10 New Restaurants to Try in Makati
From malls to holes-in-the-wall
(SPOT.ph) Makati. You with your strange one-way roads and perplexing parking schemes. Yet somehow we always find ourselves in this city. Maybe because it's the Metro's thriving business district. Maybe because it's the middle ground between north and south. Our primary reason is, obviously, the food. Makati is a treasure chest of good eats where you can find amazing restaurants around every corner—whether it's a mall or some glorious hole-in-the-wall.
The wooden, wrap-around porch that hugs this cozy Legazpi Village spot makes us feel like we're at a breezy house in the province. Cuisine from Northern Philippines shines at Naimas, which means "delicious" in Ilocano. The owners insist on putting the spotlight on lesser known though nonetheless mouthwatering Filipino specialties. Here, you'll find more unconventional proteins like itik and kambing.
Must-tries: Kilawing Kambing (P300), Bagnet (P240)
Naimas is at Amorsolo Street corner Rufino Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City. Read more about Naimas.
Happy Garden Cafe
Think of this indoor garden as popular cafe, Bizu's detour to health-oriented dining. Happy Garden reflects the owners' love for fresh food—as well as Bizu honcho Annabel Tanco's gluten intolerance. It doubles as a flower shop and the overall effect is so exquisite that you'll really want to stay and enjoy your organic meal. Bizu is always stellar with presentation and their colorful artworks on a plate will definitely make you want to indulge.
Must-tries: Prawn Cake and Soft Shell Crab (P335), Chorizo and Egg Pizza (P795)
Happy Garden Cafe is at 56 Jupiter Street, Makati City. Read more about Happy Garden Cafe.
Chef Jordy Navarra's take on Filipino food is hardly what you would expecting a Pinoy restaurant. You won't find kare-kare or crispy pata, but you will find familiar flavors in his beautifully conceptualized plates. "It's Filipino in spirit," he tells us. Toyo isn't exactly the most authentic Filipino restaurant out there in the traditional sense, but their flavors ring true and they ring loudly. Anyone can appreciate the lengths Chef Jordy goes through to pull out the best in his ingredients.
Must-tries: Bangus with Toyo Eatery Silog (P580), Pork BBQ (P380)
Toyo Eatery is at Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Extension, Makati City. Read more about Toyo Eatery.
Cuore Bistro and Social Lounge
Good food and great socials—that's Cuore's strategy. This cozy nook was created by a couple of girlfriends who couldn't decide on where they wanted hang out. Hence, they resourcefully came up with their own. Cuore means "heart," and this theme extends to the menu, which features wittily labeled dishes, like When Our Eyes Met and The One That Got Away; they're dishes that work well on their own but also wonderfully as bar chow.
Must-tries: Mornings After (P485), Sangria (P280)
Cuore is at 20 Jupiter Street, Makati City. Read more about Cuore.
The Dessert Kitchen
The Dessert Kitchen is a Hong Kong-based sweet stop that is taking the world by storm (they already have over 20 outlets internationally) with their inventive yet healthy desserts. Young culinary creatives Brian Lam and Dominic Li say their desserts have a third of the average fat content of most desserts, yet they manage to maximize the flavors. The Dessert Kitchen has nearly every sweet treat you can think of: parfaits (yogurt and ice cream), shaved ice, raindrop cakes, and more. Everything is delicate but distinctive and incredibly rewarding.
P.S. The local The Dessert Kitchen had to make some adjustments to match the Pinoy palate, like adding savory options to the menu.
Must-tries: Sakura Warabi (P168), Dessert Ramen (P198)
The Dessert Kitchen is at 3/F Power Plant Mall, Makati City. Read more about The Dessert Kitchen.
Looking for a place to kick back with a great cup of joe? Chaplin is it. Located on the highest floor of Century City Mall, Chaplin makes it easy to forget that you're smack in the busiest part of the city. There's something very relaxing about the blue walls and the framed food puns. The owners are from Israel and while they nail your coffee-shop goodies effortlessly, we love the Middle Eastern flavor that sneaks in. Read: Lots of pesto and spices!
Must-tries: Crumble Cheesecake (P195), Bourekas (P240)
Chaplin is at 4/F Century City Mall, Makati City. Read more about Chaplin.
Royal Indian Curry House
We haven't met a person who dropped by this Indian palace and left unsatisfied. The menu is pages upon pages of amazing Indian food that will spoil and perplex you with choices. You will want everything: every curry, every tikka, every rice dish, every roti. You'll find some lesser-known Indian delicacies in there, too, and they'll make your mouth water as well. In fact, challenge yourself with something new. You won't be disappointed.
Must-tries: Masala Papad (P119), Hyderabadi Biryani (P499)
Royal Indian Curry House is at 5345 General Luna Street, Poblacion, Makati City. Read more about Royal Indian Curry House.
The modest restaurant on Chino Roces is barely the flashy eatery in Bonifacio Global City. This Black Sheep sings a different tune—modern Asian that leans towards Chinese cuisine. Young chef Patrick Go is incredibly ambitious and makes nearly everything from scratch, including his own "MSG" made of crushed dried seafood. Black Sheep's dishes look picture-perfect, but trust us when we say that they're at all skin-deep. Every item that comes out of their kitchen has a story to tell, like how the chef's gourmet tuna and liver toasts are an homage to his grade-school baon.
Must-tries: Two Na (P300), XOXO (P360), Ice Candy (P360)
Black Sheep is at 2230 UPRC1 Building, Chino Roces Extension, Makati City. Read more about Black Sheep.
When Peruvian and Japanese cuisines collide, expect big blasts of flavor. This teeny hideaway is a trove of explosive combinations via ceviches, sushis, and skewers. The fusion actually makes perfect sense: both rely greatly on fresh ingredients, but while Japanese leans towards subtle flavors, Peruvian is punchy and wild—they're great complements. You won't meet zippier seafood elsewhere.
Must-tries: Green Ceviche (P360), Kocha (P140)
Nikkei is at Frabelle Building, Rada Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City. Read more about Nikkei.
It's been two years and we are still reeling from Jon Favreau's Chef. We're only glad that Pepi Cubano, which used to be available only in bazaars and through their commissary, finally opened an actual restaurant. These crispy, filling babies, after all, need to be relished. Pro tip: You can cross-order from Pepi Cubano when you're at neighboring bar, The Bon Bon Club.
Must-tries: Media Noche (P150), Cubano (P250)
Pepi Cubano is at Tropical Palms Condominium, Dela Rosa Street corner Gallardo Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City. Read more about Pepi Cubano.