(SPOT.ph) You can cook at home, but there's something about doing it in a restaurant that makes it more exciting and less of a chore. The impression that you’re being given choices, ingredients, and opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t have in an ordinary sit-in, not to mention the no-dishwashing bonus after, is a good draw. From shabu-shabu to burgers by your own design, we've listed the 10 best restaurants in Manila that tell you to "Do it yourself!"
10. Detoxify Bar
Getting into the juicing bandwagon? If you don’t have a Breville at home, you might want to check out the recently opened Detoxify Bar. While most shake and juice stands also allow you to choose pretty much whatever components you want in your beverage, the difference here is that it’s healthy. One hundred percent juice, one hundred percent figure-friendly. You can experiment with mixed fruit in your drink or you can plunge into it and be exclusively green. Detoxify also has cleansing programs available.
Techno Plaza 2, Eastwood, Quezon City; Tuscany, McKinley Hill, Makati City
9. Marta’s Cakes
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to bake your own cupcakes or cookies, but as one of Manila’s leading cake bakeries, Marta’s injects a little fun in their shop by allowing customers to decorate their famous bakes any way they like. The activity was built for kids, but it’s become such a hit for the young at heart and other adults who need a fun and creative outlet, too.
Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Makati (915-0005)
8. Ganso Shabuway
Tabletop cooking isn’t new in the city. The cult of healthy shabu-shabu is still popular a decade since it became culinary norm here. Our choice for hot pot is Ganso Shabuway. The Yin and Yang-styled eatery makes shabu-shabu fashionable with its modern red and black motif. Ganso Shabuway proves you don’t need too many options to create something incredible. The menu features only five packages complete with protein, noodles, and other add-ons; two types of sauce are available for you to smack your lips on-ponzu and peanut. Cooking is up to you. The beauty about hot pot is that there’s no wrong way of doing it.
Greenbelt 5, Makati City; Power Plant Mall, Makati City
Yakiniku is a recurring trend in NYC, but in Manila where it’s become more or less a staple in the Japanese food scene, Tajimaya takes the cake, or in this case, grill. It’s a grill-all-you-can, eat-all-you-can joint that features the best, most mouthwatering Wagyu beef ribs, among other equally savory options. The challenge is to control yourself while you wait for your meats to cook.
One Rockwell, Makati City; SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City
6. Juju Eats
Do you play it safe with pesto or do you risk it with Thai beef? From the type of lettuce down to the last calorie, the power to choose is yours. It’s like life and how you should live it-but with greens and add-ons! The process is simple: pick a size, base, freebies, extras, and dressing. Juju Eats indicates how many calories there is in each component. If you’re counting your daily calorie intake, it might be wise to bring a calculator.
BCS Building, 2297 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City
5. Frutti Froyo
One of the few smallish froyo chains to remain standing since the craze quieted down, Frutti Froyo sells frozen yogurt by weight. Yes, you read right. By weight. The place stresses self service. You pick the bowl from a display before choosing from their comprehensive roster of yogurt flavors. We know all too well that cranking the machines are fun, but try not to get too overloaded. Course through the collection of dispensers filled with every topping possible-cereal, nuts, chocolate, candy; beside it, a smorgasbord of fruits and syrups and sauces. Once you’re sure you’re satisfied with your creation, you can progress to the register where they’ll weigh your bowl and price accordingly.
Tomas Morato corner Scout Madrinan, Quezon City; 3/F Trinoma, Quezon City; the Commerce Center, Commerce Avenue, Alabang, Muntinlupa City; University Mall, Taft Avenue, Manila; Petron Dasmariñas Village, EDSA corner Pasay Road, Makati City.
There are 11.5 million possible sundae combinations at Coldstone Creamery-and that’s just with their current lineup of ice cream flavors and toppings. It would be fun to smoosh your masterpiece together, but at Coldstone, creation stops at selection.
Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Makati
It’s almost funny how no one thought about this idea sooner. Burgers are fun, innovative, and easy to assemble. Burger Project challenges the limits of what you can put between two slices of bread with the 50,000 permutations you can craft with their 14 toppings and sauces, four cheeses, meats, buns, and other wacky add-ons and options. If you’re not one for creativity, Burger Project has six designer burgers for you to choose from, but take our advice and go crazy!
Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City; Jupiter Street, Makati City
2. Project Pie
This franchise from the United States is all about invention AND affordability. For a flat fee of P285, you can add as many as 29 toppings to your freshly made nine-inch pie. The process is fast and simple and takes less than five minutes: flattening the dough is roughly 60 seconds while baking requires twice as much time (which isn’t much if you think about it). The only trouble would be choosing which toppings are best.
515 Shaw, Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City
1. Slappy Cakes
Pancakes by your own design. Whoever said you can’t "play" with your food hasn’t popped in to try Slappy Cakes. Non-stick burners are installed on the table and, to make your own pancakes, you’re given a tube (or tubes) of flavored batter (your preference), boats of toppings, and a spatula. Those are the ingredients of fun. A server will be on hand for the first few minutes to teach you how to cook the perfect hotcake. While you can settle for the traditional spherical shape, this is an opportunity to be a Picasso-of pancakes. Make a painting with the batter and color it with chocolate chips, bacon bits, blueberries, or marmalade. To make things more riveting, you can opt to pair your breakfast with their signature cocktails.
Eastwood Mall, Quezon City; SM Aura, Makati City; SM North EDSA, Quezon City