10 Outstanding Filipino Chefs and Where They Love to Eat
Find out where chefs like Tonyboy Escalante, Carlo Miguel, Sharwin Tee, and more go for culinary comfort.
(SPOT.ph) A few weeks ago, we asked one chef where she loved eating outside her own kitchen. The chef was French-trained, an expert in her field, and you’d expect some uppity answer of a place no one has heard of. Hers, however, was remarkably simple, almost commonplace. "Chefs always look for something uncomplicated," she explained. It’s surprisingly true. We asked 10 of the country’s most popular and prolific chefs for their go-to restaurants, and, well, see for yourself:
JT’s chicken and Gloria Maris’ xiao long bao
"Gloria Maris for dim sum and JT's Manukan. It's the closest thing to home without having to go home."
-Chef Tonyboy Escalante of Antonio’s
Restaurant LiLi at Hyatt also has unlimited dim sum.
"My husband and I usually cook French cuisine at home so when we go out we look for Asian. One restaurant we frequent regularly is LiLi the Chinese restaurant of the Hyatt in Manila. We enjoy their dim sum. I always order the Pork Puffs and never share. The puff pastry is light and flaky, the apple barbecue sauce is the perfect combination of sweet and salty."
-Chef Carmela Villegas Agosta of Casa San Luis Pastries and Crisp on 28th
Jasmine’s cozy interiors and Aracama’s legendary choc-nut ice cream
"Mr. Sun Moon for fried crabs, crab sotanghon, and fried squid! (Then) Jasmine at the New World Hotel for dim sum and spinach and century egg hot pot; Aracama-boodle fight! Brasserie Cicou and Champetre for French regional specialties."
-Chef J Gamboa of Cirkulo, Azuthai, Tsukiji, and MilkyWay
Wildflour’s display of pastries; Cicou’s famous Kouign Amann
"I love noodles so I regularly go to Mien San for hand-pulled noodles. For a quick date with the wife, Cicou never fails. When I’m craving really good sushi, it’s just Tsukiji. I also go to Wildflour (Salcedo branch) for just good comfort food made well; Gino’s for the pizza and burrata; and Sonja’s Cupcakes because my family loves that place."
-Chef Him Uy de Baron of Nomama Ramen and Magnum Manila
From the original Yabu in SM Megamall
"Nihonbashi Tei and Yabu."
-Chef Carlo Miguel of Draft, 71 Gramercy, Scarsdale, Publiko, and Black Olive
Ukokkei’s ramen and Ippudo’s sleeper hit pork buns
"For quick comfort food, I go to Ukokkei for their tantanmen. The other one is Ramen Nagi. I order the regular (Butao King) with hard noodles and the egg. My ultimate favorite that just opened recently is Ippudo. I love the ramen with black garlic sauce. I also like their pork buns."
-Chef Aileen Anastacio, Goodies ’N’ Sweets and Marmalade Kitchen
"Mamou, People's Palace, and Cirkulo for the truffle paella and sisig."
-Sonja Ocampo of Sonja’s Cupcakes
The hole-in-the-wall Sensei Sushi and Yushoken’s bestselling gyoza
"Spiral for the cheese room; Sensei Sushi for sushi and tempura; Cafe Juanita for turo-turo and bola-bola sotanghon; Yushoken for ramen and gyoza; Chili’s for skillet queso and bacon cheeseburger; and Dairy Queen for a Blizzard when I take my son out for ice cream."
-Chef Rob Pengson, The Goose Station and Olive Tree Kitchen and Bar
One authentic chicken
"Chicken House Express on Vito Cruz. The only way to eat inasal. Piping hot with sinamak and garlic rice."
-Chef Fernando Aracama of Aracama and Universe
Pino’s never-ending updates on Filipino cuisine
"I like eating at my friends’ restaurants, namely Pino for it’s ’Pinoy 2.0’ food and Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza for its cheese and SMEGG pizza. One of my comfort food dishes is sisig with mayo so I like the Chicken Sisig at Congo Grille, too!"
-Chef Sharwin Tee of Quirky Bacon and host of Curiosity Got The Chef
Turn to the next page for a directory of their favorite restaurants.
Gloria Maris has branches at Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan; The Podium, Mandaluyong City; Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City; Coliseum Circle, Araneta Center, Quezon City; and SM The Block, Quezon City.
JT’s Manukan has branches at 4 Granada, Valencia, Quezon City; 7224 Malugay Street corner Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Bel-Air, Makati City; 317 Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City; MC Home Depot, 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City; Courtyard Building, 26 Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City; Eastwood Cybermall, Bagumbayan, Quezon City; Woodridge 2, Mckinley Hill Town Center, McKinley Park Road, McKinley Hill, Taguig.
LiLi is at Hyatt Hotel, Malate, Manila.
Mr. Sun Moon is at G/F 1 Kennedy Place, Club Filipino Avenue corner Ortigas, Greenhills, San Juan.
Jasmine is at New World Hotel, Esperanza Street corner Makati Avenue, Makati City.
Aracama is at Unit C The Fort Entertainment Center, Katipunan Circle, Bonifacio Global City.
Brasserie Cicou is at 57 Annapolis, San Juan.
Champetre is at G/F Net One Center Building, Bonifacio Global City.
Mien San is at Granada Street, Quezon City.
Tsukiji is at 900 A. Arnaiz Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas Street, San Lorenzo Village, Makati City.
Wildflour Cafe + Bakery has branches at Net Lima Building, 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City; The Podium, Mandaluyong City; 125 L.P. Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City.
Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza has branches at 341 Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City; The Podium, Mandaluyong City; G/F Finman Center, 117 Tordesillas Street corner Bautista, Salcedo Village, Makati City.
Sonja’s Cupcakes cupcakesbysonja.tumblr.com
Nihonbashi Tei is at 806 Arnaiz Avenue, San Lorenzo, Makati City.
Yabu has branches at SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City; Robinsons Magnolia, Quezon City; SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City; SM Southmall, Las Piñas City; Glorietta, Makati City; SM The Block, Quezon City; SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City; Power Plant Mall, Makati City; Alabang Town Center.
Ukkokei Ramen Ron has branches at McKinley Hill, Taguig City; Tesoro Building, 822 A. Arnaiz Avenue, San Lorenzo, Makati City; Gateway Plaza, A. Arnaiz Street, Malate, Manila.
Ramen Nagi has branches at SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City; SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City; SM City North EDSA, Quezon City; Robinsons Magnolia, Quezon City.
Ippudo is at 3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.
Spiral is at Sofitel Philippine Plaza, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.
Sensei Sushi is at 268 Aguirre Street, BF Homes, Parañaque City.
Cafe Juanita has branches at Molito Lifestyle Mall, Alabang, Muntinlupa City; United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City; Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City.
Ramen Yushoken is at Molita Lifestyle Mall, Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
Dairy Queen www.dairyqueen.com.ph
Chicken House Express is at Savana Market, 114 K Metropolitan Avenue, Pasong Tamo, Sta. Cruz, Makati City.
Pino is at Masinsinan Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City; Jupiter Street, Makati City.
Congo Grille congogrille.com
Photos by Jason Mariposa (Gloria Maris), Pia Guballa (JT’s, Aracama, Ukokkei), Ryan Fernandez (LiLi), Anna Soenen (Brasserie Cicou), Miguel Nacianceno (Wildflour), Sasha Lim Uy (Ippudo, Pino), Dairy Darilag (Mamou); and courtesy of TripAdvisor (Chicken House Express).