If you visit the Philippines venturing out for a feed is easy. Filipinos are food-obsessed with eating pattern ranging from breakfast, merienda, lunch, merienda, dinner and even late supper is available for the night owls. You will find lots of restaurants that serve international cuisine in Metro Manila, but since you’re in the Philippines why not try some of the local delicacies. Adobo (pork or chicken stew) is a popular dish, serve anytime of the day. It’s salty, tangy, garlicky and hint of sweetness, so what’s not to like!
It’s always a good idea to list down the places where you want to dine and classify them by the area they are in. The traffic in Manila can be horrendous, but if you are in a popular dining precinct expect that most of the well known restaurants will have branches there, so no need to struggle trying to get across town if you do not need to. From experience, it’s difficult to catch a ride to go from one area to another especially during rush hours. If you do decide to venue hop later, Grab Transport is our favourite app for a ride or ride sharing in Manila, taxis are plentiful too.
We’ve listed our favourite places to eat in Makati City and Bonifacio Global City (BGC) aka The Fort.
Tipsypig Ph – Forbestown (BGC)
Forbestown Rd, Parklane, Taguig
+63 917 616 6923
Filipino and International
A gastro pub located in Forbestown, a new dining precinct in Taguig. It has an outdoor, indoor and second level seating areas. High ceilings with soft lighting throughout the ground level area. DJ and acoustic music nightly on the second level. Nice selection of food that can go along with a beer or wine. Try their Tipsy Sisig – bagnet (crispy pork belly), calamansi aioli, poached egg and pork floss. Nice presentation added a twist to this classic all time favourite Filipino dish.
Locavore – Forbestown BGC
Forbes Town Center, Burgos Cir, Taguig, Metro Manila
+63 917 574 2017
When we arrived they asked us if we made a prior booking. Unfortunately not, I replied, the crew immediately re-arranged a long table and set a table for two. Locavore’s trendsetting offerings have been the talk of foodies that I met last year but I didn’t get the chance to visit. Lucky this time! Filipino fusion is the specialty and I must say, the presentation of each dish is amazing. A menu is written all over the wall plus a video that keeps playing highlighting how their food is prepared and served. It’s cosy, casual and warm. Must try: quenching cocktails and boneless lechon belly.
Cabalen – Glorietta
Ayala Center, Glorietta 2, Office Dr, Makati City
+63 2 8236 0737
Filipino and Asian Dishes
Perhaps it’s one of our favourite all-you-can-eat buffets in Makati specialising in Filipino and Asian cuisine. The new look and refurbishment is inviting, a step up from their previous well loved but worn interior. Dive into an array of hot and cold dishes. Check out the dessert section, create your own halo-halo or chocolate sensation till your hearts content!
Propoganda – Greenbelt
Level 2, 5 Greenbelt Dr, Legazpi Village, Makati City
+63 2 7576 1908
If you fancy Vietnamese food in Makati, then head to Propoganda. Located on the second level of Greenbelt 5, this place is a stunner. The painted wall with Vietnamese characters is mesmerising. It’s a casual eatery with a chic and colourful ambiance. The Propaganda platter is perfect if you just want to try a mixture of some items on the menu. Finish off your meal with sticky rice and mango, is simply divine!
Cartel Deli – Legaspi Village
Ground Floor KL Tower, Gamboa, Legazpi Village, Makati City
+63 2 8772 8270
Filipino and International
We stumbled this restaurant by sheer accident. Run by YK Hotel, this ground floor café / restaurant has more to offer than meet the eyes. It’s modern, airy, warm and inviting, a perfect place if you are dining solo or in a group. We had breakfast twice at this place, coffee selections are great. Staff are super friendly and attentive. For breakfast, try their Ham Omelette or a crispy croissant.
Via Mare – Greenbelt
Greenbelt 1, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City
+63 2 8815 1918
We keep on coming back to this restaurant, their ‘binagonang baboy’ (salted pork) and sinigang na‘bangus belly’ (sour soup) ticks all the boxes. I call Via Mare an institution, the taste has not changed over the years and the impeccable service is second to none. The staff are warm and sincere. Read the full review here.
Manam – Power Plant
Powerplant Mall, Power Plant Mall Hidalgo Drive, Makati City
You’re lucky if there is no queue, this place is drawing crowds all the time. We had to wait 15 mins to be seated when we visited this restaurant. Minimalist décor, bright and modern interior reflecting its innovative take and presentation of Filipino comfort food. Staff were very attentive and our order came out in a timely manner. The plating up was jaw dropping, though we did complain that the sinigang (sour broth) was not pipping hot. They took the bowl and replaced it with a new broth, kudos kids. All the best sellers are highly recommended to try out, particularly the sisig ang crispy palabok. Get ready to share on Instagram how they mixed the palabok.
Mesa Moderne Filipino – Greenbelt
Ground Level, Greenbelt 5, Legazpi St., Ayala Center, Makati City
(+63 2) 728-0886
Very handy location, nestled on the ground level of the Greenbelt Shopping Mall. It has an outdoor dining overlooking the manicured gardens of the mall and air conditioned indoor dining. I must admit it’s nice to sit outside but during the peak of summer it’s a bit uncomfortable so head inside for some air condition. Nice ambience, staff are great and service is sincere. For meat lovers, this restaurant is for you, the grilled platters are out of this world. This our second time to dine and we chose a fish dish and spicy “laing” (shredded taro leaves cooked in thick coconut milk two ways this time. Both dishes are highly recommended.
Gaja Korean Kitchen – Makati
Second Floor, 8445 Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City
02 82469069 ext:971
Korean food is literally everywhere in Metro Manila. All you can eat meat deals and self table grilling have attracted much of the Filipino foodie aficionados. But if you are like me that prefers Korean a-la carte dining then head to Gaja (Let’s Go) Korean dining. A hidden gem located on the second floor of a building, you go up by lift or stairs. The restaurant has a modern fit out, bright space with a few Korean artefacts that complement the cosy ambiance. You start with a selection of delicious banchan (small side dishes) then to the mains. We were satisfied with all the spicy hits and flavours of the dishes that we ordered. Must try; Deep Sea Pajeon – crisp Korean pancake with mixed seafood to be dipped in a spicy Hwarang sauce.
Rico’s Lechon – Glorietta
Top of Glorietta, Ayala Avenue cor. Pasay Road, Ayala Center, Makati
(+63 2) 759-9536
You can’t afford to leave the Philippines without trying the pride of the archipelago, the ‘lechon’ (roasted suckling pig). There’s a rivalry amongst the different islands who makes the best lechon. Cebu, the Queen city seems to have garnered the title where Rico’s Lechon originally hailed from. They have received numerous awards for their cracking and succulent lechon with its consistency and raving reviews. We waited for 15 minutes for a table but while waiting they can serve you a beer which you can enjoy in their waiting area. Aside from the noisy diners, you can also hear the big knives chopping up the lechon. We ordered the 250 grams of spicy lechon. It was tender, flavoursome and melted in the mouth. Definitely, a lechon dish should be included in everyone’s to eat list in the Philippines.
E_deliciou_S independently paid for all these meals.