December is everyone’s favorite month AND favorite excuse to forget about dieting. We hope this list provides some extra reasons to indulge and be merry this holiday season. This month, we have five new entrants to our Top 10 Most Loved Restaurants in Manila list, most of which are located in Makati and Taguig. A record number of people added restaurants to their Favorites list on Booky over the past month. Read on to find out which 10 restaurants appeared over and over again on peoples’ Favorites list. There’s also a new #1!
10. The Wholesome Table – Bonifacio High Street
Last month’s #7
The Wholesome Table is an organic restaurant that serves comfort food opened by Bianca Araneta-Elizalde who previously opened Aria in Boracay. All produce is organic and sourced locally where possible, the meat is pasture raised and ingredients are not processed or refined. It’s for the hip and health conscious. It’s not for people who drink carbtrim or coke zero. We recommend their powerbowls and smoothies. Their bestsellers are the Pork Chops and the Meatloaf, but a lot of people seem to be in love with their Burrata and Chicken Dukkah Salad. Our insider tip is that it’s dog-friendly so bring along your best buddy.
9. 12/10 – San Antonio Village
12/10 is a small creative Izakaya studio from the famed ‘The Girl + The Bull‘ couple. Contrary to their first project that’s bright and sunny, 12/10 has an industrial dim-lit vibe. It’s for nearby Makati residents who don’t fancy the trip south to The Girl + The Bull and office-goers who are looking for a casual afterwork hangout spot. It’s not for breakfast goers or dessert lovers. We recommend the Salmon Kushiyaki, Toro Onigiri and KFC (Korean Fried Chicken). Our insider tip is that ‘Izakaya’ means it’s a drinking establishment that also serves food so make sure to check their extensive beverage menu.
8. Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza – Salcedo Village
Last month’s #4
Gino’s is a Neapolitan style pizzeria that serves freshly made 12-inch pizzas using their own kesong puti (white cheese) made with milk from the Philippine Carabao Institute. Named after the son of owners Jutes and Cello Templo, it is a cozy neighborhood restaurant and may be easily missed if not for their bright signage. This is their second branch after Katipunan. It’s for anyone who prefer something casual or want to order takeout. It’s not for foodies who want their pizzas big with a firm crispy crust and lots of cheese, Neapolitan pizzas are not your usual American pizzas. We recommend any of their burrata dishes and the SMEG pizza. Our insider tip is to add a little of their honey syrup and chilli flakes on their pizzas.
7. El Chupacabra – Poblacion
El Chupacabra is a Mexican-American restaurant serving street tacos, barbecue and cheap beer in a once quiet street in Poblacion, Makati. The place originally serves as the comissary of Mexicali. It’s for expats and locals looking for a great mexican food at an affordable price. It’s not for people who don’t like an open air setup that can get a little hot. We recommend their Carne Asada and Cabrito. Our insider tip is there’s free shots for everyone in the restaurant everytime the bell rings.
6. Tim Ho Wan – SM Mega Fashion Hall
Last month’s #6
Tim Ho Wan was probably one of the most anticipated franchises that’s opened in Manila this year. For years, it has been everyone’s go-to-dimsum when visiting Hong Kong; after all it has been recognized as the cheapest One Michelin star in the world. It’s for everyone who loves good and fairly affordable dimsum and more, it’s not forpeople who hate long lines. Their crowd stealer is definitely the Baked Bun with BBQ Pork, we also recommend their Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumpling and Steamed Spinach Dumpling with Shrimp. Our insider tip is to queue after lunch rush hour or 2 hours before closing time for shorter lines. P.S. The buns are P145 for 3 pieces, VAT exclusive.
5. Blackbird – Ayala Triangle
Blackbird, situated in the heart of Makati City, is a contemporary European and Asian restaurant headed by Chef Colin Mackay (of Sala Bistro and People Palace). Its aviation theme is inspired by the Manila International Air Terminal which was built and used to stand on the same location in 1937. It’s for special occasions and a reason to dress up. It’s not for value hunters on the average week night. We recommend the The Blackbird Burger and Blackbird Fish Pie. Our insider tip is pre-order your desserts, they run out fast.
Reservations are recommended
View the full menu
Nielson Tower, Ayala Triangle, Makati
+63 2 828-4888
4. Izakaya Kikufuji – Little Tokyo
You can always rely on Little Tokyo restaurants to bring you a tiny piece of Japan. It’s a perfect example of why consistent quality food will always trump any form of marketing. Izakaya Kikufuji serves fresh sashimi and affordable and tummy-filling bento sets. It’s for people who want to experience authentic Japanese style dining–kimonos, tatami mats, Japanese families and all. It’s not for those who don’t like full and crowded restaurants. Aside from their sashimi selections, we recommend their Wagyu sticks and Shake Uni Don. Our insider tip is to visit during lunch time for cheaper menu prices.
3. Wildflour Café + Bakery – Fort Bonifacio
Wildflour Café + Bakery offers international fare and specialty breads and cakes. A bakery at heart, the newest branch has an expanded menu and an al fresco dining area. It was designed by LA based chef/owner Walter Manzke. It’s for people who enjoy breakfast, brunch or lunch in a place that always feels like Sunday mornings. It’s not for people who want a quiet or quick meal. We recommend the pulled pork sliders and the kimchi steak fried rice. Our insider tip is to get pastries at 50% off after 7PM! P.S. Remember their cronuts? They’re still available, for pre-order.
2. Todd English Food Hall – SM Aura
Last month’s #1
Todd English offers food from all over the world in an upscale food hall setting. A large restaurant with 9 different food stations, it is branded after American celebrity chef Todd English. It’s for people who like big menus or want to eat in a big group. It’s not for an intimate experience. We recommend the two way duck, Brooklyn meatball spaghetti and their flat breads. Our insider tip is to order from their white truffle menu (while stocks lasts). Also, after the widely popular and instagrammed OMG Cake comes the The Bomb, which we hear is the bomb.
1. Your Local – Legaspi Village
Last month’s #2
Your Local is a neighbourhood bistro serving South East Asian dishes with a twist. Opened by Chef Denny Antonino and Nicco Santos, the restaurant has a hipster meets industrial vibe and serves all day brunch together with their standard menu. It’s for yuppies at lunch time and everyone at dinner. It’s not for people who don’t like small menus. We recommend the Lamb Rendang and Torched Salmon Donburi. Impress your date with their value-for-money 24 Hour Sous Vide Corn Fed USDA Choice Beef Short Rib. Our insider tip is to hop over to Yardstick after dinner for coffee through their revolving wall partition. P.S. Your Local should be on your right when driving into one-way Esteban St., the place is easy to miss with non-lighted signage.
We hope you’re able to try as many of these restaurants as you can. If you’re forgetful, consider adding these restaurants to your ‘Must Try’ list on the Booky app. To see last month’s list, click here.