10 New Restaurants You Need to Try This February
New picks for your eats list this month
(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!
Delimondo Store and Café
This store and café is home to what owner Katrina Ponce Enrile likes to call “Delimondo’s portfolio.” Beyond the famous luncheon meat and corned beef, you can also find a dizzying array of sauces, marinades, dips, and spreads here: from a winning chili oil to bottled bacalao and callos. But aside from stocking your pantry, you can also fill up with their small yet excellent menu of savory offerings as well as cakes. A must-try is the Corned Beef Caldereta Lasagna, with corned beef cooked in a rich caldereta sauce and made even more indulgent with layers of cheese and béchamel sauce.
Delimondo Store and Café is at JAKA Center, Urban Avenue corner Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City.
Ping Pong Diplomacy
Don’t expect the usual Chinese fare at Ping Pong Diplomacy. While owner Charles Paw describes the menu as Chinese-American, the flavors are more sophisticated, most only taking the form of classic Chinese dishes but with entirely new flavors. The Mapo Tofu, for example, uses fresh soya custard instead of the usual tofu blocks for “tofu” with a velvety mouth feel. Another must-try is the Ping Pong Wings, with a flavor that’s reminiscent of Taiwanese chicken chops.
Ping Pong Diplomacy is at 3/F SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City.
PappaRam Malaysian Kitchen
This hole-in-the-wall in Marikina City offers authentic Malaysian dishes by chef and owner Ramzu Nasri, or Ram for short. The place is cozy and casual, featuring a hawker-style open kitchen and al-fresco dining. The menu is extensive, featuring not just Malaysian fare but also Western comfort food, but of course, the must-tries are the classics like the Curry Laksa Power, which has a rich spiced coconut milk-based broth.
PappaRam Malaysian Kitchen is at 45 J.P. Rizal Street, Kalumpang, Marikina City.
The Test Kitchen
This hidden nook along bustling Kamagong Street in Quezon City is Chef Josh Boutwood’s culinary playground. At The Test Kitchen, Chef Josh flexes his creative muscles by playing around with only two to three ingredients per dish, resulting in masterpieces like Surf & Earth, a sea bass ceviche with avocado and distilled vinegar or the picture-perfect Offal with tripe, tapioca, and cadena de amor petals. Currently this restaurant is by reservation only, and while guests are informed of the price of their dinner, they will only learn of the menu on the day itself. But then, surprises are always fun.
The Test Kitchen is at 9780 B&C Kamagong Street, San Antonio Village, Makati City.
Poblacion Dining Room
If you’re looking for Filipino fare that’s just like how your lola used to make it, then head over to Poblacion Dining Room. Hidden inside Commune, this restaurant looks and feels like your grandmother’s kitchen. A must-try is their Beef Tapa, a recipe of co-owner Ros Juan’s family, and the Pork Adobo which could easily be your new favorite—second only to your mother’s version, of course.
Poblacion Dining Room is at 36 Polaris Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
February may almost be at its end but it’s never too late to start on those fitness goals. Bliss Bowls offers smoothie bowls that are packed with flavor minus the calories. Their smoothies are of a consistency similar to ice cream and are topped with lots of good stuff like strawberries, bananas, mangoes, nuts, coconut flakes, and more—it’s just like eating your new favorite dessert. A surprising winner from the menu is the Amazing Kale. If you’ve never had the superfood, let this bowl be your introduction. This smoothie bowl is mildly sweet and refreshing, with zero bitterness from the kale.
Bliss Bowls is at 4/F SM Megamall Building A, Mandaluyong City.
Just this February, Main Street launched new menu items designed to keep you coming back. Update your favorites and try their new line of pizzas, like the Breakfast Pizza with a perfectly runny sunny-side-up egg and the Bacon and Rosemary with an addicting honey sauce. Main Street now also offers their signature buttermilk fried chicken in a burger!
Main Street is at 12 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
The Yard Underground
The second incarnation of The Yard Xavierville is inspired by the subways of London, with food stalls housed in train carriages. Adventurous foodies have a lot in store for them here, from fusion burritos to flaming pizzas. Classic food park fare is available too like wings, tacos, nachos, and more.
The Yard Underground is at Christian Route, Hillcrest Circle, Oranbo, Pasig City.
Tired of your busy work or school life? Visit Tortuga in Katipunan and instantly feel like you’re on an island vacation. The food here is like what you would have on a beach getaway—think grilled seafood, chicken, and more. The cocktails are also as tropical as the rest of the place, with drinks infused with the likes of coconut, pineapples, and pandan.
Tortuga is at 42A Esteban Abada Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.
From the same team behind BLK 513 and their charcoal-infused frozen yogurt, 80 Queens reinvents snacks like fries and nachos by boosting them with beets and activated charcoal, which are both known for their detoxifying properties. The results are the Black Stack or white corn chips colored black with charcoal and the Red Fries or beet fries crusted with toasted corn. You can have them with your choice from an array of gourmet sauces like Truffle Sorcery or Matcha Salt as well as toppings like Crispy Bacon or Parmesan Cheese.
80 Queens is at 2/F Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City.