Top 10 Most Popular Restaurants In Manila Last Month: April 2017

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Ready to guess which ones made the list? Here are a few clues: A much-loved Japanese restaurant makes its fifth straight most popular list appearance at number three while the standalone restaurant of a Hole in the Wall favorite has snagged the seventh spot!

As for who’s number one? It’s one of three newcomers on the list and it specializes in fish and chips!

10. Rico Rico

Filipino cuisine is peppered with so many Spanish influences that sometimes, we forget their real origins and think of them as purely Filipino. But if there’s one dish that will always scream Spanish to us, it’s the paella. It’s probably not something you’ll commonly find on the dinner table at home (unless there’s an occasion) so if you happen to have a really bad craving for it, Rico Rico is the place to be.

Rico Rico

Photo from Norman Lester T.’s looloo review for Rico Rico

Rico Rico has four different kinds of paella on the menu: Carne, Paella Negra (squid ink), Vegetales Paella (vegetarian), and Marisco Paella (seafood). Of the four, Dennis O. says in his looloo review that the Marisco Paella is “highly recommended” by the chef and agrees that this is the best paella of the bunch.

Rico Rico is located at 4/F Food on Four, SM Aura Premier, McKinley Parkway corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

9. Namoo House

Korean barbecue fits so well with the Filipinos’ meat-loving eating habits and it’s no surprise that more and more restaurants are offering the Korean barbecue experience here in the metro. The first of three newcomers on the list, Namoo House is one of such restaurants. Originally from Seoul, Namoo House opened its first international branch here in Manila last year.

Namoo House

Photo from Mary Love S.’s looloo review for Namoo House

If you’re willing to splurge on some top of the line meat, go for the USDA Prime Rib Eye! In his looloo review, Manfred M. said he “experienced the zenith of my beef-tasting existence” when he tried this dish.

Don’t miss out on the bestselling Marinated Boneless Short Ribs as well! Mary Love S. describes it as “so succulent and flavorful that you don’t need any dip for it” in her looloo review. The marinade of the short ribs is made up of apples, pears, pineapples so for maximum flavor, put a chunk of pineapple on the meat before popping it into your mouth!

Namoo House is located at Uptown Parade, 9th Avenue corner 38th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

8. Pound by Todd English (Megamall)

We have celebrity chef Todd English to thank for introducing us to the food hall concept through his Todd English Food Hall. In fact, it became so popular among foodies that a spin-off restaurant was eventually launched. Serving the Food Hall’s famous burgers and sliders, Pound by Todd English first opened in Bonifacio High Street. But if you happen to find that too far away, you can now troop to Megamall for your burger fix!

Pound by Todd English

Photo from Norman Lester T.’s looloo review for Pound by Todd English

Picking which sliders to order might be easier said than done so lucky for all of us, we can now find Pound for Pound on the menu! And by Pound for Pound, we mean you get the T.E. Slider and the T.E. Crispy Chicken Slider in one order! Between these two, choosing a favorite sure won’t be easy!

Pound by Todd English is located 2/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, EDSA corner Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong

7. Bad Bird (Megamall)

Bad Bird opened its first standalone restaurant this year, boasting of a bigger menu filled with more Korean and Japanese-inspired dishes. These include dishes from the grill such as the Pepper Steak, Pork Belly, and Bacon-Cut Short Rib and small plates (also known as banchan) such the Tamago Cup, Pan-fried Fish Cakes, and Dashi Watercress (a favorite among looloo users!).

Bad Bird

Photo from Patrick V.’s looloo review for Bad Bird

But of course, Bad Bird’s chicken plates remain to be the star of the show! “Daaaaamn Bad Bird, your chickens are badass,” Ac. C. says in her looloo review. “Everything we ate was on point, plus servers really know their stuff. So A plus right there!”

In his looloo review, AlwaysHungryPh P. describes Bad Bird as “Bad for your health. Good for the spirit.” “Now I grasp why they call themselves bad,” he says. “Their claim of 500k fried chicken sold since 2014 now sounds too real. I tried it and finished their tasty staple too fast, too furious. From crispy skin to its juicy meat, the flavors were consistently delicious.”

Bad Bird is located at 3/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, EDSA corner Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong

6. Kushikatsu Daruma

Just when we thought we’ve seen all there is about Japanese cuisine, here comes Kushikatsu Daruma. The second newbie on the list, this Osaka favorite specializes in kushikatsu, which is basically breaded deep-fried food on a stick! All you have to do is choose your kushikatsu, dip it into the prepared sauce, and off you go!

Kushikatsu Daruma

Photo from Bernisse C.’s looloo review for Kushikatsu Daruma

There are numerous choices on the menu, including young corn, chicken and pork intestine, gyoza, and even camembert cheese! Looking for meat? You can also find tonkatsu and tsukene (chicken meatballs) among the list of options!

But there’s one thing to keep in mind when you dine in at Kushikatsu Daruma. It’s a reminder you’ll find everywhere in the restaurant in glowing red neon lights: no double dipping!

Kushikatsu Daruma is located at 2/F Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

5. Dohtonbori (UP Town Center)

Speaking of Japanese food, okonomiyaki is one of the more recent additions from this cuisine to the local foodie scene that has quickly gained a loyal following. There aren’t many places that serve okonomiyaki here in the metro but thankfully, we can now add Dohtonbori’s latest branch to the list! And the best part is, the UP Town Center branch is definitely Instagram-perfect!

Dohtonbori

Photo from Eboy F.’s looloo review for Dohtonbori

“The place itself is more than just a restaurant or a dining space for people — it’s an overall experience,” Eboy F. narrates in his looloo review. “Upon entering their newest branch in Katipunan, you’ll surely realize that you’re entering a new world. You are now in a town in Japan that is also a huge food park for all okonomiyaki lovers in the world. You’ll be greeted by this tall cherry blossom tree and genuinely smiling people that quickly sets the mood of your stay there.”

If you happen to be a newbie when it comes to okonomiyaki, the Butatama is a great order to start with! In his looloo review, Kiko G. says “simple is always the best and I agree 100%. It’s nice to really get to savor familiar flavors and just appreciate the food in its most authentic form.” He also says not to forget to add the nori powder, bonito flakes, Japanese mayo and okonomiyaki sauce to your Butatama to make it more addicting!

Dohtonbori is located at 2/F Phase 2, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City

4. Mendokoro Ramenba

Mendokoro Ramenba has been around for quite sometime now but it seems like foodies just can’t get enough of its ramen. It’s common to find long queues outside Mendokoro’s door (we heard that wait times reached up to 30 minutes to one hour during the Holy Week!) so you might need some ninja skills to snag a seat!

The question is, is the ramen here worth the long wait?

Mendokoro Ramenba

Photo from Unisse C.’s looloo review for Mendokoro Ramenba

According to reviews over at the looloo app, it is! “Beyond the 23-limited seat capacity and almost an hour of waiting, their Shoyu Ramen was still worth all the #Hangry moments while in line,” says Kristina E. in her looloo review.

It’s no surprise that the Shoyu remains to be the crowd favorite. Jomarie A. describes it as “W-O-W” in her looloo review. “That was all I could say when my bowl of happiness was served. And it was still all I can say when I took my first slurp of the thick, creamy broth.”

Mendokoro Ramenba is located at V Corporate Center, Shop 18 Soliman Street, Salcedo Village, Makati

3. OOMA

OOMA is on a roll and it looks like it won’t stop anytime soon. After a grand total of seven most popular restaurants list appearances in 2016, OOMA is currently on it’s fourth straight appearance for 2017 (fifth straight overall, if you include December ‘16)! That’s amazing!

OOMA

Photo from Norman Lester T.’s looloo review for OOMA

When in OOMA, it’s a sin to miss out on the aburi makis! Aburi means “to burn” in Japanese and so these makis are torched right at the end to give it a toasty flavor! Some of the aburi maki choices you’ll find in the menu include Scallop and Tuna, Hamachi and Kani, Steak, and Salmon Skin!

Another dish you must not miss the Hanger Steak! Made up of Sous-vide steak, sauteed mushrooms, white truffle oil, sweet potato mash, crispy baby potato, herb aioli, and ponzu butter, this dish is a favorite among looloo app users!

OOMA has branches in SM Megamall, Bonifacio High Street Central, and Edades Tower and Garden Villas, Rockwell Center, Makati

2. Tim Hortons

First opened in 1964, Tim Hortons is a Canadian coffee chain that has finally made its long awaited debut in Manila. If you’ve been to its Uptown Place branch, it’s not unusual to find that you have quite a long wait before you can reach the counter. Fortunately for all of us, especially those who are far away from BGC, Tim Hortons opened a second branch in Ermita, Manila!

Tim Hortons

Photo from Norman Lester T.’s looloo review for Tim Hortons

Pair your cup of joe with some Timbits, which are priced at only ₱10 per piece! Make sure to get the Birthday Cake flavor which Midz S. says is “the best of the bunch” in her looloo review. “It was moist,” she says. “And got the sweetness I wanted.”

Tim Hortons is located at UG/F Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, and UN Square Mall, UN Avenue corner San Marcelino Street, Ermita, Manila

1. CargoFish

Who says a newbie can’t clinch the top spot on the most popular restaurants list? CargoFish just did! CargoFish serves up beer-battered fish and chips and lets you customize your order!

First, you must choose your fish. Your options include dory, tilapia, salmon, and many more! Next, pick two sides and lastly, choose a sauce. The Chip Shop Curry and the traditional Tartar are two of the recommended sauces available!

CargoFish

Photo from Unisse C.’s looloo review for CargoFish

What makes CargoFish extra cool and graveyard shift-friendly is that it’s open until 5AM! But don’t let this give you an excuse to be lazy. CargoFish gets long queues even at 2AM!

CargoFish is located at 4/F Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

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About Author

Bella Javier

Bella is a lover of all things sweet, a multi-time winner of the timeless children’s party and icebreaker game, Name That Tune, and a self-proclaimed queen of wishful thinking. A wanderer whose hunger lasts 24/7 and a proud owner of an oldies playlist mixed with songs she can sing fluently but does not understand, she’ll choose neither Edward or Jacob when asked that same old question.