well. The pizzas are lovely here with a more bready airy soft crust ~~ a pretty different style of pizza ~~


My favourite is the home made sausage, mushrooms, cream and egg ~~ mmmmm ~~ I actually can’t stop eating this ~~


A very interesting Nutella Dessert Pizza where it can get quite messy ~~ lol ~~

Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza G/F Finman Bldg., Bautista corner Tordesillas St. Salcedo Village, Makati City
telephone: 0917-5386847

Toby’s Estate Cafe


Toby’s Estate is also nearby and worth a try for their good coffees and pastries ~~ just less than 5 minutes walk from Gino’s


Try to ask for the Gibralta which is pretty strong  double shots ristretto style with a bit of milk! Smooth rich coffee in a smaller glass just slightly bigger than a shot glass! ~ *swoons*

Toby's Estate 125 L.P. Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati

They have since expanded into many branches across Metro Manila. I personally enjoy their coffees but I’m not too keen on their food. Go for some coffee and sweets.

Salcedo Saturday Market


Salcedo Saturday Morning Market is a must visit place for foodies. It is an upscale gourmet food market catering to foodies ~ by foodies who sourced out good quality ingredients ~~ you’re bound to find interesting items here!


Fresh juices and snacks ~~


Exotic or local cuisine ~~ did I see Tamales!?


Gorgeous cakes like these ~~ OMG!!!


You’ll see suckling pig (LECHON) ~~~ *DROOLS*


Stuffed Milkfish (bangus) and charcoal fired pork skewers ~~ OOOoooo LORDIES~~


Even specialty cheese and herbs ~~ *swooons*


Mmmmmmm ~~ Snails ~~~


These will be good souvenirs to bring back home!

Salcedo Saturday Market, Tordesillas St., Salcedo Village, Makati,

El Cirkulo – Spanish

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El Cirkulo is a high end Spanish restaurant that is within Makati and you can walk from Green Belt but taking a taxi is fine. They are always candidates for bet Spanish restaurant but they are more on the pricier side.

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A delightful appetizer is their 63 degree sous vide egg with sliced Jamon Iberico ~~ mmmmm 

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Their slow roasted beef belly is a revealation – so tender and delicious packed with beefy flavour ~~ an expensive dish but worth it!

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I also enjoyed their truffle oil and mushroom paella ~~ very very good!

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Hmmmm ~~~ pasta with Jamon Iberico? Yes Please!

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We had a few desserts but this green tea and chocolate cake Baked Alaska is a clear favourite ~

El Cirkulo Ground Floor Milkyway Building, 900 Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road) corner Paseo de Roxas,
Makati City 1200 telephone:810-8735, 810-2763

Kanin Club

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In the Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati, there's another popular restaurant specializing in modern Filipino cuisine. You just need to locate Ayala Triangle Gardens, and look out for a row of restaurants and find Kanin Club

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Their famous seafood kare kare, assorted seafood, dipped in special Filipino style peanut sauce and served with their powerful shrimp paste! Quite a big portion!

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I really enjoyed their version of Dinuguan, which is usually pork liver and other porky parts, cooked in a pig’s blood stew, which can be a love it or hate it dish for many. Their version is this Crispy Dinuguan, which is a stew made from Pig's blood and crispy fried pork bits minus the liver! It’s been claimed even anti-Dinuguan foodies will even like it. I personally like the crispy crunch of the pork which matches the pig’s blood sauce nicely! A must try in Manila!

Kanin Club, Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati

Mitsuyado Sei-Men: The House of Tsukemen

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It’s within walking distance from town but just take a taxi over to Mitsuyado Sei- Men. I love this place because it makes you feel like you’re walking into a Japanese street as you enter the restaurant. They are famous for their Tsukemen which means dipping noodles.

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A must try here is their Cheese Sauce Tsukemen, which is dipping noodles with parmesan cheese, which you add some creamy cheese sauce and you dip into a spicy dipping sauce ~~ very delicious and unusual experience for a foodie!

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Look at that! OMG! Die Die also must try this ok!? They have delicious gyozas as well as their own versions of ramen if there’s a bigger group of you to try out more things!

Mitsuyado Sei-Men: The House of Tsukemen 22 Jupiter Street, Brgy. Bel Air, Makati.
telephone: +632 511-1390

Little Tokyo

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Whenever I visit Manila, I take an effort to visit Little Tokyo, it is along Pasong Tamo, next to Makati Cinema Square. To get there, just ask a taxi to drop you at Makati Cinema Square and Little Tokyo will be right next to it. You can sit at the tables and order from different shops in Little Tokyo. I will list some of my favourites here.

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Kagura offers quality Okonomiyaki – a Japanese style pancake ~~ which is loaded with vegetables and layered with meet or if you want the special ones ~~ with noodles added too ~~ served with a special sauce! It is quite fun to watch and video them being cooked on the hotplate! You can order one with all the works – bacon prawns squid and share!


Ooooh hello there!!

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Gotta love the layers! Nom Nom!

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Hana, which is just next door to Kagura, is famous for their delicious Takoyaki ~~ really good!

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Urameshiya is also right next to Kagura and serves Yakiniku ~ on some days they serve an all you can eat but usually I prefer to just order just enough so I can try other things. Usually we will order one okonomiyaki from Kagura and one set of takoyakis from Hana, then sit just outside Urameshiya for yakiniku ~~


Sliced pork belly and beef tongue ~~ oooh yesh!


Be careful while you’re grilling as the burning charcoals might catch fire from the fat drippings! ~~ and make sure you don’t overcook them! Delicious!


Seryna has won awards and praises as one of the best Japanese restaurants in Manila so it’s good to come here for lunch or dinner. It’s generally cheaper to come during lunch as there are affordable sets but dinner will give you more range in terms of choices but more expensive.


Here’s the skewers selection of goodies!Mmmm ~~


The sashimi here is very fresh and soooo damn good! Expensive but worth it!


Our sushi set ~~ I must say it’s really good and I especially love the Uni ~~ not so briny like the ones I’ve had in Malaysia and Brunei! It’s actually has a slight sweet aftertaste!

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After all the eating at Little Tokyo, be sure to stop by Choto Shop for some good Japanese snacks and candies as souvenirs!

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Candies, snacks, instant noodles and spices! A must stop for Japanese food lovers!

Note: If you’re worried about not being able to grab or find a taxi from here to go back – it’s walking distance to GreenBelt or you can download Grab Taxi App on your phone to call a taxi!

Little Tokyo. Pasong Tamo, Makati (next to Makati Cinema Square)

Your Local Restaurant


A pretty good hole in the wall bistro in Legazpi Village Universal LMS building is Your Local Restaurant which serves Southeast Asian favourites with a twist by Chef Denny Antonino and Nicco Santos. They are featured as one of the must try restaurants in the world by travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler's and also in CNN travel article. The must try is their Salmon Donburi bowl which made them famous!


I like the feel of the place which has an open kitchen concept where you get to see the action as well as the bar for lovely cocktails. Look at their reinterpretation of the famous Hainanese Chicken Rice!


Grab a beer or their signature cocktails while enjoying their signature fried buns stuffed with either beef rendang or chili crab! Delish!


I must also recommend their Feel Good fried chicken wings which has a great crust, flavoured by har cheong (prawn paste)! Finger lickin good!


Their whimsical cereal milk ice cream dessert is so pretty and delicious! Right in the childhood!

Your Local

Ground Floor Universal LMS Building, 106 Esteban, Legazpi Village, Makati, Kalakhang Maynila, Philippines

Toyo Eatery


Toyo Eatery is regarded as the restaurant in Manila most likely to get a Michelin star to represent the fine dining scene in the Philippines. We booked months in advance to secure a table for my family and we had quite a blast at Toyo ~ it was quite a fun dining experience!


Beautifully presented dishes to represent the best the Philippines has to offer!


The level of cooking technique can be felt throughout the courses ~~


This is the dish that made chef Jordy Navarra famous! Bahay Kubo or simply named Garden Vegetables A simple looking dish just like a potted plant but there’s actually a lot of ingredients involved in it based on a local children’s song! It was fun mixing this while the waiter sang the Children’s Song for us! It tasted like rojak to us – a very delicious complex rojak that won our hearts!


I wished I brought my lighting and Fuji to shoot the food – it just doesn’t do the beautiful presentation justice! An excuse to come and try their secret degustation menu next time perhaps!


Desserts were super fun to eat and enjoy as well! Thumbs up chef!


The team was very helpful as well ~~ considering my parents and my pregnant wife’s dietary restrictions. Bravo Team Toyo Eatery!


A special mention goes to their Torcino bun which was amazingly delicious ~~ we bought some to take home to Brunei! Chef Jordy can you share the recipe with me? HAHAHAH

Toyo Eatery

Chino Roces Ave, Makati, 1231 Metro Manila, Philippines


Note: In the same area – be sure to check out Toyo’s bakery (Panaderya Toyo) for a lot of good breads and there’s also a lovely Donut and Coffee shop called Poison with interesting flavours like Blue Cheese and Chocolate Donut!

Bonafacio Global City

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Bonafacio is a very good area for foodies and you will be spoiled for choice! You will find my favourite breakfast brunch place Wild Flour here, Market Market for shopping and have cheap facials or massages, Serendra and High Street for casual shopping and dining (many people walk their posh dogs like huskies or chow chow here!) while SM Aura Mall, which houses many fancy dining establishments are all from this area! If you stay in Makati, it’s just 15-20 minutes taxi ride without traffic and costs maybe 150-180 pesos.

Wild Flour Cafe + Bakery


Wild Flour easily wins my favourite place for breakfast and brunch in Manila because of their delicious pastries. I particularly like the decor which makes one feel they’re around Australia or the States. They have two branches, one at Podium, next to Shangri La Mall and one at Bonafacio, right opposite the Mini Cooper Showroom.


The best part is looking at so many gorgeous pastries and you will be spoiled for choice! I super like their mango cream danish!


Creme Brulee Bombolini ~~ which is a doughnut stuffed with cream and with a brulee sugar crust! OMG OMG OMG!

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Did I mention their Cronuts are famous here?! *DROOLS*

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Do you feel like licking the screen already?! Besides all these lovely pastries, cakes and muffin on display you can also order various breakfast favourites like eggs benedict ~~


Their Croque Madame is soooo good!


Their eggs benedict uses a type of hollandaise with a slight twist in terms of adding some beefy flavours to the sauce. SOOOOOO DREAMY! #eggporn


Had their Salmon eggs benny recently and it was DELISH!


You also must try their Kimchi Fried Rice with Ribs (at Podium branch) or steak (at Bonafacio branch). Sooo bloody delicious with an added kick! Seriously there’s so much choice I practically have breakfast 4-5 times at Wild Flour whenever I visit Manila!

Wildflour Cafe + Bakery is located at the ground floor of the Net Lima Building 4th Avenue and corner of 26th Street  Bonafacio Global City. They have another branch at Podium Mall which is a bit further out but worth going since it’s next to Shangri-la Mall and Megam Mall where there’s plenty of shopping to do! Just come for breakfast at Podium Wild Flour, there’s also a good coffee place called Coffee Craft and you can do a lot of shopping for gourmet food at Terry’s at the Podium basement floor ~~ I bought some squid ink and some other exotic ingredients! There’s also Little Flour all around Manila which is part of their branches. 


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In the high street of Serendra hails a restaurant called Mamou by Chef Malou Fores, specializing in good Filipino Comfort Food. The food mostly comes from her creations for her own family.

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Pork and Chicken Adobo are very common staples of Filipino cuisine but cooking Duck Adobo is something new. The Duck Adobo shredded into flakes, are served with duck egg topped with truffle oil ~~ mix them up and you have a very delicious combo!

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This is their Lorenzo's Truffle Cream Pasta, initial impressions was that it looked so plain but upon smelling the pasta, I can smell the strong kick of the truffle cream! This was so good ~ that me and my brother mopped it up very very fast – poor Shelly who met up with us only had a few bites of this yummy dish!

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Their citrus rubbed roast chicken and pork is also one of their specialties. You can choose to have all chicken or all pork. This is served with black beans ~~ and cinnamon roasted bananas. Quite a treat!

Mamou Unit 1C - 15 G/F Serendra, Fort Bonifacio Heights, Fort Bonifacio


Ramen Nagi


The Ramen at Ramen Nagi is a must try when visiting Manila. They are located at SM Aura mall ~~ I recommend the Green and the Black ~~


Simply breath-taking black garlic ramen – packed with flavour and one simply cannot resist those eggs! ITADAKIMASU!




The green version might seemed simple but it’s actually a pesto and parmesan ramen. I really enjoyed the taste of the basil herbs! Soooo goood! Order both black and green to try whenever you visit Ramen Nagi!

Ramen Nagi, 5th Floor SM Aura Premier (They have another branch at SM Mall of Asia)

Wrong Ramen

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Wrong Ramen is located around the Burgos Circle at Bonafacio. The ramen here is very interesting as they adopted a very different approach to their ramen which will make many Japanese chefs curse or faint at the thought of it!

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Their ramen is a pure porkish ecstasy as they boil down different parts of the pig in the ramen broth until a thick greasy porky goodness. In fact when you taste the soup, you don’t feel like it’s a broth, it’s more like a stew of fatty porky paradise, you actually feel sorry for your arteries ~~ but it’s soooooo gooood!

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Their F.U Ramen is basically giving a middle finger to ramen and putting sliced crispy spam, fried eggs and loaded with black pepper goodness! A spicy rich sinful ramen ~~ inspired by how we like to add eggs and ham to our instant noodles perhaps!

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I really love their funny pictures claiming how wrong they are with regards to ramen! Had such a good laugh!

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Wrong Ramen, Forbestown Rd, Burgos Circle, Taguig

Paradise Dynasty


Lots of people enjoyed Dim Sum from Paradise Dynasty especially their multi coloured Xiao Long Bao. They are conveniently located at SM Aura so drop by if you are in BGC just for a quick dim sum fix. IMG_20181202_183617

Pretty decent wonton soup too ~~

Paradise Dynasty

SM Aura, Level 2, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines

The Halal Guys


The Halal Guys are pretty popular internationally for their Gyro/Chicken wraps or rice platters. My friends highly recommend me to try so I decided to give it a shot. 


My friends tried the platter before so I went for the wraps instead


Pretty good if you ask me and it’s good for my Muslim readers as it’s Halal ~~

The Halal Guys

High Street Bonafacio



Donosti has a reputation for having great Spanish Basque cuisine and I have to say they have one of the most delicious Octopus dish I’ve tasted. Their grilled octopus served with cauliflower puree is worth coming here alone. A star dish for them.


We also ordered their delicious baby lamb rack which was tasty but did find it a tad too pricey especially since the fries were a tad soggy and had no place in this dish – but the lamb was lips smackin good – maybe they should remove the fries and replace it with something else.


Quite delicious paella but I wished there was more crispy burnt bits for me~~ the important part of Paella. They are also famous for their Tapas but I didn’t really get to try.


NAC Tower, 32nd St, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila, Philippines

Rico’s Lechon


If you have a craving for some Lechon – Rico’s Lechon which hails from Cebu has a branch at BGC. A popular household name – drop by for some lechon and be sure to add some kick with their spicy vinegar.


Wifey quite enjoyed their Sinigang ~~ a soup that has a lovely sourness to it.

Rico’s Lechon

The Fort Entertainment Complex, 5th Ave cor 28th St, Bonifacio Global City (350.44 mi, Taguig, 1634, Philippines

Caravan Black Coffee Company


Caravan Black is a lovely cafe for great cup of coffee and has quite a few good all day breakfast and fusion grain bowls in their menu. Gotta love their ambience too!

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Breakfast anyone?


They have pretty delicious grain bowls to match with their range of coffee drinks ~~


I’m quite fond of their Kaya Croissant toast ~~ which reminds me of Sangkaya (a more runny Thai style Kaya)


You can’t go wrong with the coffee here ~~

Caravan Black Coffee Company

Net Park, 1634, 4th Ave, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines

Niu By Vikings


If you are a big fan of buffets and you don’t want to break the bank – then Niu by Vikings is a good choice as you have a pretty good buffet spread in a very good setting – with free flow wines and draft beer ~~ for about less than $30 sgd during lunch! You need to prebook I think at least one month in advance as Niu is very popular!


Pizza and Fresh Pasta station (they will deliver to your table – just give them the table number)


Dim Sum or Sushi Section ~~ *drools* Their Har Kow (Prawn dumplings are pretty good)


The Lechon is very popular so drop by here to grab some first! LOL

Niu by Vikings

6th floor, SM Aura Premier, McKinley Parkway, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila, Philippines

Foo'd by Davide Oldani


I was pleasantly surprised how a one Michelin starred fine dining could be so affordable when I dined at Foo’d located near Shangrila BGC. If you are looking for some good quality fine dining at affordable prices – look no further. A 3-4 course meal for around 50-70 sgd depending on what you pick! Pictured first is their smoked duck carpaccio with beetroot puree and oranges, striking a good balance.


Their signature The CIPOLLA CARAMELLATA which won Chef Davide his Michelin star is a must try! Simply delicious onion tart with amazing 24 year aged Grana Padano Gelato to balance the dish.


They have quite a selection of great dishes to choose from so be sure to check this place out if you are looking to take someone out on a lovely fine dining meal without breaking the bank!

Foo’d by Davide Oldani

Shangri-La Hotel at the Fort, 30th St cor, 5th Ave, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines

+63 917 711 4469

Single Origin


Single Origin was quite an oasis from the afternoon heat for us ~~ spacious ambience ~~ a good selection of wine or coffee ~~ ahh ~~ I didn’t try their food as I was only here for a quick getaway from the hot sun but was pleasantly surprised with their coffee.


Ahhh thirst quenching goodness~~~ coffee or tea?


Dad enjoyed his coffee here ~~

Single Origin

C3, Bonifacio Highstreet, 7th Avenue Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila, Philippines

Tsuta One Michelin Star Ramen


In a mood for some Michelin star ramen? You don't need to fly to Japan. We checked out @tsutaphilippines famous shoyu ramen in BGC which earned their one Michelin star in Japan.


Tsuta shoyu ramen is a very light fragrant soup base with bouncy soba noodles. It's unlike your typical Tonkotsu rich broth ramen that many are used to. Have a lovely whiff and slurp it up enjoying the aroma of the signature soy sauce of Tsuta.


We also loved their Nikku Meshi which is torched fatty pork giving it a gorgeous smoky caramelised taste.


If you prefer stronger flavours go for their miso ramen or the spicy nuttier Dan Dan Mian.

Tsuta Ramen

C3, 7th Ave, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines

Gallery by Chele


Chef Chele Gonzalez worked at some of the world’s best restaurants in the world like El Bulli, El Celler de Can Roca, and Mugaritz before opening Vask in Manila which received accolades like rank 35 in Asia top 50 restaurants.


At @gallerybychele, the artistic ambiance matches the creative artistic bites of the chef, who fuses technical cooking with a good mix of local and exotic ingredients to give a rather enjoyable experience.


First time having fermented banana as a dessert enjoyed with local chocolate!


It’s a great place for fine dining in Manila. Enjoy the artistic ambience and the good service at Gallery by Chele.

Mendokoro Ramenba


Quite a number of locals recommended @mendokoro_ramenba for their fish tsukumen so I dropped by to try. I'm glad I did and I'll say you don't need to fly to Japan for quality tsukumen.


Be sure to have some delicious gyoza too!

Mendokoro Ramenba

26th Street Icon Plaza RCBC Building, Taguig, 1630 Metro Manila, Philippines


SM Megamall is about 30-45 minutes away from BGC but it’s one of the best places for shopping and eating under one roof. Worth a trip to visit! They are also connected to Shangrila Mall and Podium – two very good places for restaurants as well.

Pound by Todd English


If you love burgers – be sure to check out Pound by Todd English where you can get a foie gras double patty beef burger for only 700 pesos (less than $20 sgd)! What a steal!


My wife enjoyed their mushroom burgers too! Drop by Pound for all your burger cravings!

Pound By Todd English

Second Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City 

They got plenty of branches throughout Metro Manila so look for the nearest one to you!

La Petite Souffle


If you love French and Japanese cuisine ~ be sure to check out La Petite Souffle which is inspired by both Japanese and French influences. I personally love this beautiful scrambled eggs with seafood squid ink paella dish ~~~


Gorgeous steak ~~ Drools!


Seriously instagram worthy Souffle Carbonara ~~ Ohhh la la ~~


I am quite fond of their souffle Japanese beef curry rice ~~~ a classic beef curry rice – encased by a beautiful cheesy egg souffle!


Naturally you gotta sample their lovely souffles ~~ matcha or chocolate anyone? Mmmmm~~

La Petite Souffle SM Megamall Branch

SM Megamall Building B, St Francis, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines

La Petite Souffle Century City Mall Branch

Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave, Makati, 1210 Metro Manila, Philippines



Another famous Lechon originated from Cebu – you can have a quick fix of Lechon here but also try out their other family style dishes. For me – this express lechon with a combination of Lechon, lentils stew, acar (pickled veggies) and rice is a perfect balance to enjoy! Some prefer Rico’s and some will prefer Zubuchon – it’s better to come for lunch when the lechon is still fresh ~~

Zubuchon Sm Megamall

They got a few other branches so find the one nearest to you!

Tim Ho Wan


Fancy some One Michelin Dim Sum? Be sure to enjoy Tim Ho Wan’s signature Baked Charsiu buns which made them famous! I am glad to say the quality of the buns are good and comparable to HK! Thumbs up!


OOo myyy Har Kaw ~~


They got salted egg fish skins!! Perfect to enjoy with their congee


Their taro and pomelo mango sago desserts are seriously yummy! A must have ending to Tim Ho Wan in Manila!


After having so much international and Filipino food, my parents were glad to have good Chinese food! Dad especially love the soup noodles which he quietly enjoyed himself – I didn’t even get a taste! HAHA!

Tim Ho Wan has a few branches throughout Manila so just google for the nearest one to you! They can be pretty packed during peak hours!



Manam is a great place for Filipino comfort food! They are famous for having one of the best sisig in Metro Manila and is also a good place for some Filipino style brunch breakfast!

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My dad was craving for some good fried noodles and he’s glad to have tried out the Sisig panci ~~ stir fried noodles with crispy sisig goodness.


One simply doesn't say no to CRISPY PATA!


Their Watermelon Sinigang is an interesting soup unique to Manam!


Manam is a great place especially if you are in big groups to have down to earth twists to Filipino comfort food!

Manam SM Megamall

3/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall Expansion Bldg. D, EDSA cor. J, Doña Julia Vargas Ave, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines

Note they do have several branches so search for the nearest branch to you!

Mall of Asia

Mall of Asia has plenty of restaurants to check out and they have plenty of places for you to shop here. You can come here for a manicure and pedicure in one of their sections where you see tons of mani-pedi or massage stores. They also have plenty of hair salons!

Yabu – The House of Katsu

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One of the great tonkatsu restaurants where you enjoy your soft breaded delicious pork chops!

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Oooh gorgeous tender Kurabuta Pork Tonkatsu ~~

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Katsudon~~~ hmmmm ~~ goes well with the egg and shaved bonito flakes.

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What I like most about these tonkatsu establishments is the unlimited cabbage and I super love their wasabi mayo dressing! *nom nom* ~~ at least I’m eating more veggies!

Yabu Restaurant, Second Floor, South Arcade, Main Mall Atrium, SM Mall of Asia


Lugang Cafe

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Lugang cafe specializes in Taiwanese cuisine and is located at Mall of Asia, offering plenty of dim sum options and Chinese delicacies. This pork knuckle stew was simply delicious!!

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Seriously spoiled for choice in terms of the dum sum!

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I love how tender and silky their chicken with scallions were!

Lugang Cafe, Main Mall, Ground Floor (South Wing) Mall of Asia

Best fried chicken! Bon Chon and 4Fingers at Mall of Asia


My gf and I had a crazy challenge at Mall of Asia and tried all the fried chicken at Mall of Asia. The winner turned out to be Bon Chon, a Korean fast food chain but their fried chicken with special sauces win top marks!


4Fingers fried chicken is more crispy but loses slightly to Bon Chon in terms of packing a punch in flavour. Both are very good and must try!

Bon Chon and 4Fingers can be easily found at SM Mall of Asia.

Abe Restaurant

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Abe restaurant is a must visit for Filipino cuisine and they have many highly rated dishes!

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If you love fried pork knuckles – this is a MUST MUST order and in my opinion the best one I had eaten. Try it and be amazed!

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Oh sweet mother of Lamb Adobo! Sooo goood!

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Crispy Fried Beef Ribs ~~ goes so well with their special vinegar!!


The sisig is very very good as well here! *drools*

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Enjoy either with the bamboo rice or this baby octopus rice with salted duck egg!

Abe Filipino Cuisine Restaurant 2/F SM Mall of Asia

China Blue – Conrad Hotel next to  Mall of Asia


If you are looking for one of the best Chinese food in Manila – look no further than China Blue which has a wide selection of beautifully crafted dimsum to wow your senses.


Prices might be higher than other establishments but well worth the price for the beautiful presentation and gorgeous ambience.

China Blue Conrad Hotel

Seaside Boulevard, Coral Way, Pasay, 1300 Metro Manila, Philippines

+63 2 833 9999



Locavore in Manila is famous for their interesting reinterpretations as well as classic Filipino dishes that has attracted many! I quite like the ambience at their S Maison branch next to Mall of Asia. Their signature is their Oyster Sisig – a delicious sizzling hotplate of oysters ~~ so good with hot steamy rice!


Another famous dish of theirs is their sizzling sinigang – instead of the typical soupy dish – it has been transformed into a lovely gravy goodness ~~ a good amount of sourness to this meaty dish is indeed a delicious creation!


Ground Level, S'maison, Seaside Blvd, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines


Greenhills is a good place to shop for knock off bags, shoes and clothes. Be ready to spend a whole day here to shop around for clothes. I have some friends who bring their hand carry luggage with wheels just to bring around their purchases! There’s some restaurants I really like at Green Hills Area.


Katsu Sora


Katsu Sora is very different from other tonkatsu establishments as they have a salad bar for you if you dine in!


Making your own salads with their diverse range of vegetables, fruits and dressings – unlike others which only have cabbage or pickled vegetables.


The best part of their bar is making your own rice mix – with the variety of spice mixes – your rice can be damn delicious! Give them a try!


They let you choose what type of pork you want and the Iberico Pork is indeed a revelation! The highly marbled pork is so tender and juicy!!


Sora Katsu’s Iberico Pork Tonkatsu gets my vote for most delicious tonkatsu in Manila!


The Cheese and Ohba Stuffed Mille Feuille uses thin sakura pork, rolled into layers, then breaded and fried. Quite a good textural contrast and another must try!

Katsu Sora, 2/F Greenhills Promenade, San Juan

Classic Cuisine C2

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Classic Cuisine C2 has many branches in Manila but since you’re shopping at Green Hills – you can check them out here! I personally enjoy their modern versions of Filipino cuisine.

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This is their express Sisig – minced up parts of pork ~~ together with crispy chicharon (crispy pork fat) sizzling on a hot plate with a spicy sauce! I can say this is one of my top 2 favourite sisigs!

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Crispy Kare Kare – a crispy chunk of pork served with a rich peanut sauce, vegetables and shrimp paste! Love the peanut sauce and crispy pork combo!

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For dessert, I ordered their famous bibingka souffle - a classic Filipino dessert using cheese and salted yolks - reconstructed into a souffle! Yummy! I love the taste of the salted yolks along with the creamy coconut cheesy sauce. A salty and sweet dessert! Something you ought to try!

Classic Cuisine C2 Greenhills Branch, San Juan

Bijin Nabe by Tsukada Nojo

IMG_20181208_153959Collagen soup lovers can find comfort at Bijin Nabe at Greenhills (they also have one near Mall of Asia) for good comforting hot pot.


Would you look at that collagen~~ drools ~~ watching it melt makes me excited LOL


The best part is that the waitress will serve and help you cook ~~ while all you need to do is enjoy your hot pot! Ahhhh Oiishiii ~~

Bijin Nabe Greenhills Branch

Missouri Building, Greenhills Mall, 2nd, Missouri St, Metro Manila, Philippines

Bijin Nabe S Maison Branch

Level 2, S Maison, Conrad Manila, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines   

Coco Ichibanya Manila


Always a big fan of Japanese curry and I've enjoyed @cocoichibanyaph in Japan before but it's good to have it in Manila. If you have cravings for Japanese style curry ~ drop by one of their branches!

Coco Ichibanya Philipines


Rockwell area consists of the One Rockwell area and Powerplant Mall. There’s a very good gourmet food shop at Power Plant Mall as well as a huge selection of restaurants. Shopping is quite good here as well with Zara and Tyler, two very good fashion boutiques here. Take a taxi from Makati and tell them Power Plant Mall – it should cost less than 150 pesos and it’s pretty near – less than 10 minutes without traffic.

The Grid Food Market


If you want a gourmet food court to get the best of Manila under one roof – look no further than The Grid Food Market – which gathers some of the best talents in Manila to give you an International tasting session! You get fusion Mexican tacos ~~~


to all time Filipino favourites with a modern twist~~~


~~ fancy lobster rolls ~~


Juicy burgers and gorgeous tater tots ~~~


Simply delicious burnt cheesecakes and 17 layer chocolate cakes ~~ enjoyed with a cuppa good coffee ~~ they have it here at The Food Grid Market – while planning to add more great selections to their already amazing stalls!

The Food Grid Market

R2 Level Expansion, Power Plant Mall, Makati

Chef Jessie

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Chef Jessie has two branches – one is located at Salcedo village on top of Citibank while another branch is at Rockwell Club, which is just opposite Power Plant Mall. The rooftop branch at Salcedo is more romantic and offers a good night view but the one at Rockwell club is easier to find. Come here for their set lunches which are more affordable! Ala Carte can be quite expensive but their desserts are very good!

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Of course – escargots with garlic are yum!

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Duck Orange ~~ pretty moist duck with a classic orange sauce.

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Their herb crusted lamb rack is delicious too ~~ nom nom ~~


Their cheese souffle is epic too ~~ look at that sauce!

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Quite a selection of good souffles for dessert – you can never go wrong with them here. It’s their specialty!

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The star of Chef Jessie is this Princess Carmen, named after the chef’s mother. Layers of wafer and cream, covered with pistachio nuts and topped with a mango flower – this is a delicate French dessert. Simply heaven on a plate! Sophisticated and beautiful. And guess what… it’s delicious! It actually took the spotlight off the famous soufflé! With every good food, comes with a story which inspires it. Princess Carmen is a TOP TOP Quality dessert!

Chef Jessie  at Rockwell Club, G/F Amorsolo Place | Amorsolo Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati,


Tagaytay is about one hour away from Makati and you will need to hire a driver to take you there. At Tagaytay, you can see the Taal Volcano crater from Starbucks along the way but there’s two famous restaurants you must try.


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Antonio is considered by many foodies as one of the best restaurant in Manila that even when it’s so far out, people willingly travel there. A reservation is needed before you can enter the premises. They have a very pretty outdoor garden dining concept as well as indoors!

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Tempura Foie Gras Salad ~~ ooooo soooo goood!

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Their top signature – Duck Leg Confit is a must try ~ sooooo crispy man the skin ~~ and the meat is moist ~~~ SUPER AWESOME!

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Gorgeous rack of lamb ~~

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Crispy pork knuckle is fantastic too!

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They have quite a few desserts to choose from and we had their pudding and ice cream which are a good finish to our meal. They do have quite a lot of dishes which you can order according to your preferences but I highly recommend the Duck Leg confit.

Antonio’s, Purok 138, Barangay Neogan, Tagaytay City, Batangas, Philippines

Make your reservation at website:

Sonya’s Garden


Sonya’s garden is a good place for healthy food where the vegetables and edible flowers are all grown in the garden and they have a very good buffet spread!


Garden Salad – freshly harvested lettuce and arugula with mango, beans, cucumber, jackfruit, pineapple, corn, and whatever fruits that are in season. Sonya’s Garden Secret Salad Dressing is simply the bomb!


You gotta admit – that’s going to go into my salad bowl with lots of Sonya’s secret dressing!


You can also make your own bruschetta's with this mix of ingredients ~ freshly baked whole wheat sesame bread with an array of homemade dips and toppings such as basil pesto, white cheese, anchovies, mushroom paté (OMG SO GOOD) black olive tapenade, and fresh green peppercorns in olive oil.


Check out my bruschetta creations!


They also have a buffet spread at their buffet table: pasta served with two kinds of sauces (tomato based or cream based) and toppings, ratatouille, salmon belly, shitake mushrooms, black olives, capers, and grated parmesan cheese. Here’s my first round plate from the buffet table.


I really love the tarragon tea! Super good ~ ahhhhh ~~


The secret dressing that you must bring home as souvenir! I regretted not buying more!! Sooo goood!! They say the owner will take this secret recipe to her grave!

Sonya’s Garden, Barangay Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite, 4123, Philippines


Now you can buy balut – the bizarre dish of the Philippines – the egg embryo – in any 7 Eleven stores – just ask for Balut but I think the one at Balut Eggspress at Robinson’s Department store in Malate is pretty good. Robinson’s another place for you to shop – They also have a Classic Cuisine C2 branch here. Can drop by here for lunch then shop till dinner time. If you don’t have the time – just get them from 7 Eleven.

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Look for this stall near the Robinson food court!

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They might look scary but it’s actually pretty yummy~~ they have the steamed version and the battered and fried version.

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I quite like the fried version ~~ pretty good!

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The fried Day Old Chick looks scarier in my opinion but I gave them a try – taste like tender quail and you can munch on the bones since they’re very soft. I’ve seen a few 9-12 year old girls buying them and munching on them like snacks!

Balut Eggspressnear foodcourt of Robinson’s Mall at Malate (or just buy from any 7 Eleven to try)

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Phew! Now that was such a long post! There are still lot’s of places to try in Manila and with the rapid growth of Manila – there’s a lot of new restaurants opening up every month – so there will be come new ones that you can try as well! For sight seeing – a trip to Intramuros is a much to see the historic churches and parks – just make sure to do your research well and don’t get scammed by ‘guides’ – do the walk on your own ~ don’t use any guides! I also recommend you take a taxi to Shangri-La Mall which is next to Megamall where H & M and Uniqlo opened there – you can also see Tim Ho Wan Hong Kong dimsum there! Ask the Taxi Driver to drop you at Podium and have breakfast at Podium Wild Flour, there’s also a good coffee place called Coffee Craft and you can do a lot of shopping for gourmet food at Terry’s at the Podium basement floor! Though I will probably finish my shopping at SM Mall and Shangri La Mall before buying lots of stuff at Terry’s so you don’t have to carry them whole day!

I hope you have an awesome trip to Manila and I hope my guide was very useful to you!

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Special shout out to my two friends in Manila Shelley and Sarah! Look forward to seeing you two again!


Special shoutout to Jan as well who showed me great hospitality during my Manila trips. Looking forward to see you too!


Special thanks to very prominent food bloggers Jin Loves to Eat and Shoot First Eat Later and it’s such a pleasure to meet them! For more in depth research on the latest Manila food scene – their websites are a must visit!!

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