10 Restaurants That Are Perfect for Group Dining (2018 Edition)
No more excuses not to hold that reunion!
(SPOT.ph) After agreeing on a date for that much-awaited and much-postponed get-together comes the next hard step: Choosing where to eat. A good place for that reunion should have great food that’s not only plenty enough to go around but must please even the most discerning, and a chill vibe perfect for long catching-up sessions. Whether you crave Chinese, Italian, or even Korean-Mexican, this list should have you covered.
If you’re always worried about ordering enough food for the gang, Osakatsu can be the solution to your woes. How can you run out when there are all-you-can-eat kushikatsu sticks to be had? For P490 per person, you have unlimited skewers of almost everything—from Sakura shrimp to beef strips, cheese balls, and even sea urchin balls—to deep-fry right at your table. If you’re feeling extra hungry, order from the à la carte menu, which features a pretty impressive selection of over-the-top sushi: Picture rolls topped with shrimp or stuffed with soft-shell crab tempura.
Osakatsu is at 2/F ACCM Building, 102 Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City.
Pizza and pasta never fail to please a crowd, especially when they’re done the classic Italian way, just as they do it at Francesco’s Kitchen. Chef Francesco Rizzo whips up Italian cooking mostly inspired by his mother’s recipes, lending his dishes a homey vibe that make them so comforting. You can’t go wrong with the classic Parma pizza that features their delightfully chewy crust topped with prosciutto di Parma, with a biting saltiness that pairs well with peppery arugula. Don’t forget to throw in an antipasti—the fresh Burrata should be an easy favorite—and pasta. Francesco’s Kitchen also has private rooms you can reserve for bigger celebrations.
Francesco’s Kitchen is at 863 A. Mabini Street, Addition Hills, San Juan City.
Kam’s Roast, the famous Cantonese-roasts restaurant from Hong Kong, has finally opened their first Manila branch, and it’s perfect for impressive dinners with the family, complete with tables equipped with lazy Susans. An order of Kam’s Roast signature Roast Duck, served whole, is sure to amaze the entire clan, but if duck is a little too ‘exotic’ for the family, you can also opt for the Char Siu or barbecue pork which come in two variants: The smoky Regular and Toro with thicker slivers of succulence marbled throughout the pork. Kam’s Roast also has private rooms that you can reserve for more intimate gatherings.
Kam’s Roast is at 3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City.
Level up your next reunion by reserving Issei, Nikkei Rockwell’s new private dining room. You get the entire second-floor dining area to yourself, and the staff is unobtrusive but attentive, arriving almost immediately at your side with a press of the buzzer. Nikkei focuses on Japanese-Peruvian cuisine, and while that may sound a bit out of left field, trust us when we say it just works. Pair their line of aburi rolls and ceviche with their crisp cocktails—the Norito, a mojito with seaweed, tastes vibrant enough for day drinking.
Nikkei is at G/F One Rockwell, Rockwell Drive, Makati City.
Vatos Urban Tacos
You’ve had Korean barbecue, you’ve had Mexican tacos, but have you had Kor-Mex? The strange-sounding fusion actually has a rich history and culture behind it, mostly because of the mingling of the Korean and Mexican communities in Southern California. It’s this history that Vatos celebrates with their Korean-inspired tacos stuffed with Korean pork belly and pickled vegetables, tequila-glazed Korean-style fried chicken wings, and nachos topped with kimchi and carnitas. The flavors are bold, lively, and unlike any you’ve likely tried—perfect for a spirited night out with friends, especially when paired with their beer-geritas.
Vatos Urban Tacos is at Net Park Building, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.
This Vietnamese restaurant is a favorite of families on road trips to Tagaytay—probably yours, too, but you won’t have to drive all the way there now with their branch at Uptown Parade. The Manila outpost has kept the traditional Vietnamese recipes by My Duyen or Bawai that made them such a hit. Start on a clean note with the Goi Cuon, crisp fresh spring rolls, or go for the full-flavored Pho Bites with tender savory beef and chewy pho noodles wrapped in lettuce. There's also enough of the tasty mains, like the Bo Kho, a beef stew with a thick peppery sauce or the Tom Rang Me, sweet and tangy prawns blanketed with a tamarind paste, to go around.
Bawai’s Vietnamese Kitchen is at G/F Uptown Parade, Uptown Bonifacio.
It’s time to relive your favorite tito’s sometimes bawdry, but always fun, drinking sessions at Lumu, Chef Luigi Muhlach’s reinvention of the classic beer house. They have a wide range of pulutan to choose from, all elevated a bit with a flavorful twist here and there. If your friends are adventurous eaters, the Hardcore Kambing Sampler, with three kinds of goat dishes, is a must-order. The Lumu A-Bangers Sampler isn’t only perfect for feeding groups, it’ll also blow your mind in the best possible way. Imagine a Bicol Express sausage (the Kupido) that tastes just like the gata-heavy dish with a creamy coconut-y note, or a Kansi sausage that has that distinct acidic tang. Pair your grub with beer, which you can get here at Mucho or 1-Liter bottles, and position yourselves by the sari-sari store front at their al-fresco area for that laid-back inuman vibe.
Lumu is at 3/F Greenbelt 3, Ayala Avenue, Makati City.
Pizzas are the perfect group meal, so it’s no surprise that this pizza chain from the U.K. is such a hit on mall outings with friends. PizzaExpress takes great pride in their dough, and you realize why once you have their Baked Dough Balls, pillowy soft and on the right side of chewy, and served with garlic butter, pesto Genovese, and pesto Rosso. If you and your friends don’t get together often, you deserve to treat yourself with the Lava pizza, with huge chunks of rich burrata, fresh cherry tomatoes, and peppery arugula on warm freshly baked dough.
PizzaExpress is at G/F Uptown Mall, Uptown Bonifacio.
Just from the name, you know that this is the place to bring your friends and family. The menu at Friends & Family is inspired by that tita who loves to entertain at home, going all out when whipping up impressively delicious fare that’s also so satisfyingly comforting in their familiarity. The Cheesy Garlic Butter Scallops are a surefire hit because no one can resist melted cheese and butter, while The Sizzling Bulalo Steak & U.S. Beef Belly with Gravy is the indulgent gravy-covered beefy dish that deserves to be the centerpiece of any table. Be sure to also have the Birthday Spaghetti with Hotdog and Marshmallow, with a distinctive sweetness that’s sure to unearth stories of awkward childhood birthday parties. If you’re in the mood for more celebrations—and libations—Friends & Family also houses the bar The Coconut Club.
Friends & Family is at Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City.
Is your family full of picky eaters who can never agree on what to order? They can have whatever they’re hankering for at The Alley. This buffet from the Vikings Group stands out because of its à la carte concept, meaning you can have dishes cooked upon ordering at the different stations, ranging from Asian and Filipino to burgers and wings. Inspired by night markets and hawker stalls, The Alley even has a fishball cart and an ice-cream cart to complete the streetside vibe.
The Alley is at 2/F Phase 2, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City.