10 New Restaurants You Need to Try This February
The latest places to check out in Manila.
(SPOT.ph) Stumped for ideas on where to eat? Are there too many choices? We're breaking down Manila's extensive dining landscape with a list of places to try every month. Always keep your restaurant index fresh!
Atelier Vivanda Manila
Chef Akrame Benallal's concept for Atelier Vivanda is surprisingly simple: great ingredients that don't need cover-ups. It's comfort food that you can have every day—and with a price tag that's pretty reasonable for a Michelin-starred chef. There are details though that only a true artisan won't let slip: the knives are handcrafted by a French National Artist, who only makes five a day (watch for the 200-euro cheese knife), the condiments are all homemade, and the slicer is considered the Rolls Royce of meat slicers. The highlights of this gorgeous loft are the meat and potatoes. Trust us, you'll never feel the same way about a carb again. At a corner on the second floor is a capsule version of Chef Akrame's wine and cheese bar, BRVT.
Atelier Vivanda Manila is at U-A-8 Burgos Park, Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City. Read more about Atelier Vivanda Manila.
Giant ribs are their playground and boy, they do not kid around. Their pork is imported from Spain, baked for two hours, smoked for another hour, then grilled upon order. Morganfield's is a casual family joint from Malaysia, but it already has branches all over Asia. You'll find utmost satisfaction in their abundant sampler sets.
Morganfield's is at 2/F Uptown Place Mall, 9th Avenue corner 36th Street, Bonifacio Global City. Read more about Morganfield's.
The Dessert Kitchen
Desserts take an elegant turn at The Dessert Kitchen. Instead of the jaw-dropping bloated setups we so often see nowadays, young owners Dominic Li and Brian Lam go for nuanced flavors and elegant presentations. This Hong Kong franchise was brought to the Philippines by the HTCG Group, but none of the recipes were altered to maintain their standard of light and delicate desserts. Fresh and homemade ingredients are a must, and they promise lower fat and sugar content, too. TDK has everything—from soft-serve ice cream and parfaits to dazzling shaved ice treats topped with seaweed balls!
The Dessert Kitchen is at 3/F Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City. Read more about The Dessert Kitchen.
Fat isn't to be feared at Fat Butchik's. Chef Butch Adiviso's showstopper is a large slab of pork belly smoked two hours for every pound. The result? The thick layers of fat dissolve into nothing but tastiness inside your mouth. This hidden restaurant on a roof deck is made for all kinds of chilling. It's not hard to relax when you have the belly at the center, skewers of meat on the side, a round of mojitos, and a trove of stories.
Fat Butchik's is at 346 El Grande Street, BF Homes, Parañaque City. Read more about Fat Butchik's.
This indoor "alley" puts the spotlight on sandwiches. You have to admire their spirit. Alley isn't just about stuffing things between two pieces of bread. From baking the bread to developing the condiments to curing the meat, everything is a precise and meticulous undertaking in their tiny kitchen. They've ditched store-bought loaves, opting instead to use a specific type of bread to complement the filling. With a great conservative menu, a homespun appeal, and a wonderfully warm ambience, you just might have found your perfect hangout.
Alley is at Retail Row, The Grove by Rockwell, 117 E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Pasig City.
Let's just say that the burger section of Todd English Food Hall is all grown up and has moved out—but just a few paces away, to Bonifacio High Street. The exquisite narrow space takes inspiration from the '20s Prohibition Era. With its warm lighting and semi-industrial interiors, it reminds us of a very posh train dining car. With the exception of the foie gras-blessed Pound Burger, however, the prices are pretty affordable. And the flavors? Well, you have to try the chicken sliders.
POUND is at Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City. Read more about POUND.
This hidden restaurant at the far end of 16 United gives you a taste of the beach in the big city. Co-owner Kara Limchiu, who's a chemical engineer by day, uses her knowledge in the sciences to make the fresh flavors of their crustaceans stand out. Crunchy Crab's goal is to make seafood more accessible—not only in terms of price but also in presentation. Their seafood are served as burgers, pastas, or as is in buckets with sauces.
Crunchy Crab is at 16 United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Read more about Crunchy Crab.
Peperoni Pizzeria was established in 2004 by the Les Amis Group in Singapore. We love their philosophy: According to Andrew Chan, owner of the local franchise, they don't aim to be a widespread pizza chain, with a shop around every corner. Instead, they want to keep their focus on quality. We quote, "We [just] want to be the best [with] pizzas." Their pies are thin, crispy, and with a smoky aftertaste from the wood-fire oven. Andrew explains that their pizzas are priced equally because they want their customers to base their decision on actual personal preference instead of cost.
Peperoni Pizzeria is at 3/F Uptown Place Mall, 9th Avenue corner 36th Street, Bonifacio Global City. Read more about Peperoni Pizzeria.
Diner on 16th
This American diner-inspired nook gets a little cheeky with the checkered floors. It peddles comfort food in many iterations—some quite unlikely to be found in a classic '70s diner, but good nonetheless. Diner on 16th has skewers, chicken wings, and salads, but their magic lies in the waffles and milkshakes. Oh, they also have griddle cakes flavored with ube.
Diner on 16th is at 16 United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Read more about Diner on 16th.
Kiwa Korean Grill Dining
This restaurant takes humble Korean barbecue and puts it in a fine-dining setup. It's not every day that you'll see a salad for P1,000, but the meats are all premium, the interiors are exquisite, and the service is impeccable. We love how considerate they are: Their exhaust system keeps you from smelling like food after you leave the premises.
Kiwa Korean Grill Dining is at Solaire Resort & Casino, 1 Aseana Avenue, Parañaque City. Read more about Kiwa.