10 New Restaurants to Try in BGC and Uptown Bonifacio

There's always something new to check out in this neighborhood.

PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

(SPOT.ph) It may be hard to keep up with the Metro’s thriving food scene, but admit it: you just can’t resist the lure of a new restaurant. And in the Fort area, arguably the trendiest spot in town, there’s always something new in the works—from burgers to tapas, coffee, shaved ice, and everything in between. Go on a gastronomic adventure at these new additions in Bonifacio Global City and Uptown Bonifacio.

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Here are the new restaurants you should check out in Bonifacio Global City and Uptown Bonifacio:

La Picara

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

You pretty much know what you’re in for once you step inside La Picara and see its playful interiors with a sophisticated tropical vibe. Even its menu, which features Spanish cuisine with Filipino and Asian influences, reflects this playfulness. If you’re there for tapas, you have to try the Kimchi Croquettas (P340), which resemble salmon nigiri but with kimchi-filled croquettas instead of sushi rice as the base. Their Chili Crab Paella (P890) has soft-shell crab tempura on a spicy seafood-paella base—be sure to get all the crispy bits of paella at the bottom of the pan. Wash it all down with a glass of Sangria Picara (P350): Their version mixes red wine with watermelon, pineapple, lychee, and passion fruit. 

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La Picara is at 2/F One Bonifacio High Street Mall, 28th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.

Wildflour Italian

PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

With red brick walls, cathedral-like windows, and dark wood, Wildflour Italian channels the vibe of an old-world Italian home—the perfect vibe to get you in the mood for pasta, pizza, and more. Indulge in the Bucatini Carbonara (P495), with al-dente pasta coated in creamy egg and Parmigiano sauce and topped with pancetta bits. Their pizza is baked in a wood-fired brick oven, for a crispy yet chewy crust and smokey flavor. A good pick is the Prosciutto (P795), which has prosciutto plus tomato, mozzarella, and arugula. 

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Wildflour Italian Restaurant is at G/F The Finance Centre, 9th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City.

Shari Shari Kakigori

PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel

Shari Shari Kakigori specializes in kakigori or the Japanese equivalent of our own halo-halo. Back in the olden days, only the aristocracy was able to enjoy this dessert until ice became more affordable during the Meiji period. Now, the snowy treat has reached our shores. Shari Shari Kakigori’s ice machine, which makes the ice appear like fluffy white feathers, is also imported from Japan. You won’t get solid bits of ice here! Their signature Matcha Cream Special with Kuromitsu (P380) has snowy ice plus layers of green tea cream syrup and homemade kuromistu (Japanese sugar syrup), which are then finished off with a dollop of whipped cream. This has a texture that will remind you of cotton candy. Other interesting variants are the tea-inspired Earl Grey Milk Tea (P380) or the Oreo-flavored Black White Angel (P270), all of which have syrups and sauces made in-house every day.  

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Shari Shari Kakigori is at G/F Serendra, Bonifacio Global City.

Osteria Daniele

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

With its high ceilings and cathedral windows, Osteria Daniele has a striking presence in the heart of BGC. This elegant Italian establishment has a bar as its centerpiece—you won’t mind enjoying a Negroni (P495) on your own. It’s a great date place too, especially with the mood lighting at night. Spoil your special someone with sumptuous dishes like the Risotto al Limone (P950), lemon and saffron risotto with seared foie gras, or the Costolette di Agnello alla Milanese (P1,850), lamb rack served with carrot purée and lamb sauce. Just don’t ask for pizza because there isn’t any here—though you won’t miss the pie anyway with all the other tasty eats.

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Osteria Daniele is at G/F High Street Corporate Plaza, 9th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City.

Shake Shack

PHOTO BY Joanna Manalastas Calasanz

Shake Shack has become a cult favorite since they opened a permanent kiosk at Madison Square Park in 2004. They’ve got quite a following around the world, and the Philippines is no exception. Their ShackBurger (P250/single; P410/double) will make you fall in love at first bite, as well as the meat-free ‘Shroom Burger (P445) that has a cheese-stuffed Portobello mushroom patty with the same signature sauce and soft bun. We highly suggest that you ditch the soda and go for the Manila-exclusive Ube Shake (P190). It’s made with a thick frozen custard that’s blended with purple yam—you won’t find it anywhere else!

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Shake Shack is at G/F Central Square, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City.

Menya Kokoro

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

Can’t get enough of Japanese food? The recently opened Menya Kokoro should be on your checklist. This Tokyo-born concept specializes in mazesoba or mixed noodles made with soba noodles, a kokoro (minced meat) sauce, and a myriad of toppings. The Zenbu Mazesoba (P470) comes with the typical ramen toppings like menma (bamboo shoots), ajitama (ramen egg), and chashu (braised pork belly)—minus the soup. The restaurant also serves a meatless option, Vegan Mazesoba (P380), which combines sesame oil with olive oil then tops it off with medley of veggies like young corn, diced tomatoes, and peppery arugula. Wash it down with either Japanese beer or coffee to complete the experience.

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Menya Kokoro is at 3/F Uptown Mall, Uptown Bonifacio. 

Easy, Tiger

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

Food-hall stop Easy, Tiger is now a full-fledged restaurant. Unlike the usual Thai restaurants decorated with elephants, orchids, and purple silk, this edgy resto features a stylized cartoon tiger and mismatched walls of distressed wood. They offer the usual pad thai and tom yum, but why not try something different like the Green Papaya Salad with Chicken Skin (P225) or the Thai Grilled Pork Neck (P280)? Or you can indulge in the Crispy Pata With Red Curry (P645), a Thai-Filipino dish that combines crispy-fried pork knuckles with spicy-savory, slightly briny red curry sauce. You’ll want lots of rice with this dish!

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Easy, Tiger is at 2/F Uptown Mall, Uptown Bonifacio.

Medley

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

It's all about nutritious Mediterranean cuisine at this grab-and-go concept that’s located in a bookstore. In case there aren’t available seats in the small space, you can get your food to go like the Falafel (P180/pita; P259/laffa). Aside from the crunchy chickpea balls, this vegetarian-friendly wrap also comes with mixed greens, Israeli salad, carrot salad, pickles, and tahini. The modest menu also has must-try bowls such as Beef Kofte (P349/hummus and pita; P269/med rice) that has beef kebab mixed with tabbouleh, corn salad, sumac onion salad, chickpea salad, and mamba sauce. It may all sound foreign, but your stomach will welcome the bright and tangy flavors. 

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Medley is at G/F Fully Booked, B6, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City.

Ilonggo Food Company

PHOTO BY Patrick Martires

You don’t need to fly to Bacolod or Iloilo with Ilonggo Food Company and their heirloom recipes passed down from one generation to another. Yes, they have inasal, but there are more interesting dishes to try in this hip restaurant concept with modern Filipino interiors. Warm up with some Kansi (P385), braised beef shank in batuan broth that is even served with the bone marrow. You just can’t eat this without rice, so go all in and get the Chicharon Rice (P210) that’s good for sharing. You’ll be saying namit gid in no time.

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Ilonggo Food Company is at G/F Commercenter Building, 4th Avenue corner 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City.

Elephant Grounds

PHOTO BY Patrick Martires

Those familiar with Hong Kong’s Elephant Grounds will be happy to know that the café’s finally in our backyard. Just don’t expect the exact same concept—although the hip brand has the same laid-back vibe as its original outpost, the Manila branch has new surprises in store. Settle down at a solo nook while you sip on a Long Black (P120) made with beans they roast themselves, and nibble on their Scrambled Eggs and Bottarga Toast (P345) that has soft scrambled eggs, smoked white fish, dried bottarga, sundried tomatoes, and mushrooms on freshly baked sourdough bread. The menu is somewhat localized and you’ll see it in their brunch offerings. Just make sure to leave room for their ice cream that they churn on their own. Get a scoop or better yet, get an ice cream sandwich like High Societea (P165). You can’t go wrong with the combo of choco chip cookies, Earl Grey ice cream, and Biscoff cookies.

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Elephant Grounds is at G/F One Bonifacio High, 28th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.

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