We’ve got four newcomers on this rundown of Manila’s most popular restaurants! Wanna try and guess all four newbies?
Here are some clues: a 155-year old Japanese matcha brand, a Filipino-Mexican restaurant you’ll find in Uptown Parade, a bakery you’ll find inside one of the branches of Le Petit Souffle, and a family style restaurant known for its mouthwatering steaks.
As for who made it to the top spot? It’s a Japanese restaurant that’s on its sixth straight most popular restaurants list appearance! If you’ve been tuning in to this monthly rundown, you probably know which restaurant it is!
April’s most popular restaurant still makes it to May’s countdown with its customizable beer-battered fish and chips! How is it customizable? You can choose the type of fish (salmon’s on the list!), two sides, and a sauce!
Choosing which option to go for might be easier said than done since they all seem so good! But Dennis O. recommends going for the cod for your fish choice in his looloo review! “This is my fave of the fish variant. Love the fishy flavor of it and felt the authenticity of the fish and chips.”
As for the sauces, Unisse C. says in her looloo review that the roasted garlic dip goes well with the cod! Other sauces you can try include the honey jalapeño, and lime chili cilantro.
CargoFish is located at 4/F Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Though it is one of the four newbies on the list, Mamou has actually been around for a couple of years now. Owned by Malou Flores, who also owns Recovery Food and Blue Kitchen, many foodies regard Mamou as one of the best restaurants the country has to offer. In fact, it’s been in Philippine Tatler’s annual Best Restaurants List multiple times!
When in Mamou, diners shouldn’t miss out on the steaks! Go for the Angus Ribeye Prime Grade Steak, which Reich T. describes in her looloo review as the the “highlight” of her meal at Mamou. “The meat is super tender and flavorful. I loved every single bite.”
Mamou is located at G/F Serendra Piazza, McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
The second newcomer on this rundown, Gorda’s name actually means ‘fat lady’ in Spanish but when used in the urban slang, the meaning changes to ‘bae’. Gorda presents a fusion of Mexican and Filipino cuisines and pairs them with a unique selection of cocktails, making it the perfect hangout spot for the barkada when you’re in the BGC area.
Not quite sure what to order? Try the Mama’s Nachos! Made up of spiced beef estofado, trio local keso sauce, ensalada, and jalapeño atchara, Russel F. calls it “one of the best nachos” he’s ever tried in his looloo review.
As for the alcoholic drinks, go for the Watermelon Keg! Gorda turns the watermelon into a fruit punch bowl, making this drink very Instagram-worthy! In her looloo review, Midz S. describes it as “the perfect drink for a drinking session with your best buds. If this watermelon keg doesn’t bring you closer with your friends, then I don’t know what will.”
Gorda is located at 2/F Uptown Parade, 9th Avenue corner 38th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
7. Kushikatsu Daruma
There’s one cardinal rule at Kushikatsu Daruma and it’s one you’ll see anywhere you look inside the restaurant. Wondering what it is? It’s simple, really!
No double dipping!
Kushikatsu Daruma is all about the kushikatsu, which is basically deep-fried food on sticks. There are a variety of choices you can opt for, which includes vegetables like asparagus and squash, meats such as tonkatsu and tsikune, and even pork and chicken intestines, tofu, camembert cheese, and mochi!
Kushikatsu Daruma is located at 2/F Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
6. Workshop Bespoke Bakery
There’s a sweet surprise inside Le Petit Souffle’s Megamall branch for every dessert lover out there. For those who’ve yet to discover it, it’s called Workshop Bespoke Bakery!
The third of four first-timers on the list, Workshop Bespoke Bakery is the latest offering from Chef Miko Aspiras, who has blessed us with the creative ice cream treats from Freezer Burn. Workshop certainly provides the desired boost to the local dessert scene with its picture-perfect, flavorful pastries, breads, and other treats designed to make any sweet tooth tingle with anticipation.
If you’re more of a cake person, do not miss out on the 17-Layer Valrhona Guanaja Ganache Cake! Yes, you read it right! It has a whopping 17 layers! “I shed chocolate tears with every bite,” Peanut D. says of her experience eating this chocolatey treat in her looloo review. “Super good with whipped cream!”
Workshop Bespoke Bakery is located at 2/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, EDSA corner Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong
5. Tim Hortons
Already on its third straight month on the most popular restaurants list, it seems like Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons is enjoying a huge success here in Manila. It currently has two branches (one in Uptown Place and one in Ermita) so if you happen to find yourself in either of those places and in need of a coffee fix, you know where to go!
In her looloo review, Reann G. says that Tim Hortons’ coffee is “cheap but the quality is superb!” If you’re not sure which cup of joe to have, go for the Double Double, which is a Tim Hortons signature brew.
Not a fan of coffee? There’s the Frozen Hot Chocolate! Abbey A. says it is “to die for” in her looloo review, adding that this cool drink was “heaven” and made her feel like a kid again!
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
4. Mendokoro Ramenba
The ramen craze has been around for quite sometime now and it looks like it’s showing no signs of slowing down. One of the go-to places (especially if you’re in Makati) for those in need to satisfy their ramen cravings is Mendokoro Ramenba, which is actually the sister restaurant of Ramen Yushoken!
The definite crowd favorite in Mendokoro is its Shoyu Ramen! Jindra D. calls it the “best ramen” she’s had so far in her looloo review. “The richness and thickness of the soup is just right and not nakakaumay. The chashu was thick and I must say I got surprised when I took a bite because it literally melted in my mouth! The serving was just right, not too big for me.”
Mendokoro Ramenba is located at Shop 18, V Corporate Center, Soliman Street, Salcedo Village, Makati
What do you know about what’s happening in the world 155 years ago? It’s more than a century back in time and you’ll probably need to consult a history book to come up with some answers. But here’s some foodie trivia: 155 years ago, a Japanese matcha brand was born and it still exists up to this day! And guess what? It found its way to Manila!
The last of four newbies on this rundown, Tsujiri specializes in all things matcha, including sundaes, floats, and even lava cake! But if you’re new to matcha or in need of the right introduction to Tsujiri, order the bestselling Tsujiri Sundae! It’s made up of matcha ice cream (you can opt for vanilla ice cream if you want!), roasted brown rice, red bean paste, shiratama (mochi balls), chestnut, and a cherry blossom rice cracker.
Cindy S. calls it “the king of all matcha desserts” in her looloo review. “You’d definitely taste the bittery matcha goodness, it was balanced by the sweetness of the red bean and the rice crispies was a nice kick.”
Tsujiri is located at 2/F S Maison at Conrad Manila, Seaside Boulevard corner Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay
2. Ping Pong Diplomacy
Snagging the second spot on this most popular restaurants list is Ping Pong Diplomacy! A creative blend of Chinese and American influences, Ping Pong Diplomacy’s menu is comprised of small plates and big plates, which are all actually good for sharing!
A favorite among looloo users is the Crunchy Eggplant! Composed of battered eggplant, fragrant sauce, and prickly ash, Jairus D. says in his looloo review that “everyone was raving about this dish and I have to agree! Just like the name suggests, it is indeed crunchy with a little sweetness in each bite. It was made simple but it was also addicting at the same time!”
Ping Pong Diplomacy is located at 3/F SM Aura Premier, McKinley Parkway corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City
OOMA has been on the most popular restaurants list for the sixth month in a row. This is also its third time to claim the number one spot. Amazing, right? People just can’t seem to get enough of the delicious, well-crafted Japanese dishes that OOMA brings to the table!
While OOMA is popular for its aburi maki and Hanger Steak, the other dishes on its menu deserve a lot of attention too! For a twist on your usual maki, try the taco-maki, which makes use of an open-faced tamaki wrap to recreate the taco experience. If you’re craving for some tataki, order the Salmon Tataki. AlwaysHungryPh P. calls it his “favorite” in his looloo review, saying that this tataki dish brings a “happy effect.”
OOMA has branches in Bonifacio High Street Central, SM Megamall, and Rockwell Center, Makati