Burgos Circle at the Fort: Manila’s newest dining hotspot
SPOT.ph puts the spotlight on two restos worth checking out at the new Burgos Circle in the Fort: Jozu Kin and Mile Hi Diner.
A short distance away from the bustle of Serendra and Bonifacio High Street, Burgos Circle is an enclave with residential condominiums and a small park at its center. It is also home to several restaurants, which are slowly drawing in the crowds.
Now open at Burgos Circle are Jozu Kin, Mile Hi Diner, Rastro, Cafe Juanita, Sugarhouse, Cantinetta, The Good Earth and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, while Melo’s and UCC Cafe will soon join the list of Burgos Circle tenants.
"Jozu" in English is "skillful" while "kin" means "gold," shares restaurateur Veejay Villavicencio, owner of Jozu Kin. He says the term "skillful" refers to the chef and the staff at Jozu Kin. According to Villavicencio, who also runs the Japanese joint, Jozu, in Tomas Morato which caters to a lower-end market and Somethin’ Fishy in Eastwood, Jozu Kin is where he can execute his concept of a Japanese restaurant with 21st century flavors.
Traditional Japanese fare dominates the menu, with Jozu Kin’s versions of authentic dishes such as tempura, sashimi and maki. Other items are given a Japanese flavor, like that of their pasta dish called Kurokusho Pasta, which is cooked with flying fish roe and looks like caviar. According to Villavicienco, a test of a good Japanese resto is its sushi and tempura. He takes pride in Jozu Kin’s tempura, with larger than usual shrimps hugged in batter. He also shares that he flies in ingredients from Japan.
"People are always looking for something new," says Villavicienco. The Makati crowd is slowly going to the Fort and he says that Burgos Circle offers more privacy even with the soon-to-open Shangri-la Hotel just a few blocks away.
Villavicencio is also bullish about employing Filipino employees. This includes Jozu Kin’s chef, New-York trained Chef Jayme Natividad, whose work experience includes putting in hours at the popular New York resto, Balthazar. "The chef of any restaurant though, is just part of a restaurant’s story. We helped Chef Jayme create Jozu Kin’s menu for the Filipino palate."
Jozu Kin is at Unit ES-2 Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Tel. No. 403-1875.
Mile Hi Diner
Mile Hi is the same diner from Baguio and Tagaytay that offers generous servings of diner favorites with Mexican and Pinoy influences like steaks, burgers, pancakes, nachos, burritos, quesadillas, tapa and tocino. Their bestsellers include mozzarella-stuffed burgers, baby back ribs, tacos and fried calamari.
To cater to their more upscale market compared to their other branches, Mile Hi offers a wider range of imported beers like Grolsch Premium Lager, Chimay Trappist Beer, Leffe Brune, Budweiser Budvar and Heineken Lager.
"Burgos Circle looks like a piazza. It’s nice that the restos are near residential condos," says owner Glen Palencia. Technically, Mile Hi is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, but the diner remains open as long as customers come in.
Mile Hi is at Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Tel. No. 556-2530.
Photos by Warren Espejo.