Have you ever imagined yourself jetsetting around the globe and eating the best that the world’s cuisines have to offer? For a lot of us, it’s all just wishful thinking for now but we promise you that this list of Manila’s most popular restaurants for the month of July is the next best thing!
For this rundown, we will transport you to places like Japan with its 155-year-old popular matcha brand, Macao and its tea brand that’s over 200 branches strong, and even Ibiza, which inspired a popular club in Cebu that’s now in Manila! Ready to get going?
10. Ibiza Beach Club
If you’ve been to Mactan, Cebu, chances are you’ve heard or even been to the Ibiza Beach Club. But lucky for all of us here in the metro, this posh beach-inspired restaurant is no longer a plane ride away because Ibiza Beach Club now has a branch here in Manila!
Boasting 1,000 seats, a center stage, and even a hot tub, Ibiza Beach Club’s BGC branch is all that you need for top notch entertainment and dining experience. It’s an entertainment center with good music and good food. Can it get better than that? And speaking of dining, Ibiza Beach Club offers lunch specials priced at ₱500 and ₱1,000. These lunch specials include a main dish, dessert, soup of the day, and an unlimited salad buffet!
But if it’s the best of Ibiza Beach Club that you’re after, go for the 15-course (yes, you read that right!) Balearic Grill. Inclusive of the salad bar, four seafood dishes, nine meat dishes, and the signature dessert, Queen Pineapple, Midz S. says in her looloo review that the Balearic Grill “is guaranteed to impress you, and is worth every Peso.”
Ibiza Beach Club is located at 6/F W City Center, 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
9. Vampire Penguin
With all the dessert places offering shaved ice treats all over the metro, Vampire Penguin stands out with what it calls the shaved snow. How is it different from regular shaved ice, you ask? Shaved snow is actually the middle ground between shaved ice and ice cream, meaning it has a fluffier and smoother texture.
If you’re trying Vampire Penguin’s shaved snow desserts for the first time, you can’t go wrong with the Strawberry Cheesecake, which has vanilla and strawberry-flavored shaved snow, strawberries, strawberry sauce, and white chocolate sauce. Up for something with an Asian twist? Try one of the newer menu offerings, the matcha and Thai milk tea-flavored Jillian!
Vampire Penguin is located at 3/F Ayala Malls The 30th, Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig
8. Macao Imperial Tea
Just when we thought that the milk tea trend is a thing of the past, here is a newcomer straight from Macau landing in at number eight. With over 200 branches worldwide, Macao Imperial Tea brings its coffee, sodas, fruit-infused teas, and cream cheese-based drinks to Manila with its first branch in Quezon City!
What makes Macao Imperial Tea extra fun and cool are its glass tumblers (there are even bear ones!) and colorful, Instagram-ready sodas! Only a limited number of drinks can be served in these cute, reusable tumblers, including the Ice Caramel Macchiato and Strawberry Milk.
As for the vibrantly colored sodas, there are a couple of choices on the menu but Over The Rainbow is a favorite among looloo app users for its vibrant colors and a flavor that Jown P. likens to Starburst in her looloo review.
Macao Imperial Tea is located at 780 Banawe Street, Banawe, Quezon City
Makings its third straight most popular restaurants list appearance is 155-year-old Japanese brand, Tsujiri. Tsujiri specializes in all things matcha such as ice blended drinks, floats, shaved ice desserts, and soft served ice cream.
“Matcha here is LEGIT,” Paolo S. says in his looloo review. “I will definitely be coming back to try the other offerings! But that Tsujiri Sundae, oh man, best matcha soft serve I’ve had.” A must order at Tsujiri, the Tsujiri Sundae is made up of matcha ice cream (you can have it switched to vanilla!), roasted brown rice, red bean paste, shiratama (mochi balls), chestnut, and a cherry blossom rice cracker he describes as the “cherry on top” on this super yummy sundae!
Tsujiri is located at 2/F S Maison at Conrad Manila, Seaside Boulevard corner Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay
6. Bad Bird
Coming in at number six is Hole in The Wall favorite, Bad Bird! 2017 has been a big year for the brand with the opening of its first standalone restaurant in SM Megamall early this year. With it comes a wider menu with more dishes such as those from the grill, small plates, and even dessert.
Bad Bird’s Chicken Plates, however, remain to be its bestselling foodie favorites. These umami-flavored fried chicken are paired Korean and Japanese side dishes, including sweet potato waffles, Bad Bird signature corn, kimchi coleslaw, and fried rice with bacon, chicken liver, tamago, tomato, and kimchi
Bad Bird is located at 4/F Hole in the Wall, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue corner Salamanca Street, Poblacion, Makati, and at 3/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, EDSA corner Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong
Let’s face it: Michelin stars and excellent yet very expensive food usually come hand-in-hand. However, that isn’t the case with FOO’D. Helmed by Michelin-starred Chef Davide Oldani, a three course meal at FOO’D costs ₱800 while a four course meal is priced at ₱1,200. Considering the fine dining experience you’ll get here, these prices aren’t bad at all!
There are two dishes you shouldn’t miss when you dine at FOO’D. The first is the Cipolla Caramellata, which is a caramelized onion tart with Grana Padano gelato and hot cream. In her looloo review, Phantasm D. calls it “the best onion I ever had in my life! Not kidding about this. I love the contrast of temperatures, from the hot onion to the cold gelato.”
Then, there’s the Lemon Curd dessert. Made up of a lemon curd covered with dehydrated meringue and served with a cacao crumble, curry almonds, and a green lettuce gelato, this dessert will probably cause some raised eyebrows. But we promise, there’s nothing to fear, especially when it comes to the green lettuce gelato.
FOO’D is located at G/F Shangri-La at The Fort, 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Making its sixth most popular restaurants list appearance for the year is foodie favorite OOMA! You probably have heard, read, or even tasted what makes OOMA such a hit among foodies all over the metro but if you’re in need of an introduction or a refresher to this restaurant, you need not look any further than the aburi (or torched) makis.
The aburi makis come in a variety of choices. There’s the Salmon Skin Aburi Maki, a favorite among looloo app users! Love salmon but not you’d rather shy away from the fatty skin? Order the Salmon Tartare Aburi Maki! Other choices include the Ebi and Kani, Hamachi and Kani, and Scallop and Tuna Aburi Makis.
OOMA has branches in SM Megamall, Bonifacio High Street Central, and Edades Tower and Garden Villas, Rockwell Center, Makati
3. Soru Izakaya
Snagging a bronze finish in this rundown is Soru Izakaya! For those who live up north, Soru Izakaya is another place where you can score some aburi makis. The best part about that is that you can actually find two kinds of torched sushi here: the regular Aburi and the Soru Ichiban Aburi.
But if you find yourself craving for other delicious Japanese food that isn’t sushi, Soru Izakaya also has sashimi, teppanyaki (there’s USDA Steak Teppan and Saikoro Wagyu Cubes on the menu!), donburi, ramen, kushiyaki, and even poke bowl!
Soru Izakaya is located at 140 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
2. Tomatito Manila
Despite its name and the fact that it’s a tapas bar, Tomatito is actually from Shanghai! Calling itself a “sexy tapas bar”, Tomatito opened its Manila branch in BGC last December. Tapas are essentially appetizers in Spanish cuisine but Tomatito proves that big things (in this case, big flavors) come in small packages.
Not that familiar with tapas? Then the Salmon TNT is the best place to start. Christina R. calls it a “must try” in her looloo review and recommends that you eat it in one bite to get the boom of flavors.
But if you’re looking for something heftier, Tomatito also offers lunch sets, which come with one starter and one main dish.
Tomatito Manila is located at 30th Street corner 11th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
1. Mendokoro Ramenba
Clinching the top spot and making its fourth straight most popular restaurants list appearance is Mendokoro Ramenba! The sister restaurant of Ramen Yushoken, Mendokoro Ramenba is one of the go-to places in Makati for those looking for really delicious ramen!
But here’s a little tip: Mendokoro Ramenba has some off-the-menu items! One of them is the Super Chashu, which is a shoyu ramen that comes with a huge, thick slab of chashu! It’s so good that EJ B. calls it “the best ramen” in his looloo review!
Mendokoro Ramenba is located at Shop 18, V Corporate Center, Soliman Street, Salcedo Village, Makati