10 New Restaurants to Try in San Juan and Pasig This January
From Kapitolyo to Greenhills, there's always something new to try.
(SPOT.ph) Gone are the days when Pasig and San Juan City were overlooked for the Metro's busier hubs. From Kapitolyo to Greenhills, there's certainly no lack of new dining spots to try in these neighborhoods—you might just find a new favorite.
The Noodle Studio
If there’s one thing that all of Asia can probably agree on, it’s noodles. Chef Gigo de Guzman celebrates the staple at The Noodle Studio. You can have your fill of almost any noodle dish you could possibly think of, from a classic Pad Thai that explodes with zesty and nutty flavor, to a warm and hearty Beef Brisket Noodle Soup. Chef Gigo also adds his own flair to a few Asian favorites: The Cold Noodles With Hainanese Chicken has cold noodles tossed in a vinegary sauce, whose tart notes mesh well with the strong ginger spice of the chicken.
The Noodle Studio is at 2/F Ayala Malls the 30th, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City.
Second time seems to be the charm for this fried-chicken joint. Lucky Chick moved their flagship from their original spot in Quezon City to Ayala Malls The 30th, which is good news for Pasig folks who won’t have to drive far for their crispy Southern-style fried chicken. While their fried chicken is more than tasty enough on its own, their sandwiches deserve a special mention for their brioche buns, too, which are made in-house. The crisp-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside buns are the perfect foil to their fried-chicken fillets. Love a little heat? Have the Hot Chick, with a tangy Southern slaw to balance out the spiciness.
Lucky Chick is at 3/F Ayala Malls The 30th, 30 Meralco Avenue, Pasig City.
Kko Kko Home
It’s no surprise that Kko Kko’s Chicken Cheese Fondue has taken over social media. Dip your Korean-style fried-chicken pops in the bread bowl that’s filled with a gooey blend of three different kinds of cheeses and get an unbelievable cheese pull that’ll make all your Instagram followers drool. While you can get the picture-perfect dish at any Kko Kko branch, Kko KKo Home at Kapitolyo is still worth a visit. The test-kitchen-and-restaurant of Grace Lee and her mother Song Soon Il offers not just their signature dishes but also exclusive specials from Mrs. Song’s recipes herself. This restaurant could be the closest you can get to eating at an omma's home!
Kko Kko Home is at 67 West Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
Flossom Kitchen + Café
For those days when the city feels a little too suffocating, Flossom Kitchen + Café could be the escape you need. The garden-themed café not only flaunts fresh flowers everywhere, but also an all-day brunch menu that’s sure to brighten up your day. If you’re in the mood for a feast, have the Ultimate English Breakfast, a massive tray laden with breakfast favorites, from baguettes and pancakes to crisp bacon and sunny-side-up eggs. Their Ube Champorado is another must-try: This novel twist on the classic Filipino breakfast has nuttier notes from ube, that’s complemented by the salty dilis and the lipsmacking sweetness of yema sauce.
Flossom Kitchen + Café is at G/F Flossom Place, N. Averilla Street, San Juan City.
Emack & Bolio’s
For the hardcore sugar lovers, you’ll love Emack & Bolio’s and their outrageous ice cream concoctions. The list of fun flavors—like the Space Cake with cake batter ice cream, or the “Deep Purple” Chip with raspberry ice cream and chocolate chips—change every other week to keep things exciting. Take your ice cream a step further with their Marsh “Mellow” Cones—not only do they make your cone instantly Instagram-worthy, but you’ll love the extra crunch and sweetness from the cones’ cereal-coated rims.
Emack & Bolio’s is at G/F Ayala Malls the 30th, 30 Meralco Avenue, Pasig City.
From a home bakery with a cult following, Bakere now has a full-fledged café, providing Kapitolyo with a new cozy hangout. They’ve brought with them some of the baked goods they’re known for, like the Cheese Cupcake, light and moist with a subtle caramel-like flavor, and the buttery ensaymada which you can also get grilled. They’ve also added more savory items: Their BXU or Butuan lechon sandwich, has a beautiful medley of textures and flavors in a handy package, from the distinct zesty heat of tanglad-spiced lechon belly, and the cooling slaw of carrots, radishes, and cabbage pickled in sweet-sour bahalina or coconut sap vinegar to the warm toasted bread.
Bakere Café is at Three Brixton Building, 3 Brixton Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
There’s no question that Chef John Kingston is at the top of his game when it comes to steak; anyone who has dined at Highlands Prime Steakhouse can attest to that. But with the restaurant rebranding itself as Highlands Bistro, Chef John stretches his repertoire with new dishes you’ll want to have on cheat day—or make you just ditch that diet all together. The Classic Prime U.S. Rib Eye is still perfect in every way, but don’t overlook the fine seafood selection. The Char-Grilled Tuna Steak is succulent, while equally noteworthy is the Cajun Grilled Salmon, or salmon that’s cooked to flaky perfection.
Highlands Bistro is at G/F Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Pasig City.
Why wait in a line for a visa to Spain when you can just drive to Bistro Madrid? In fact, Chef Juan Carlos “JC” de Terry flew in all his décor from Spain, from the furniture to the tiles, to complete his restaurant's look. Even the burnt-orange motif gives the place a warm summery ambience, making you feel like you’re basking in the warm Iberian sun. The experience extends to the food, with Chef JC whipping up no-frills dishes from across Spain. Come hungry and have the Bistro Madrid Gran Paella, with perfectly seasoned Bahia rice cooked in a saffron-stock broth and topped with chorizo, vegetables, and seafood. It’s huge enough to be shared among three to four hungry diners, but it’s also so tasty, you’d be hard-pressed to share.
Bistro Madrid is at G/F Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Meralco Avenue corner Shaw Boulevard, Oranbo, Pasig City.
Dark and moody, with industrial-chic interiors and street art-inspired murals, District 8 is a great spot for after-work drinks with friends. It helps that their bar bites by Chef Patrick Ortega and Chef Kel Zaguirre are hefty enough for groups to share. The Baby Squid Al Ajillo is a standout, with tender baby squid cooked al ajillo-style in garlic and olive oil; each bite explodes with juicy aioli negra and olive oil. Pair it with one of the special cocktails named after the gastropub’s owners: The Supremo, with honey syrup, white rum, orange juice, and grenadine. It goes down smoothly but beware of its buzzy kick.
District 8 is at Unit 202, G-Strip, Greenhills Shopping Center, Ortigas Avenue, Greenhills, San Juan City.
Amare La Cucina
If there’s a mantra Amare La Cucina swears by, it’s probably, ‘If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.’ After all, Italian dishes are always a sure crowd-pleaser, so why mess with something great? Not to say that this pizzeria from Baguio doesn’t bring something new to the table: A great understanding of what toppings work well with each other lets them create honest-to-goodness pizza that’s uniquely theirs. The Alvin’s Pizza is a must-try, with a pesto base, a generous smattering of mozzarella, bacon, and Parmigiano—simple ingredients that meld together to create a pie that’s unforgettably tasty.
Amare La Cucina is at 91 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.