pinaygourmand's Passion for Thy Bounty
Friday, November 03, 2006 My Favorite Food Places Around Metro Manila

Doesn’t it sucks when you’re out hungry and being an adventurous food enthusiast, you spotted this not so familiar resto and decided to “go for the kill” only to end up utterly disappointed over their not so palatable treats? And you just wish to find on that establishment’s walls: MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. I bet if only you could find such, you would instantaneously complain to the manager and ask for a refund for a not so appealing meal you just had…but unfortunately, there is no food place around Metro Manila that confidently post a guarantee thingie.

I do love to eat out, especially when it’s all worth it. In one way or another, I had terribly good and absolutely bad food place finds. I felt robbed when I am not so satisfied and as if “cursing” the establishment, I vow not to dine in that place anymore especially if I will be the one to shell out some cash! Why bother to spend for something so unworthy? I don’t mind if it’s quite pricey as long as the quality suits and satisfies me.

I thought it will be helpful to share which places I love the most. It will be timely during this season, when soon you’ll all be rushing to the malls to do your Christmas shopping or hang out with your beloved balikbayan relatives. With your Christmas bonus and 13th-month pay, you’ll most likely to enjoy food trips soon!

1. Highlands Steakhouse
I do heart steaks! Who doesn’t? (other than a vegetarian of course) I like the idea of grilling or searing my own 12-ounce steak at my table and share it with a gang. But when I am quite lazy and just want to savor a satisfying steak, their tender Filet Mignon will do plus Clam Chowder and a view of the sunset. Perfect!

SM Mall of Asia
2nd Floor Entertainment Mall
near the IMAX theater
Pasay City

2. Gulliver’s San Francisco
This is my all time favorite steakhouse. When most steakhouses had closed operations and I just couldn’t alleviate my cravings for a nice slice of red meat…my hunt resulted to finding this restaurant at the Great Eastern Hotel in Quezon City. My favorite is the Prime Rib of Beef. As soon as the waiter serves it infront of me, I just can’t help but smile- big size, moist quality lean meat, appealing side dishes and overly nice aroma. My hands are trembling in excitement can’t wait for my knife and fork to smack the juicy meat!

Great Eastern Hotel
Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
8th floor
Great Eastern Hotel
Makati Avenue, Makati City
10th floor

3. Fish & Co.
Just as I love meat, I love seafood and pasta too. I love the Clam Chowder, their famous Fish and Chips, Seafood Platter and Prawn Vermicelli. Whenever I dine at this place, it’s always jam-packed.

Shangri La Mall
Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City

Greenbelt 3
3rd Floor
Ayala Center, Makati City

4. L’Opera
This is an ultimate Italian restaurant to perfectly satisfy anyone’s taste buds. What to eat? Composizione di Petto d’Anatra e Fegato d’Oca con Tartufo Nero (slices of duck breast with Foie Gras) and another favorite the Chilean Sea Bass with Lobster and White sauce. Also try a delicious pasta dish, Maccheroni with ricotta cheese and pine seeds in Italian tomato sauce and don’t forget for dessert, Panna Cotta with truffle syrup and balsamic vinegar. YUM!!!

The Fort Entertainment Complex
Bonifacio Global City

5. China Star
With numerous Chinese restaurants all over Manila, I still find this place “special”. I just love how “kakaiba” (different) their Chinese dishes than other Chinese food place and their menus composition definitely delicious. Beggar’s Pot of Marinated Pork just melts in your mouth literally, nice paired with steamed rice or soft buns. The Shrimp with Salted Eggs and Buchi filled with egg custard are also worth a try. When you just want to get warm on a chilly night, Roast Duck Noodles is absolutely good. TIP: put a dash of black vinegar (Chinese vinegar) on your noodles and it gets more flavorful. Just request the vinegar from the waiter. By the way, I like how efficient the crew staffs are-nice service (plus the food) you’d want to keep on coming back.

1st floor, near BPI
ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center
Pasig City

6. Master’s Wok
When I want dimsums and dumplings, this is the place to be. I have this paranoia of how D’n’D’s are prepared and cooked thus I don’t usually order D’n’Ds in any Chinese restaurant. But here, I confidently order those, I love their siopao-either Bola Bola or Asado, both are good and I’m sure that it isn’t of cat’s meat!!! I love the Chicken Feet too. Anything in their menu is a delight but I mostly enjoy the dimsums and dumplings at this place. It is something that I can’t seem to enjoy somewhere else.

5th floor
ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center
Pasig City

7. Akiga
Japanese cuisine is something that I think you can only enjoy from an authentic high quality restaurant. (that applies to me, based on my food finds) My ultimate treasure that I found here is the Codfish Teriyaki, I have probably tried most Japanese restaurants in town but their version is the best and very consistent. They use fresh imported codfish, which gives out more flavor than the local ones when cooked. Its worth quite notch higher than other Japanese restaurants but what the heck, it’s so flavorful absolutely delicious! Only fresh tuna and salmon sashimi served, and real King Prawns Tempura. When you’re all filled up, sip on the Japanese tea.

1st floor, besides BPI
ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center
Pasig City

8. Inagiku
This famous posh Japanese restaurant at the Shangri La Hotel Makati offers authentic quality treats plus an aesthetically wonderful ambiance-pure elegance, Japanese cuisine at its finest. Try the Sashimi Platter, Makis, Hamachi, Aburi Engawa Sushi (flatfish sushi) and Lobster Tempura.

Makati Shangri La Hotel
2nd floor Left side
Ayala Avenue Avenue, Makati City

9. Genji!
If you want more affordable yet fresh and quality sushi, grab it at Genji! The main attraction at this small restaurant is the conveyor belt sushi. They offer a saucer of sushi for less than Php 100. They have 3-5 kinds of colored saucers (red, green, violet) each colored saucer cost differently from the other. Some varieties are California Maki, Tuna Sashimi, Salmon Sashimi, Baby Octopus, Sea Weeds Salad and more. The teppanyakis are a must-try too.

Greenhills Shopping Center
2nd Floor, Carpark Building

10. Lamesa Grill
This is an all new experience dining galore for barbecue lovers. A first in the restaurant industry here in the Philippines, it is a high tech restaurant that encourages customers to grill their own meal at a tabletop with no hassles of amalgam of smoke and air coming out from the air conditioners throughout the place. They offer the Crispchon (crispy lechon) at an affordable price, and their very own Kinulob (rock salt cooking) na Apahap or Tilapia. My favorite, hard to find fish Tawilis is also served here. A dining experience in this place is worth to share with family and friends.

SM Mall of Asia
1st Floor
Pasay City

11. Restaurant 5 (formerly Cafe Berrio)
This newly renovated restaurant offers an enticing and indulging buffet for only Php 650! It offers a contemporary comfort cuisine by nonetheless Chef David Pardo de Ayala and Chef Rick Abasta (both are my favorite!), you may indulge with fresh Oysters with different dipping sauces and toppings, tasty Pasta Paella with Chorizo, Sushi, Sashimi, Makis, Dumplings, wide Salad Bar, inviting Dessert Spread, Roast Carving Station and many more! You may also order interesting fusion dishes from the a la carte menu: Sake-Marinated Gindara, Lucban Longanisa Risotto among others but these are my personal choices and don’t forget to try the fruit juice Calypso-mix of mango, peach and dalandan. Superb! Mind you, this restaurant was once chosen by Men’s Zone as the Best Restaurant. (Men’s Zone is a magazine by Businessworld).

Discovery Suites
5th floor
ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center
Pasig City

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