Can you believe we’re already halfway through 2016? It’s crazy how fast time just slips by without us really noticing. But what an awesome first half of the year it has been for the local foodie scene!
In just six months, we’ve seen long-awaited international restaurants reach our shores as well as local favorites and newbies opening their doors all over the metro. If this is any indication of what we can expect for the rest of the year, we’re in for yet another stomach-filling adventure.
But before we completely bid adieu to the first half of this year and greet the last few months ahead, let’s rundown the ten best restaurants for the month of June.
What’s on the list, you ask? Seven of the restaurants on this list are all found in Taguig with four of them located at Uptown Place Mall. There are also a couple of newcomers: one casual Mexican restaurant that lets you customize your food, a restaurant that serves American comfort food hot off the griddle, a place where Neapolitan pizza meets Japanese perfection, and probably the most Instagrammable cafe out there.
Which restaurant in the metro bagged the top spot? Read on and find out!
10. Coffee Project
Coffee Project, one of the four newcomers on the list, is probably one of the prettiest coffee shops you’ll see here in Metro Manila. In her looloo review, Denise J. calls it “the most Instagrammable/Snapchatable coffee place” she’s ever been to and who wouldn’t feel that way?
Their Quezon City branch is a lot more feminine with the flower chandeliers, ornamental plants, and the colorful, post it-laden Freedom Wall. In contrast, their Alabang branch is a lot sleeker and cozier with the earthy hues of its interiors, dim lighting, and glass walls.
Whether it’s a chill hangout-turned-photoshoot with your barkada or a sweet date with your special someone, Coffee Project is a great place for any kind of gathering.
Even if you wish to fly solo and just enjoy quiet time spent with a slice of cake and your choice of drink, Coffee Project fits the bill. For those looking for a heavier meal, Coffee Project also has all-day breakfast items on their menu!
Coffee Project has two locations in Metro Manila. The first is located at Vista Place, E. Lopez Drive, Quezon City, and the second is located at 3/F Starmall Alabang, Star Mall Service Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa. There are also branches located in Bacoor, Cavite and San Fernando, Pampanga.
9. Din Tai Fung
Not every restaurant can say they’ve been awarded a coveted Michelin Star and not every place in the world can say that they are home to even just a branch of a Michelin Star restaurant. Luckily for Metro Manila, the first Din Tai Fung restaurant in the country opened its doors in 2015, armed and ready with the xiao long bao that made it famous to begin with.
Speaking of xiao long bao, do you know how to properly eat this soup-filled dumpling? Din Tai Fung recommends that you put some soy sauce and vinegar in the small dish containing ginger and then dip your little dumpling in that sauce. Then, place your xiao long bao in the spoon, poke a hole on its skin and watch as the steaming broth oozes out. Add some ginger and you’re good to go!
If earlier published reports are true, a foie gras xiao long bao are headed our way this year. And did you know that there are items on the menu that is only exclusive to the Philippine branch? The sweet and sour pork, salted egg yolk prawns, and chocolate lava xiao long bao are just some of these dishes you can only find in the Manila branch.
Din Tai Fung is located at G/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, EDSA corner Julian Vargas Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City.
8. Moe’s Southwest Grill
The second newcomer on the list is one of the United States’ most famous Mexican chains, Moe’s Southwest Grill. Simply known as Moe’s, it first opened in Atlanta, Georgia 16 years ago. The Bistro Group brought Moe’s to the country, which opened its first restaurant in Taguig last June 14.
While the usual Mexican fare of tacos, burritos, and quesadillas is no longer new in the local foodie scene, Moe’s brings a different, customizable experience for its diners. To order your food, you have to fall in line and choose how you want your food. You can choose as many add-ons and even remove as many ingredients as you want. Once you’re done, head to the counter and pay for your food. It’s that easy and simple!
Moe’s Southwest Grill is located at 4/F Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Despite it not being a good time for business in Malaysia, the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis drove Dr. Jeffrey Goh to leave the world of dental surgery and venture into the world of entrepreneurship. This same dentist-turned-businessman would later open Morganfield’s and bring delicious western-style food not only to different areas in Malaysia but also to other Asian countries such as Singapore, China, and the Philippines.
Meals at Morganfield’s is meant to be a feast shared with family and friends. Sink your teeth (and even your fingers too if you don’t mind eating with your hands!) into the best-selling Sticky Bones, a rack of ribs that falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. Try the Hickory BBQ Spare Ribs. Karen B. describes it as “the most tender, succulent, and hearty pork ribs in town” in her looloo review. Can’t decide what to get for you and your group? Go for a sharing platter instead. It’s good for 3-4 people!
Morganfield’s is located at 2/F Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Search any dictionary for the word “locavore” and you’ll find it. Used to refer to a person who eats locally-sourced food whenever possible, the idea serves as the inspiration and backbone behind Locavore, which first opened in Kapitolyo in 2014. Now two branches strong, Locavore serves its own take on Filipino fare using organic products all found in the Philippines.
What can you expect to see in the menu of Locavore? Kare-Kare and Sinigang are all on the menu but are given an unusual twist in the form of Kare Kare Wings and Sizzling Sinigang. Locavore also serves a variety of kilawin dishes served in little jars. Drop by their Burgos Circle branch in the morning and try the items on their breakfast menu. The Duck Lugaw with Foie Gras and Champorado ni Speedy are just some of the reviewer favorites.
Locavore is located at 10 Brixton Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig, and at Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Reminiscent of the famous Tsukiji Fish Market, OOMA aims to offer wallet-friendly, hip, and delicious Japanese food. Chef Bruce Ricketts of the Sensei Sushi/Mecha Uma fame is at the helm of the ship, dishing out maki, udon, donburi, and other Japanese staples that are just full of “Oomagoodness” as Jonathan Y. says in his looloo review.
OOMA is famous among foodies for its wide selection of maki. In her looloo review, Steffhanie S. declares the Ebi Tempura Maki as one of her favorites, saying that she “loved the mixture of avocado and aligue mayo on top of it.” On the other hand, April H. simply refers to the Hamachi Maki as “the best” in her looloo review, going to say that she would definitely order it again.
If the standard Japanese fare isn’t really want you’re going for, the Hanger Steak comes a well-recommended dish by looloo users. You can even ask for unlimited rice for free!
OOMA is located at 3/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, EDSA corner Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, and at Edades Tower and Garden Villas, Amorsolo Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati.
The third newcomer on this list is the latest offering from the 1771 Group of Restaurants, Flatiron. Inspired by the hustling and bustling New York lifestyle, Flatiron serves American comfort food that is convenient and cooked using their signature griddle.
Food can also be taken to-go as Flatiron takes into consideration the community it’s in and wants a hassle and worry-free experience especially for those working in nearby buildings.
Try the Flatiron Beef Brisket and find yourself enjoying thick, juicy cuts of meat that have been slow-cooked for six hours first before they’re seared on the griddle. It might surprise some that what looloo reviews are raving most about is the Rose Noir. This sinful, decadent treat composed of dark chocolate ganache, meringue, and hazelnut praline is “heaven” according to Patrick V.’s looloo review.
Flatiron is located at G/F Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
3. Pink’s Hot Dogs
Coming in at number three on the list is a loved Los Angeles icon. When news broke out that Pink’s Hot Dogs was opening its first overseas branch in Manila, people just couldn’t help but become so excited even when the already long wait had to be extended just a little more.
When Pink’s opened last June 10, the beloved American brand was greeted with daily long queues of people ready to find out what Pink’s is all about. And Pink’s did not disappoint.
In his looloo review, Abe C. says he liked The Hollywood Legend, which made Pink’s famous in America, and lauded the generous serving of chili and cheddar cheese. On the other hand, what stood out of EJ B. most is the service. “Para akong may sariling butler hanggang sa paglabas ko ng door,” he says in his review.
Pink’s Hot Dogs is located at Shangri-La at the Fort, 30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
2. Salvatore Cuomo & Bar
Believe it or not, Italian restaurant Salvatore Cuomo & Bar, the fourth and last newcomer on the list, is from Japan. But if that leads you to think that what it has to offer the local foodies is anything less than authentic, you better think again.
Salvatore Cuomo, the restaurant’s namesake, is Italian-Japanese and has built himself a restaurant empire in Japan. Referred to as “The Pizza Man” by the Japanese, he’s credited for making Neapolitan-style pizza famous in Japan, the exact same thing he brings to Manila.
Try the Quattro Formaggi pizza, which is a blend of Gorgonzola, Buffalo Mozzarella, Grana Padano and Provolone. You have the option of pouring honey over your pizza to give the usual salty flavor a nice, sweet touch. For dessert, order the Tiramisu with Pistachio Gelato. Carla M. calls it the “BEST. TIRAMISU. EVER.” in her looloo review while Clarissa P. says the pistachio gelato is the best in the Metro.
Salvatore Cuomo & Bar is located at G/F Uptown Parade, 9th Avenue corner 38th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
1. Melt Grilled Cheesery
With how busy and hectic life in Metro Manila can be, it’s no surprise that many of us turn to any kind of comfort food when we want to take a break, relax, and enjoy the better things in life. And at Melt Grilled Cheesery, which bagged the number one spot for this month, cheese, one of the most loved comfort food, is done well and done in many ways.
From grilled cheese sandwiches and pasta to soup and cheesecakes, cheese is front and center at Melt Grilled Cheesery. Order the Monte Cristo, a delectable, savory blend of saltiness from the cheese and ham and the sweetness of the french toast and syrup. For dessert, Clarissa P. is all praises for the Dulce De Leche Cheesecake in her looloo review, which describes as “rich, creamy and really good, something worth coming back for!”
Melt Grilled Cheesery is located at 3/F Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.