We’re six down, six more to go for 2017! Can you believe how fast time flies? But before we move on to the rest of year, let’s rundown the ten most popular restaurants in Manila for June! Here are the numbers: there are four first-timers on the list, one famous Canadian coffee brand making its fourth straight list appearance, and three restaurants making their third straight appearance.
As for which restaurant’s at the top of the pack, this restaurant that specializes in fish and chips snags its second number one spot for the year! Can you guess what it is?
10. Rainbow Dreams Cafe
The most colorful restaurant among the June bunch comes in at number ten! The first of four newbies, Rainbow Dreams Cafe counts volleyball star Alyssa Valdez as one of the owners of this unicorn-themed paradise. And by unicorn paradise, we mean pastel-colored walls, My Little Pony stuffed toys and even unicorn onesies you can wear for that Instagram snap!
Even the food is unicorn themed! Check out the Unicorn Pasta Carbonara and its pink and purple-colored pasta! The sauce is buried underneath the pasta and the ham and cheese are shaped into stars. Very picture perfect!
Craving for a milkshake? Rainbow Dreams Cafe offers uber colorful in the following flavors: Cookie Monster, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Ube Macapuno.
Rainbow Dreams Cafe is located at 80 Maginhawa Street, Quezon City
9. Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room
We’ve seen many restaurants fuse and twist Asian cuisine in many different ways but no place does it quite like Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room. The second newcomer on this rundown, Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room puts sisig and gyoza, tom yum and meatballs, and even squid ink and laksa together in creative, exciting dishes.
A crowd favor among looloo app users is the Blaksa, which is Toast’s own version of the Peranakan dish, Laksa. Infused with squid ink and topped with huge pieces of shrimp and squid, Ruth S. says that she likes “how clean tasting, how light, and refreshing the soup was” in her looloo review. “OMG, this was good!! As in!!!”
Another favorite is the Twice Cooked Pork Belly, which is made more sinful by the salted egg fried rice it’s paired with. In her looloo review, Clarissa P. describes it as “good for sharing, this platter had a tasty bed of salted egg fried rice topped with sinfully “succulent” and tender pork belly slices! The pork belly slices were braised then seared and then tossed in honey garlic giving a nice sweet and salty contrast.”
Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room is located at G/F Ayala Malls The 30th, Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig
8. Melt Grilled Cheesery
Love all things cheese? Then Melt Grilled Cheesery is probably your idea of heaven! From the sandwiches and pasta down to the desserts, Melt Grilled Cheesery oozes of this comfort food favorite.
But despite the many options on the menu, the grilled cheese sandwiches remain to be the quintessential cheese-filled food for many foodies. “This grilled cheese will restore your faith in humanity,” Ana Joaquina A. says of her grilled cheese sandwich in her looloo review. Made up of burrata cheese and shrimp and served with a side of honey, she adds that, “It will send your kids to college. It will resurrect Harambe. It was just that. darn. good.”
Melt Grilled Cheesery is located at 3/F Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
7. Kushikatsu Daruma
Landing in at number seven is a restaurant that’s on its third straight Most Popular Restaurants list appearance! Kushikatsu Daruma is all about one thing: the kushikatsu. Doesn’t ring any bells? Well, the kushikatsu is actually more familiar to you than you think! It’s actually the Japanese term used for food that’s been breaded, fried, and served on a stick.
The fun bit about dining in at Kushikatsu Daruma is the variety of kushikatsu you can choose from! The usual chicken gizzard, pork and chicken intestines, chicken heart, prawns, and pork loin (or tonkatsu) are all on the menu but if you feel like going for something different, you can also find camembert cheese, aubergine, and mochi! And the best part is, they all go super well with the provided sauce.
But remember, Kushikatsu Daruma has a cardinal rule you should follow and that’s no double dipping!
Kushikatsu Daruma is located at 2/F Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
6. Mendokoro Ramenba
Another restaurant making its third straight appearance on this rundown is Ramen Yushoken’s sister restaurant, Mendokoro Ramenba! Although it’s popular among foodies for its Shoyu ramen, the other options it offers will surely satisfy any ramen craving!
If you’re the type who looks forward to the pieces of chashu the most in a bowl of ramen, then you will enjoy the Super Chashu. The really thick, super tender, and flavorful cut of chashu is front and center and really, what’s not to love about it?
Fancy a bowl of ramen with a stronger, punchy flavor of garlic? Mendokoro Ramenba has Garlic Ramen on the menu too!
But if you want to try something out of the ordinary, then go for the Hiyashi TanTanMen, otherwise known as Cold TanTanMen with Grilled Tofu. Yup, you read that right! Cold TanTanMen! “The cold tantanmen soup hits the spot! Not even a slight hesitation to slurp the noodles as well because it gives a cooling soothing feeling,” Marc M. says in his looloo review. “The grilled tofu was a revelation! Sooo good! It has a smooth chewy texture to it like spam but with less salt.”
Mendokoro Ramenba is located at Shop 18, V Corporate Center, Soliman Street, Salcedo Village, Makati
Matcha is one of the distinctly Japanese flavors that Filipinos have come to love so it’s no surprise that the arrival of Tsujiri caught the attention of many foodies. This 155-year-old brand found its way to our shores this year and now we have a go-to place for all things matcha!
Unfamiliar with matcha or simply can’t decide where to begin among Tsujiri’s matcha treats? The Tsujiri sundae is the best place to start! Paolo S. calls it “the best matcha soft serve” he’s had in his looloo review. Together with the roasted brown rice, red bean paste, shiratama (mochi balls), chestnut, and a cherry blossom rice cracker, the Tsujiri Sundae makes for a really balanced dessert that will bring out your inner zen.
Not in the mood for ice cream? There’s also matcha-flavored lava cake, latte, and shaved ice treats on the menu!
Tsujiri is located at 2/F S Maison at Conrad Manila, Seaside Boulevard corner Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay
4. Tim Hortons
Many of us can’t get through the day without a cup (or two) of coffee and for many foodies, Tim Hortons has become a must visit at anytime of the day. Already on this rundown for four months straight, this Canadian brand, which many looloo app users laud for its cheap prices, now has two branches: one in BGC and another in Ermita.
If you need an introduction to Tim Hortons coffee, the Double Double, Tim Hortons’ signature blend, is all you need. Diane A. says it is “definitely not short on taste” in her looloo review. “It was good. Light to the taste but the kick was there.” Pair of with the Timbits (the birthday cake flavor is recommended!) or with any of the sandwiches available and you’ll be good to go!
Tim Hortons is located at UG/F Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, and at UN Square Mall, UN Avenue corner San Marcelino Street, Ermita, Manila
3. Soru Izakaya
The third newbie of the month comes in at number three on the list! Aburi or torched sushi is one of the current trends in Japanese cuisine and Soru Izakaya is yet another place where you can score some torched sushi!
Soru Izakaya, which is located along the famed Maginhawa Street, has two main kinds of torched sushi, the Aburi and the Soru Ichiban Aburi. A look at the list will make you want to order each kind but if you’re looking for a surefire hit, it’s the Shake Belly Aburi, which is made up of torched salmon belly, teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, truffle mayo, and ikura.
For those who prefer to order some makis, try the Hiroshima Maki, which has salmon, spicy Japanese mayo, fried gyoza wrapper, and salmon sashimi cubes marinated in a spicy Soru sauce.
Soru Izakaya has the word ‘izakaya’ in its name for a reason so don’t miss out on the chance to order the Kushiyaki Platter. Composed of bacon enoki (grilled bacon stuffed with enoki mushrooms), asura (grilled bacon stuffed with hard boiled quail egg), gyuchizu (grilled sliced beef with melted cheese), shiitake mushroom, butabara, and yakitori (chicken leg) on skewers, it’s another hit among looloo app users!
Soru Izakaya is located at 140 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
2. Sibyullee Flavors of Seoul
The last and highest ranking newbie on this rundown, Sibyullee Flavors of Seoul is not just any other Korean barbecue restaurant. Owned by the same company behind Sariwon and Soban K-Town Grill, Sibyullee’s quaint, garden-themed interiors already sets it apart from similar restaurants. And if you happen to love Korean street food and cheese together, then this is a place you should head to very soon!
A must order at Sibyullee are the Korean cheese barbecues. They come in three different kinds: Galbi Cheese BBQ (beef short ribs), Dwaejigogo Cheese BBQ (pork strips), and Dakgogi Cheese BBQ (chicken). These cheese barbecues come with sliced vegetables, rice cakes, buttered corn, omelettes, and potato slices.
In his looloo review, Kwokie K. says he was “really impressed by the galbi. Each beef chunk was tender, tasty, even the litid was good! Proof of good kitchen prep work for the orders.
Sibyullee Flavors of Seoul is located at G/F Ayala Malls The 30th, Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig
Bagging its second number one spot this year and also making its third straight most popular restaurants list appearance is CargoFish! CargoFish specializes in customizable fish and chips and lets you pick the type of fish, two sides, and the sauce!
The choices in fish include dory, tilapia, cobbler, cod, and salmon (scampi is available if you don’t want fish!) while your options for sides include sweet potato chips, onion rings, proper chips (for that traditional order of fish and chips!), slaw salad, and cargo rice.
But as many foodies would say, the secret lies in your choice of sauce. The available sauces you can choose from are Lime Chili, Honey Jalapeño, Roasted Garlic, Tartar Sauce, Chip Shop Curry, Seafood BBQ, and Mushy Peas. In her looloo review, Midz S. calls the Lime Chili sauce an “unusual pair” for the fish but says it’s “surprisingly good. The tangy vinegar, herby cilantro and mild kick from the chili all gave the fish an upgraded, profound taste.”
CargoFish is located at 4/F Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig