(SPOT.ph) When you’re dining out, food isn’t the only thing that should catch your attention. It’s true; food presentation and all its grand theatrics are great (not to mention snap-worthy), but when was the last time you stopped and gazed at a charming piece of mid-century modern furniture? Or have you ever noticed the carefully arranged fresh flowers at your favorite brunch place? These little details not only add to the aesthetic value and mood of a place, they also contribute to an exceptional dining experience. Check out some of the best-looking restaurants that gave us starry eyes this year with their visual feast.
When Trish Panlilio of Mulberry Door was conceptualizing the look of her Burgos Circle restaurant, she had one thing in mind—she wanted it to look like her home. The beautiful garden-themed restaurant is dainty, with fresh flowers (yes, fresh!), elegant and timeless furniture, and a stately wooden door. The walls are painted a neutral color to complement the restaurant's royal purple couches, and don’t even get us started on their restroom, which looks like it came straight from the pages of Kinfolk.
Mulberry Door is at G/F 8 Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle.
This modern Korean restaurant at Ayala Malls The 30th boasts crisp, clean interiors with a cheery, garden-themed façade. The minds behind Sibyullee wanted to replicate the vibe of Korea’s younger generation, which can be seen and felt strongly in the foodie and nightlife districts of Myeongdong and Itaewon. To achieve this fun and vivacious atmosphere, they hired C + Y Design Studio (headed by architect Deniece Yusun) to design Sibyullee’s dainty interiors, which are splashed with a lot of white, gray, and pastel colors, as well as leafy greens, copper-tinged ornaments, and light-colored wood.
Funky green-and-black tiles, a faux rattan accent wall, and a sleek open kitchen probably best describe this chic neighborhood restaurant in Marikina. Founded by young couple Mikee Rodriguez and Mandy Diaz de Rivera, Balestier wants you to feel that hip Tiong Bahru vibe where you can just sit back and relax. Their Singaporean-fusion food also scores high marks for its playfulness and fresh, new flavors.
Balestier is at 14 Nicanor Roxas Street, Barangay San Roque, Marikina City.
Besides their well-curated menu and craft beer, Polilya’s detailed interiors also deserve your attention. Perhaps “
Yes, their famous mascot Mr. Ueyama is still ever-present, but Kushikatsu Daruma’s first Manila branch is a far cry from their original outpost in Osaka, design-wise. Hydra Design Group, KM Design, and Dan Matutina of Plus 63 Design Co. are the creative geniuses behind the interiors and branding of this one-of-a-kind
Kushikatsu Daruma is at 2/F Uptown Mall, Uptown Bonifacio.
When the masterminds of Yes Please were conceptualizing the bar’s theme, they had New York’s popular dive bars in mind. With the help of Space Encounters and millennial-driven graphic design group Serious Studio, the empty space that can fit only about 120 people transformed into a psychedelic watering hole filled with funky graffiti, neon lights, and velvet-cushioned couches. We hate to overuse the term, but Yes Please is, no doubt, one of the most Instagram-worthy places we’ve seen this year.
Yes Please is at 11th Avenue corner 38th Street, Uptown Bonifacio.
Minimalist interiors, plain white walls, fresh plants, and lots of natural light complete the whole aesthetic of this pretty, hidden coffee shop in Malate. Blocleaf Café is a sanctuary for people who want to escape the busy city life, and their little 25-square-meter space provides a very intimate atmosphere. “We want people to feel like this is their space,” says co-owner Reymart Cerin, who also helped create and conceptualize the café’s chic wood furniture along with partner Vince Africa of design studio The Public School Manila.
Blocleaf Cafe is at 1850 M.H. Del Pilar Street, Malate, Manila.
If you’ve ever wandered around the streets of Gion, you might find this hidden restaurant in Makati strangely familiar and reminiscent of the old ryokans in the famous geisha district. With its minimalist architecture, bonsai and bamboo features, as well as a Japanese-inspired stone stairwell, Kyo-to Kaiseki Restaurant is everything you’d imagine a traditional kaiseki eatery to be. Before reaching the dining area consisting of an eight-seater counter, you’d have to squeeze yourself in its narrow hallway that’s decorated with circular windows and lightly stained wood. Various Japanese art also
Kyo-to Kaiseki Restaurant is at G/F 199 C. Palanca Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City.
Yet another restaurant designed by Space Encounters, Nono’s at UP Town Center pleases the palate as well as the eyes. According to owner Chef Baba Ibazeta-Benedicto, she wanted diners to feel relaxed—and what better way to do that than create a restaurant that resembles an actual house. Bright and cheery pastel colors are splashed on the walls, while wicker seats and jalousie windows are scattered at various points, creating a “mid-century modern house in Palm Springs.” Despite the design group’s very trendy take, you’ll notice a familiar coziness that you’ll only feel at home.
Nono's has branches at UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City and The Podium, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.
Persephone - A Seasonal Kitchen
Persephone - A Seasonal Kitchen is Jessie Roasa’s brainchild and her dream-come-true. And the restaurant does look like a dream, with its vibrant flower murals, bold red and yellow light fixtures, and quirky tiles. The bright colors are a personification of the deity the restaurant was named after
Persephone is at 120 Jupiter Street, Barangay Bel-Air, Makati City.