We all have an opinion on everything these days and food is definitely no stranger to this. We love giving restaurant recommendations, rating dishes out of the perfect score of five, and even writing full-blown reviews for restaurants we’ve eaten in. These are just some of the things that many foodies have been able to do by downloading the looloo app!
And for this rundown, we list the ten most reviewed restaurants on the looloo app for 2016! Can you guess which restaurants made it to the list? Here are some clues: a place that serves more than 100 flavors of ice cream, a Chinese restaurant best known for its xiao long bao, and one of the most popular restaurants in Little Tokyo.
10. Bad Bird
We have Hole in the Wall as one of the places to thank for introducing us to the food hall concept and one of its longstanding residents enters this list at number ten. Bad Bird serves fried chicken cooked with umami spices along with Asian-inspired side dishes (corn and coleslaw, dirty rice, or sweet potato waffle) and allows diners to choose the level of spice (safe, spicy, or chemical).
In her looloo review, Ruth S. recommends Bad Bird to those who like “spicy, flavorful, and tasty fried chicken,” adding that the chicken itself was not “dry or oily. Plus the breading was flavorful and not soggy.” As for which side dishes to get, go for the corn and coleslaw! Covered in Japanese mayo, bonito flakes, and umami spices, Bernisse C. describes the corn in her looloo review as “so buttery and flavorful” that it makes her “want to eat it as snack on a daily basis.”
Bad Bird is located at 4/F Hole in the Wall, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue corner Salamanca Street, Poblacion, Makati
9. The Halal Guys
When The Halal Guys was first opened in 1990 by its three Egyptian owners, it took the New York street food scene up by storm with its halal food. Years later, The Halal Guys did the same thing when it brought its world famous platters and special white sauce to Manila in 2015!
The platters come in chicken, beef, falafel (deep-fried patty made from chickpeas) or a combination of two and are served with tomatoes, lettuce, rice, the white sauce, and the spicy barbecue sauce. Wondering which combination works really well? Paolo S. had the chicken and falafel together and recommends following The Halal Guys’ instructions: adding the white sauce, then the hot sauce, before mixing it all together.
“The result?” His looloo review goes on to say, “A delicious and filling plate of mixed rice, tomatoes, cabbage, chicken, and mashed falafel. Taste-wise? I’m happy!”
The Halal Guys has branches in Bonifacio High Street, SM Megamall, Alabang Town Center, Ayala Malls The 30th, and SM North EDSA.
8. Izakaya Kikufuji
Coming in at number eight is a restaurant that appeared five times in our monthly most popular restaurants lists for 2016. Izakaya Kikufuji is probably the most well-known restaurant in Little Tokyo, a compound of Japanese restaurants that has been the go-to place of foodies when the cravings hit.
Izakaya Kikufuji is most known for its fresh sushi and sashimi, which loyal customers brave the Makati traffic for. They’re all so good that it might be easier said than done figuring out which ones to order. Lucky for us, Izakaya Kikufuji offers a set of five different kinds of sashimi! Consider yourself lucky if uni is available when you dine in. Unisse C. says in her looloo review that she “was so surprised and happy that it was sweet and didn’t taste like the sea at all!”
Izakaya Kikufuji is located at Little Tokyo, 2277 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati.
We Filipinos love our meat and lucky for us, we seem to never run out of places where we can get our meat fix, especially when said meat happens to be succulent, fall-off-the-bone ribs. Landing in at seventh place is Morganfield’s, a franchise that, despite the cuisine it’s offering, is actually from Malaysia! While you might think that the restaurant’s named after its owner, Morganfield’s got its name from blues singer Larry “Mud” Morganfield.
Morganfield’s take on the ribs is called the Sticky Bones, which are hickory wood-smoked and slow cooked to reach the right tenderness. The Sticky Bones come in two different kinds, the Iberico Baby Rack (Jack Daniels Glazed or Jim Beam BBQ) and the Spare Ribs (Hickory BBQ, Garlicky BBQ, Asian Spicy BBQ, or Smoked Peppercorn).
But in case you have a hard time deciding on which to get, there are sharing platters available! The Carnivore includes your choice of spare ribs or roasted chicken plus grilled spicy devil sausage, grilled herby log sausage, garden salad, corn on the cob, corn bread, and french fries! Prefer an all-rib platter? The Ribs Sampler lets you pick three out of the four spare ribs!
Morganfield’s has branches in Uptown Place Mall, SM Mall of Asia, and Ayala Malls The 30th.
6. Freezer Burn
You’ve probably been living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Freezer Burn yet. Freezer Burn’s creative, innovative, and Instagram-perfect desserts have made the dessert scene all the more exciting ever since it first opened! And by innovative, we mean its composed desserts.
Not quite sure what they are? Think dark Valrhona chocolate ice cream with churros, cookies and junk food ice cream with Nutella donuts, and ketchup mayo ice cream with salt and pepper fries. Those are just some of what you can enjoy at Freezer Burn!
What we love most about Freezer Burn is that the creativity and innovation never stop! The most recent composed dessert is proof of that. Just in time for this year’s Chinese New Year, Freezer Burn unveiled the Lemon Chicken! Yes, you read right! It’s a lemon ice cream topped with a fortune cookie and a golden coin and served with crispy baked chicken skin.
Freezer Burn is located at G/F B3, Bonifacio High Street, 11th Avenue corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
2016 was a big year for OOMA! Not only did it make a grand total of seven appearances on the monthly most popular restaurants lists, it also topped the list of the ten best-rated Japanese restaurants in Manila in 2016!
All it takes is a look at the reviews OOMA has been getting over at the looloo app to understand why it’s become a must-visit for many foodies! One dish you shouldn’t miss out on is the Hanger Steak, which Anne R. calls the “real star of the show” that “does not disappoint” in her looloo review.
If you want to stick with makis, try the variety of aburi (torched) makis OOMA has to offer. If you can’t make up your mind which ones to try, here’s a suggestion from Justine D.’s looloo review: “For the love of life, try the scallop and tuna aburi maki and forget your name.” Love salmon? Another favorite of looloo app users is the Salmon Skin Aburi Maki!
OOMA has branches in SM Megamall, Bonifacio High Street Central, and Rockwell Center, Makati.
4. Pound by Todd English
Coming in at number four is the restaurant that placed first in the top ten list of most popular newly-opened restaurants in 2016, Pound by Todd English. If the name Todd English rings a bell, it’s because of the Todd English Food Hall, which is actually where Pound came from! The Todd English Food Hall’s burgers and sliders became such big hits among diners that they were given their own spin-off restaurant!
The T. E. Burger and T. E. Slider are good orders to start with if it’s your first time at Pound! But if you feel like being more adventurous with your burgers, try the Amsterdam Burger, which is made up of house ground beef patty, fried onion, pastrami, gruyere, sauerkraut, mustard relish, T. E. sauce, and toasted homemade brioche buns.
There’s also the Pound Foie Gras Burger which has house ground beef patty, tomato, iceberg lettuce, crispy onion, mustard relish, T.E. sauce, caramelized onions, 50g seared foie gras, foie gras mousse! Want more toppings to add on to your burger? Pound has different cheeses, sauces, and even premium add-ons like roasted bone marrow!
Pound by Todd English is located at B3, Bonifacio High Street, 11th Avenue corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
3. BLK 513
When we think of froyo, we usually come up with this image of a white, creamy frozen treat that’s similar to ice cream but is said to be lighter and healthier. But here comes BLK 513, changing what we know about froyo with its black-colored yogurt with activated charcoal! And the best part is, you can top it with your choice of crunch, two fruits, and syrup!
But if you’re one of those people who like to eat yogurt minus the sour taste or you simply don’t want to risk having temporary black lips, don’t worry! A cup of the white-colored but still super healthy Super Skim is just what you need!
BLK 513 has branches in SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, and S Maison at Conrad Manila.
2. Carousel Creamery
Choosing between two flavors can already be hard enough at times but Carousel Creamery takes it to a whole new level by offering more than 100 flavors in its arsenal. There’s only so much ice cream that you can eat at a time so it’s no wonder that foodies keep coming back to Carousel Creamery to taste as many flavors as they can!
The sheer number of flavors is already overwhelming and picking which ones to recommend is not an easy task. With that being said, we’ll let the looloo reviews do the talking! Abe C. rates the “excellent” Malted Guava flavor a 5 out of 5 in his looloo review, explaining that he wouldn’t have thought of mixing malt with guava but “work well it did. The malt acted like something that curbed the cloying or lingering taste of guava, so you taste the guava first but it’s tempered by the malt.”
Clarissa P. highly recommends the Strawberry Balsamic in her looloo review, saying that the flavor blew her away and that “the flavor of the strawberry was so fresh. It resembled the flavor of fresh strawberries mashed, swimming in milk with sugar. The balsamic touch made the flavors more distinct.”
Ready for a flavor that you probably won’t expect to find in ice cream? Jayson J. tried the Wasabi ice cream and describes it as “wow-sabi” in his looloo review, adding that it “has that thrill in your nose” but it eventually becomes “tolerable ‘cause it gets creamy at the end.”
Carousel Creamery is located at 8 Missouri Street, Greenhills, San Juan.
1. Din Tai Fung
Snagging the top spot as the most reviewed restaurant in Manila in 2016 is none other than Din Tai Fung! Originally from Taiwan, Din Tai Fung is mostly known for its xiao long bao, which are steamed soup-filled dumplings!
While there are different kinds of xiao long bao on the menu (foie gras and chicken, green squash and shrimp, and chicken are just some of those!), you can never go wrong with the original pork xiao long bao! “The pork xiao long bao was gone faster than you can say pork xiao long bao,” April H. narrates in her looloo review, adding that she’s happy that “it’s the hot, soupy, and oh-so-satisfying XLB that we know so well.”
Din Tai Fung is located at G/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, EDSA corner Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, and at C1, Bonifacio High Street Central, 5th Avenue corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.