If you find yourself in Manila on the weekend and are looking for some great food, perhaps you might want to head to one of the following restaurants located in and around the financial district of Makati that have been creating a buzz.
Fine dining and Filipino food never used to be associated with each other until now. Chef Roland Laudico has shown it was possible, starting with a small private kitchen in a home, followed by this chic restaurant in “The Fort” area opened in 2006. Selections feature familiar ingredients but always prepared and presented with a twist like the ubod lumpia cone (heart of palm wrap) or pork sinigang puree.
Tel: +63 2 856 0634
Le Cordon Bleu trained chef Bruce Lim and well-known local architect Jason Buensalido purposely came up with an open-plan design with the kitchen at the heart of the dining experience (see below). No matter where guests are seated, they can see him and his team whip up an array of regional delicacies such as aligue-flavoured sotanghon (vermicelli), fried putsit (squid) or kadios on a bed of sour monggo salad (pork hocks from Iloilo) just like in a TV cooking show.
Tel: +63 2 399 1888
The menu is largely Mediterranean-influenced, inspired by chef Luis de Terry’s’ many travels in this part of the world. A continuing hit with diners is the tender lamb shank with yoghurt sauce as well as the turmeric chicken and herb-crusted lamb spareribs with bejewelled couscous. The place converts into a bar after 10pm.
Tel: +63 2 403 3991
Lusso Gastro Bar
This cosy restaurant may be small in size but big on providing a decadent experience, even in its most mundane items such as the potato chips, which come truffled. The bite-size, demi-pound burger is a highly recommended entrée, which could be followed by the more filling chicken pot pie or grilled entrecote béarnaise. Caviar and truffles are available whenever you feel indulgent, as is Champagne by the glass. All this culinary decadence is driven by executive chef, Gaita Fores.
Tel: +63 2 756 5893
Fans of French and Mediterranean cuisine will find old favourites such as escargot, classic onion soup with gruyère and seafood pot au feu among others coexisting on the menu with chef Jessie Sinsioco’s specialties such as alugbati salad in wasabi vinaigrette dressing with parmesan flakes, crunchy prosciutto and micro arugula and poached lapu-lapu in creamy pesto sauce. The main dining hall can accommodate 150 guests, while the mezzanine level can take 30 guests.
Tel: +632 897 83 10
Margie T Logarta