“It’s always more Fun in the Philippines” as the travel ads say – and indeed it is! It has been five years since I last step foot in the bustling city of Manila. Far too many travelers arrive in this city only to jump on a plane to Boracay or Palawan – it’s their loss as the capital has plenty to offer.
There came a point in my visit that I simply had to stop myself from eating – as it seems that the only activity I did during the five days I was here was to stuff myself.
Hands down the best Filipino food I had was at Manam. A good friend introduced me and I had the opportunity to go twice to try out different dishes. They have several outlets that are consistently packed. Unfortunately, no reservations are accepted. They serve both traditional and modern (as they call, “Twists”) Filipino cuisine.
Kyoto Kaiseki is an elegant and outstanding Japanese restaurant helmed by Chef Ryo, who was previously the personal chef of the Japanese ambassador to the Philippines. He stayed on and opened his restaurant that has a limited number of seats.
The Blackbird at the Nielsen Tower is a restaurant in a very elegant setting. I dropped by with friends who had lunch and claimed it was excellent (I only had coffee).
I understand that the new hip area is Poblacion. I was brought to the neighbourhood for dinner at Le Bistro Du Dr. Wine.
The best coffee I had was at Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters, which I was told was from Australia.
Another restaurant serving traditional Filipino dishes is Lorenzo’s Way in Makati City.
A popular place for brunch is Wild Flour, although they also serve lunch and dinner. They also have several locations.
For those looking for some solid Chinese food, Lugang Cafe is a good spot, especially for breakfast.
It it was at this point that I was giving up on “eating”, whatever that means. The Glass House in the Rockwell area is a nice spot to hang out.
Last but but not the least, an old time favourite for Japanese food is Kimpura. They have moved across the street of their previous location. Brings back some happy memories.