2017’s winding down very quickly but it’s still a little too early to say out with the old and in with the new, especially for this rundown of October’s ten most popular restaurants in Manila!
Along with three newbies, we got some returning favorites on the list! They include a restaurant famous around the world for its xiao long bao, a Cebuano favorite known for its lechon, and a restaurant serving Filipino cuisine with a twist!
10. Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen
Got a craving for anything Italian? Then Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen is the go-to place for you! Its wide menu offers a variety of classic Italian favorites as well as dishes you might not have tried before! Take the Escargots for example. These snails are imported all the way from France and are baked in parsley and garlic butter!
But if you’re all for the tried and tested, Mama Lou’s pasta, risotto, and pizza offerings will keep you more than satisfied. Pizza lovers in particular should go for the Mama Lou’s Special, which is topped with tomato, mozzarella, arugula, mango, prosciutto, and balsamic cream. In her looloo review, Jomarie A. calls this the best dish she tasted during their visit! “It’s my first time to see mangoes on a pizza,” she shares. “But it pairs well with the ingredients! The hint of sweetness from the mangoes, coupled with the tangy balsamic cream, really makes this pizza unforgettable.”
Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen has branches in different parts of the metro.
9. Sibyullee Flavors of Seoul
If you’ve been to Itaewon and Myeongdong in Korea, you’ll know that the street food there is taken to the next level by a certain ingredient: cheese! But since flying all the way to Seoul to binge eat is easier said than done, Sibyullee Flavors of Seoul offers us the next best thing by bring these sinfully cheesy street food to us instead!
Sibyullee Flavors of Seoul specializes in Korean cheese barbecue with its Dakgogi Cheese BBQ (chicken barbecue) emerging as a favorite among looloo app users! Sandra Y. highly recommends the dish in her looloo review while Norman Lester T. simply calls it “heaven” in his looloo review, adding that the cheese is “a sight to behold” and combines perfectly with the egg and barbecue bits.
Sibyullee Flavors of Seoul is located at G/F Ayala Malls The 30th, Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig.
8. Premier The Samgyupsal
Speaking of Korean barbecue, the first of three newbies on this countdown is another place you can go to for unlimited Korean barbecue. And guess what makes Premier The Samgyupsal extra special? It’s open 24/7! Yes, you read that right! So if those cravings hit at, let’s say, midnight or three in the morning, you know where to go!
Unlimited beef, pork, rice, side dishes, steamed egg, and soup (they provide two kinds!) will cost you ₱599. Definitely not a bad price to pay considering everything is refillable and, according to Bernisse C.’s looloo review, the meat served are of higher quality. If Korean barbecue isn’t your thing, Premier The Samgyupsal also offers unlimited shabu shabu (priced at ₱450 for lunch and ₱500 for dinner).
Premier The Samgyupsal is located at 1720-A Street corner Alonzo Street, Malate, Manila.
7. Sunnies Cafe
Sunnies has become more than just about the eyewear. It’s become a lifestyle brand, especially when it first opened Sunnies Cafe. Now three branches strong (the recent one opened in Alabang Town Center), Sunnies Cafe appeals to the millennial lifestyle with its SoCal-inspired interiors and Instagram-perfect comfort food.
Sunnies Cafe’s best sellers include the Stove Top Pork Chop, Pot Roast Beef, Truffle Pasta, and Creamy Carbonara. If you’re the type to eat brunch food at any time of the day, go for the Steak and Eggs and Sunnies Risotto!
Sunnies Cafe has branches in SM Megamall, Bonifacio High Street, and Alabang Town Center.
The second new entry for October’s rundown of most popular restaurants is one that comes from Tokyo and specializes in thick noodles made from wheat flour known as udon. Ever since it opened its first branch in BGC, Marugame has generated long lines of eager diners every single day. Once you do get to step inside, don’t be surprised if you suddenly feel like you’ve been teleported straight into Tokyo and its popular street side eateries!
Marugame provides a cafeteria-like style of experience. You’ll have to fall in line, order your food and preferred sides, pay at the counter, and add condiments (optional). In her looloo review, Tracy M. commends the presentation of the food upon ordering as well as the fast service and wallet-friendly prices. And by wallet-friendly, we mean that a regular-sized bowl of Curry Udon costed her ₱170!
Marugame is located at B7, Bonifacio High Street, 11th Avenue corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Ever thought of Filipino cuisine as boring and ordinary? Well, Locavore is here to prove you wrong! Known for using ingredients that are locally grown, made, and produced, Locavore stays true to its roots even as it provides a fresh spin on Filipino food.
On Locavore’s menu you can find dishes such as Kare Kare Wings, Sizzling Sinigang, Fried Oyster Sisig, and Sizzling Pandesal Pudding. And if you happen to find yourself in the restaurant during breakfast hours, don’t miss out the chance and order something from the breakfast menu! The Duck Lugaw with Foie Gras, and Champorado ni Speedy are favorites among looloo app users!
Locavore is located at 10 Brixton Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig, and at Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
4. Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung traces its roots all the way back to the 70s in Taiwan where Yang Bingyi and his wife began selling soup dumplings known as xiao long bao. Decades later, Din Tai Fung has become synonymous to its bestselling dumplings and has been awarded a Michelin star a whopping five times!
The pork xiao long bao remains to be the classic and perennial favorite among foodies trooping to Din Tai Fung for a taste of these world-famous soup dumplings. But if you want to try a different variety of xiao long bao, these choices are also on the menu: crab roe and pork, chicken, green squash and shrimp, pork and roasted garlic, truffle and pork, foie gras and chicken, and even chocolate, steamed red bean, and golden lava salted egg yolk!
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.
3. NIU by Vikings
It can’t be denied that we Filipinos loving anything unli, especially when it comes to food. It’s why it’s no surprise that buffets are very popular and are rarely empty on any given day.
The third and final newbie on this list, NIU by Vikings is one of the more upscale buffets we have in the metro. The word ‘niu’ means ‘nine’ in the Viking language and this choice of name is no coincidence because NIU by Vikings does house nine different stations! One you definitely shouldn’t miss according to looloo app users is the carving station, which is where you can find Angus Beef!
The polished interiors and the variety of food might give you the idea that you might need to shell out an exorbitant amount of money but it sure isn’t the case! Weekday lunch will cost you around ₱1,088++ while the rate for weekday dinner, weekends, and holidays is at ₱1,388++.
NIU by Vikings is located at 6/F SM Aura Premier, McKinley Parkway corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Cebu is known for many things and chief among them are the Sinulog Festival and lechon. Lucky for us, we get a taste of the latter without having to purchase a plane ticket as Zubuchon now has two branches here in Metro Manila!
While there are other dishes on the menu (such as the Baked Scallops, Calamares, and Ginataang Langka), it’d be a sin to eat in Zubuchon without trying its famous lechon! And according to Neb A.’s looloo review, Zubuchon’s lechon did not just meet his expectations, it actually blew him away! “My tastebuds were in for a treat! The crispy skin was very crunchy and crumbly even when it’s not thin! It also melted in my mouth very fast! But, while I wasn’t surprised about this consistency of their pork skin, the meat was a delight for the mouth.”
Zubuchon in Manila is located at UG/F Mega A, SM Megamall, EDSA corner Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, and at Yakal Street corner Talisay Street, San Antonio Village, Makati City.
1. Mendokoro Ramenba
Clinching its third number one spot and its seventh most popular restaurants list appearance for this year is Mendokoro Ramenba! And judging by the near-constant five-star reviews on the looloo app, it’s a well-deserved win for this famous ramen joint!
It seems like you just can’t go wrong with Mendokoro Ramenba’s offerings, whether your order the crowd favorite Shoyu Ramen or the Tantanmen Ramen. Better yet, why not go out on a limb and try something from the secret menu. The Super Chasu Ramen might just become your new favorite!
Mendokoro Ramenba is located at Shop 18, V Corporate Center, Soliman Street, Salcedo Village, Makati.