10 Exciting New Restaurants Opening in Manila in 2017
From Michelin-starred restaurants to food-hall favorites
(SPOT.ph) 2016 wasn't exactly the best of years; but when it came to food, you could say it was pretty satisfying. We saw a number of international franchises open in Manila, as well as some new places that have become quick favorites.
This year appears to be no different, with international Michelin-starred restaurants arriving in the Metro this year, as well as new concepts from a few well-loved chefs. Read on as we list down some of the most exciting restaurant openings to look forward to in 2017.
The first Michelin-starred ramen shop in the world is arriving in Manila this year! Chef Yuki Onishi first opened Tsuta in Tokyo, a tiny nine-seater ramen eatery that saw people queuing for hours just to have a taste of their signature shoyu ramen—of which only 150 bowls are served per day. The lines got so long that Tsuta in Japan had to enforce a ticketing system with people lining up for one as early as 6 a.m. The award-winning ramen shop first branched out internationally in Singapore, and is set to open another international branch this year in Metro Manila.
Kam’s Roast Goose
Another Michelin-starred restaurant set to open this year is Kam’s Roast Goose. This Hong Kong favorite is famous, of course, for their namesake, which is juicy, succulent, and served with a mildly sweet and tangy plum sauce. But Kam’s also features a menu of other equally delicious roasts like the Fatty Char Siew or roast pork belly (with the perfect ratio of meat and fat), and the BBQ Pork. Another best-seller we can’t wait to try is the Prince Kinsen Noodles, with egg noodles tossed with the delicious juices of roasted goose.
Lemon tarts from Baker & Cook
Sample pizzas from Plank Sourdough Pizza
Sibling restaurants Baker & Cook and Plank Sourdough Pizza are set to open two branches in Metro Manila this year, one in S Maison at the Conrad and another in UP Town Center, with the opening at S Maison tentatively set on January 11. Owned by celebrity chef Dean Brettschneider, Baker & Cook first became known in Singapore for their wide range of artisanal bread and pastries, as well as their brunch-inspired menu. Plank Sourdough Pizza, on the other hand, is a spin-off of Baker & Cook, offering a variety of gourmet pizza toppings on sourdough bread from the bakery.
BBQ Bap from I am Kim by Chef Him Uy de Baron
Chasyu Camembert from Le Petit Souffle by Chef Miko Aspiras
Ping Pong Diplomacy
Chefs Miko Aspiras, Him Uy de Baron, and Noel Mauricio are set to collaborate on a new restaurant, Ping Pong Diplomacy, opening in SM Aura this January. The restaurant, in Chef Miko’s own words, is “a progressive Chinese-American, American-Chinese food concept using classic but creative techniques, and fresh and modern ingredients.” With the chefs’ backgrounds in serving classic Asian cuisine with a twist (Nomama and I am Kim for Chef Him and Le Petit Souffle for Chef Miko), we’re definitely looking forward to what will surely be another unique dining destination.
Chef Chan Hon Meng first made headlines in 2016 when his hawker stall in Singapore, Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle, was awarded one Michelin star, being only one of two hawker stalls to receive the coveted accolade. Soon after, the chef opened his first restaurant, Hawker Chan, still serving the same signature soya sauce chicken rice as well as other Cantonese favorites like Char Siew (roast pork belly) and Sio Bak (crispy pork belly). Hawker Chan is best known for offering Michelin-starred cooking at affordable prices (the cheapest in the world, in fact!), so you will definitely get the best bang for your buck.
Another Japanese franchise set to open in Manila this year is Kushikatsu Daruma, famous in Osaka for their kushikatsu. Kushikatsu is simply fried food on a stick, usually meat and vegetables coated in breadcrumbs, fried until golden, and then served with tonkatsu sauce. While it looks similar to the more popular tempura, kushikatsu is lighter fare and made for snacking. Kushikatsu Daruma has become a must-try for visitors to Osaka with signature skewers that are lightly fried without a hint of oil, and soon you won't have to fly to Japan to enjoy these tasty sticks with their first branch in Manila, opening this February at Uptown Mall, Uptown Bonifacio.
Chef Bruce Ricketts gave us a taste of his Mexican grub during his one day pop-up dinner event at Mecha Uma in 2015, serving an excellent menu that included ceviche, tostadas with Spanish mackerel and nuoc cham, and, of course, tacos, filled with slow-cooked Lamb Barbacoa and Carnitas made with a pig head and belly confit. If you missed his pop-up or just can’t get enough of Chef Bruce’s Mexican fare, look forward to La Chinesca—Chef Bruce Ricketts’ official foray into casual Mexican, opening along Aguirre Avenue in Parañaque.
Hole in the Wall regulars now have another place to get their umami chicken fix with Bad Bird’s first standalone store in SM Megamall, opening this February. We’ve been looking forward to this restaurant opening ever since their “Coming Soon” sign first appeared in the mall, but anyone who’s had a taste of their fried chicken knows they’re well worth the wait. Bad Bird in Century City Mall was a hit for their chicken plates with two pieces of fried chicken that came in three levels of spiciness: safe, spicy, or chemical, and Asian-inspired sides like sweet potato waffles with miso butter, corn on the cob and kimchi coleslaw, or dirty rice.
Another Hole in the Wall favorite that’s branching out soon is Scout’s Honor. The craft cookie shop was a big hit in Century City Mall for their freshly-baked cookies that were only made upon order—you can mix and match six types of dough and over 20 toppings for a cookie that’s made just for you and your preferences. If you’re too lazy to DIY, Scout’s Honor also sells pre-made classic Girl Scout cookies with a twist like Samoas Dreams coated in caramel and coconut and Thin Mints.
This year, Scout’s Honor is set to open three stores in Quezon City, and aside from the best-selling cookies, will also have a new Savory Camping menu, or Scout's Honor's very own line of canned food which diners can enjoy, camping style.
Tendon Akimitsu first opened shop in NAIA Terminal 3, offering authentic tendon (or tempura rice bowls) to passengers rushing from one destination to the next. Their tasty bowls, like the Godaime Chef's Special Tempura with fried Anago eel, prawn, oyster, fish, shrimp, bone cracker, and vegetable tempura, are well worth a trip to the airport. So this year, Tendon Akimitsu is finally opening a new branch together with their sister store, Ramen Nagi, this time at the new Ayala mall in Pasig City, The 30th, set to open on January 12.