(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!
Uma Uma Ramen
The recipe that they use at Uma Uma Ramen is over 60 years old and you can detect that well-practiced flavor in the deep but nuanced taste of the broth. The menu is small, but comprehensive, offering a good selection from plain to spicy to soupless ramen. Walk into the far end of Uma Uma and you'll find another restaurant hidden behind a curtain. It's the Horse's Mouth, a speakeasy that allows a smooth transition from dinner to drinks—and vice versa. Ramen is a great post-drink meal.
Uma Uma Ramen is at 2/F S Maison, Seaside Boulevard corner Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.
How about a view to go with that dinner? Discovery Primea's newly opened Flame Restaurant opts for effortless opulence with its luxe interiors (the large chandelier accented with actual plants in a great focal point) and French-Asian specialties. From the duck to the foie gras to the short ribs, it's hard to pick just one order. Make sure you and your date come with hefty appetites.
Flame Restaurant is at 16/F Discovery Primea, 6749 Ayala Avenue, Makati City.
Izakaya Sensu/Chotto Matte
The Raintree Group partnered with Tokyo's Piglet to come up with a new way to enjoy izakaya, which is pretty much the Japanese version of a gastropub. Izakaya Sensu goes for modern recreations of izakaya favorites (like a sesame-crusted karaage and torched sushi) without losing its sense of tradition. The courses, for example, are served in a rigid order, with the carb component last. Chotto Matte is the "bar" side of the restaurant.
Izakaya Sensu/Chotto Matte is at Net Park, Bonifacio Global City.
Bean & Yolk
Papo Jorolan took two of the most essential components of breakfast and decided to make a restaurant that specializes in them. If you get your early-morning kick from eggs and coffee, then imagine how happy your entire day would be with Bean & Yolk's egg- and coffee-themed menu. Think Eggs Benedict. Think egg salad sandwiches. Think boiled egg and soldiers. Think gourmet coffee.
Bean & Yolk is at G/F Bel-Air Soho Suites, Polaris Street, Bel-Air, Makati City.
The Wild Poppy
The Wild Poppy was designed to be the ultimate hangout. It's on a roof-deck in the heart of urban Makati, a bright, vivid space that transports you to a sunny beach during the afternoons and a cool space to unwind after work. Your Local's Nicco Santos designed the menu—an Asian-inspired range of comfort food. The Japanese corn is a must!
The Wild Poppy is at 5666 Don Pedro Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Japanese pancakes are the latest culinary sensation to hit Metro Manila and everyone's buzzing about Osaka's beloved Chibo Okonomiyaki. This theatrical restaurant creates stunning Japanese pancakes right in front of you. Imagine this: a mouthwatering stack of crepe, noodles, sweet okonomiyaki sauce, eggs, toppings, more eggs, more toppings. We can go on and on. Chibo's prized item is one layered with avocado, cheese, prawns, bacon, pork, and tomatoes. It's then crowned with meringue and more prawns!
Chibo Okonomiyaki is 2/F S Maison, Seaside Boulevard corner Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.
Pampas Latino & Bistro Bar
South American is Manila's cuisine du jour and Pampas builds on that. The wide, elegant space is perfect for those who love spice and meat (especially those who love them together). The regular menu is pretty satisfying, with its collection of big cuts of beef, lamb, and pork, but it's really the roving food cart that you have to watch for. Available during dinner service, this vehicle flaunts a mouthwatering range of tapas, like empanadas, tacos, pizza, oysters, and more.
Pampas Latino & Bistro Bar is at Uptown Parade, Uptown Bonifacio.
Spoon Eat + Drink
This is the closest you're ever going to get in Manila to dining on a New York City roof-deck. Owner Philane Ponio decided to make her own roof-deck from, well, the second floor, using a charming, unfinished, nature-inspired look, plus clear walls and ceilings. The food is elegant home cooking, if there was ever a term. They're dishes that she loves preparing for her family. Osso Bucco, Roast Chicken with Grapes, Chicken Peri Peri—what a treat it must be to dine at her dinner table.
Spoon Eat + Drink is at 319 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City.
Koku is brought to you by the folks behind Subic staples Chef Samurai and Meat Plus. Here, modern Japanese is the star of the menu, featuring everything from cheesy aburi sushi to sushi pizzas. The space is set up with dividers to make dining flexible, whether you need something intimate for two or something larger for a fiery celebration.
Koku is at G/F Two Central Building, 109 Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City.
The Breakfast Plate
White walls, pale wood, a gorgeous light blue? This is how mornings should look. The Breakfast Plate indulges every breakfast craving you could possibly have, plus a little extra on the side. Apart from the usual tocino, bacon, tapa, and egg (which, by the way, you can get all on one plate here), you can also opt to start your days with s'mores milkshakes or Choc-Nut pancakes!
The Breakfast Plate is at 80 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City.