The looloo Lowdown: A Guide To Where We Ate In October 2018

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We’re pretty sure there’s no one out there who hates going on trips. Whether it’s a trip to a foreign land, a province here in the country, or even your favorite mall for some retail therapy, there’s just something so fun and relaxing about going on one.

Here in looloo, the kind of trips we love to go on the most are those that make our tummies really happy! In fact, we’re about to give you a rundown of the 15 restaurants we visited for the month of October. Nope, your eyes aren’t deceiving you! It really does say 15!

Now you might just be wondering, “How on Earth can I get invited to these?” It’s really simple. All you have to do is to review and review and… review. *wink wink*

1. 205

BGC is definitely the place to go to for the hippest and coolest hangouts in town. One of the newest additions you can find is 205 (pronounced two-oh-five), which is located at Bonifacio High Street Central!

Both a cafe and a cocktail bar, 205 is described by Aileen A. in her looloo review as “a cozy hangout place, like a hotel lounge that’s perfect for families and barkadas!”

Photo from Pat D.’s looloo review of 205

205’s menu includes standard cafe dishes like pastas, sandwiches, and small plates or appetizers. Pizza lovers in particular will find a pie (or two) to love from the Le Pizze section! There’s the Breakfast, which is topped with spinach, ricotta, sausage, eggs, and a tomato sauce, that is perfect for anytime of the day.

For a cheese pizza with a twist, try the Quattro Formaggi, which has gorgonzola, grana padano, cheddar, mozzarella, and a white sauce. What makes this pizza different from the rest is the last topping that goes on it, a green apple balsamic drizzle! In his looloo review, Pat D. calls it the ingredient that makes the pizza “extra special”. “Definitely a must try!” he says.

205 can be found on the UG/F of the Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Avenue corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

2. Aburi

Sushi is a staple of Japanese cuisine that is present in nearly every Japanese restaurant here in the metro. Because it’s anywhere and everywhere, you might eventually find rather repetitive and boring. So why not add some excitement to your sushi eating habits by trying aburi sushi!

Photo from Herl C.’s looloo review of Aburi

In case this is the first time you’re encountering aburi sushi, the word “aburi” basically means flame grilled or torched. If the idea of torched sushi is enough to make your mouths water, here’s where you can find them: Aburi!

During the looloo rendezvoos at Aburi’s UP Town Center branch, our looloo reviewers got to sample different kinds of sushi and sashimi, as well as some rice bowls, yakitori, and other Japanese cuisine favorites. Emerging as the top crows favorites are the Salmon Aburi and the Kylie Jenner.

“The owner highly suggested to try their best-selling Salmon Aburi. It’s a bold statement and everyone got curious about it. And. She. Was. Right,” Norman Lester T. narrates in his looloo review. “Their Salmon Aburi is so good. The one I tasted was rich and flavorful. The salmon was tender and melt-in-the-mouth soft. The mayo on top was creamy and tasted like melted cheese. It’s definitely worth trying!”

Now you’re probably wondering just what exactly the Kylie Jenner is and how it got its name. It’s actually a maki with a seafood dynamite inside and topped with aburi calamari on top. Sounds like an explosion of flavors if you ask us!

“Are you curious about the name of this dish?” Nievs G. asks in her looloo review. “The owner explained that her brother was harboring a crush on Hollywood celebrity Kylie Jenner at the time, so the dish was named after her.” Pretty interesting, huh?

Aburi can be found at these locations.

3. Bench Cafe

Thanks to our friends at Foodee Global Concepts, we got to have not just one, but two food crawls for October! One of them happened in Bonifacio Global City and included three of Foodie’s restaurants, starting with Bench Cafe!

Photo from Mary Love S.’ looloo review of Bench Cafe

It’s slowly becoming a trend among fashion brands to expand into the food industry and Bench is one of those at the forefront of it. Early this year, Bench and Foodee opened Bench Cafe, which is located at Bonifacio High Street and features the familiar comfort of Filipino food.

Sinigang fans are in for a treat with Bench Cafe’s Sinigang na Beef Tadyang sa Santol, which became an instant hit among the reviewers! “It was my first time to eat sinigang with santol as the main souring agent,” Mary Love S. says in her looloo review. “And it was delicious! It had that enticing aroma where one whiff would make you drool. Each slurp of the soup was packed with that delectable tangy taste. The tender beef tadyang was also something else. It was so soft that I didn’t have to exert much effort to cut it into smaller pieces.”

If beef is not your thing, don’t worry! The sinigang sa santol comes in two other variants: pork belly and sugpo.

Bench Cafe can be found on the 2/F of B5, Bonifacio High Street, 9th Avenue corner Lane O, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

4. Dohtonbori

Ever since Dohtonbori opened in the metro three years ago, it’s become the go-to place for anyone who’s craving for okonomiyaki. Whether it’s pork, beef, seafood, vegetarian, or just plain cheese that you’re looking for, you will definitely find a savory pancake on Dohtonbori’s menu.

Photo from FoodventuresByFrapao T.’s looloo review of Dohtonbori

But that’s not all that there is to Dohtonbori. You can also order noodles (there’s a Spicy Ramen Tonkotsu for those who want some extra heat in their ramen!), tempura, and yakiniku. You read that right! You also can get your grilled meat fix here!

Dohtonbori’s Yakiniku Party Sets are good for sharing with friends and family and have a couple of options you can pick from. Meat lovers should order the 3 Meat Yakiniku while those who just can’t get enough of seafood will definitely enjoy the Deluxe Seafood Yaki.

Can’t choose between the two? Lucky for you, there’s also the Premium Yakiniku Mix!

Dohtonbori can be found at these locations.

5. The Fat Seed Cafe + Roastery

The Fat Seed Cafe + Roastery opened just last February but it’s already gained a loyal following among foodies in Manila. It’s not hard to figure out why either. Everything about The Fat Seed is Instagram-ready, from the eye catching mural on the wall down to how each dish is presented. And the best part is, the food here is just as good as they look!

“I hardly could decide what’s the best for me because everything was soooo perfectly prepared,” says Herl C. in her looloo review. “Almost all of the dishes that we tried were really yummy.”

Photo from Julie L.’s looloo review of The Fat Seed Cafe + Roastery

Among the crowd favorites are the Buttermilk Fried with Uble Waffle in Salted Egg Sauce and the Mango Rum Chicken with Cilantro Rice, which Judie Ann Princess M. rated as five stars in her looloo review!

The Fat Seed Cafe + Roastery can be found on the G/F of Phase 2, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.

6. FOO’D

Anyone who says that fine dining always has to break the bank has probably never been to Chef Davide Oldani’s FOO’D. Opened in 2016, FOO’D focuses on what Chef Oldani calls the “pop cuisine” or food that can be considered an affordable luxury.

Photo from Phantasm D.’s looloo review of FOO’D

While the dishes on the menu can certainly be ordered a la carte, FOO’D offers three tasting menus that are perfect for intimate dinners and special occasions. The most affordable tasting menu is priced at ₱1,500 per head and includes an antipasto, secondo, and dolce of your choosing. A four-course tasting menu will cost you ₱1,900 per head while the five-course menu is priced at ₱2,700 per head.

If there’s one thing you should really look forward to when dining at FOO’D, it’s the creative and innovative desserts (or dolci) on the menu. Leading the pack is the much talked about Lemon Curd, which is made up of dehydrated meringue, cacao crumble, curry almonds, and (believe it or not) a lettuce gelato.

Those who love raspberries have two desserts to choose from. There’s the Dark Chocolate Mousse, which has a raspberry surprise at the center and is served with a cacao crumble and a dark chocolate gelato. If you want a lighter option, go for the Raspberry Lychee Sphere, which includes a rose glaze, coconut crumble, and yogurt gelato.

FOO’D can be found on the G/F of the Shangri-La at The Fort, 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

7. llaollao

Aside from a BGC food crawl, Foodee Global Concepts also took our reviewers on a Megamall food crawl! Spanish froyo brand llallao is one of the four restaurants part of that super fun and tummy-filling experience and our reviewers even got to try some seasonal Sanums!

Photo from AlwaysHungryPh P.’s looloo review of llaollao

Just in time for Halloween, llaollao released what they call the Spooky Sanum. This hefty cup of froyo is made up of melon, dragon fruit, watermelon, crushed Oreos, strawberry poppers, Koko Crunch, a mixed berry syrup, and a secret black sauce.

Aside from tasting this spooky Halloween treat, the reviewers also had the opportunity to taste llallao’s Christmas offerings! There are three Sanums that will be available to customers this yuletide season: Merry Sanum, Banoffee Pie, and Toffeenut. Want to know what fruits, crunches, and syrup go in each one? You’ll have to wait to find out!

llaollao can be found at these locations.

8. Mesa Filipino Moderne

One of the four stops of the Megamall Foodee food crawl, Mesa Filipino Moderne treated our reviewers to a scrumptious Filipino feast. Easily one of the highlights of the meal is the Sinigang na Hipon with Guava and Pineapple. A unique and innovative take on the so-called national dish, the Sinigang na Hipon with Guava and Pineapple has a balanced blend of both sweet and sour that makes it an interesting dish.

Another favorite is the Tinapa Rice. “As they say, kanin pa lang, ulam na,” Ruth D. quotes in her looloo review and even describes the dish as “really flavorful”. While this dish can very much stand alone, it can also be best paired with other items on Mesa’s menu such as the All-Meat Platter or the Adobong Kangkong.

Mesa Filipino Moderne can be found at these locations.

9. Pound by Todd English

Chef Todd English first made waves in the local food scene with the Todd English Food Hall during a time when the food hall concept was not really a thing here. It wasn’t too long after that he followed up with a second restaurant specializing in burgers and sliders called Pound by Todd English.

Photo from Charlzz C.’s looloo review of Pound by Todd English

One look at Pound’s interiors might make you think that the food is just pricey AF. But that’s actually not the case! “Surprisingly, Pound offers you burgers, pasta, and starters for just ₱55,” AlwaysHungryPh P. shares in his looloo review. “Its price is coined after their dollar menu. It’s unbelievable how they can serve quality meals at this price.”

The looloo app users participating in the Megamall Foodee food crawl got to try dishes under Pound’s ₱55 menu, including the popular TE Slider, Truffle Ketchup Fries, Onion Cube, and Tomato Creme Pasta. Pair any of these with the OMG Chocolate Milkshake or the Betty White Milkshake (both are likewise priced at ₱55) and you’ll surely have a very filling meal!

Pound by Todd English can be found at these locations.

10. Sizzlin’ Steak

The third food crawl for the month of October saw our reviewers participating in a two-restaurant looloo rendezvoos thanks to the Max’s Group! One of these two restaurants is Sizzlin’ Steak, which just recently reopened after revamping their restaurant interiors and menu.

Photo from Jaja R.’s looloo review of Sizzlin’ Steak

In his looloo review, Eboy D. describes this new look as “bright and refreshing” and adds that Sizzlin’ Steak will “draw you in even more with their varied choices of sizzlin’ dishes that will appeal to everyone.”

Among the sizzling hot dishes you’ll find on the revamped menu are Tuna Belly Steak, Burger Steak, and the Australian Marbled Steak. Fancy a pasta? You’d be surprised to find that you can get your pasta fix at Sizzlin’ Steak as well. There’s the Beef Stroganoff, which was an instant hit among the reviewers in the rendezvoos!

Calling it her top favorite dish, Jaja R. says in her looloo review that she will definitely come back to Sizzlin’ Steak for this.

Sizzlin’ Steak can be found at these locations.

11. Sunnies Cafe

The second stop of the BGC Foodee food crawl, Sunnies Cafe is another example of a restaurant that stemmed from a retail brand. Still maintaining the LA chic vibe that has made Sunnies very popular, it can’t be denied just how picture perfect the cafe and its food are. Christina R. even calls in a “millennial hub” in her looloo review!

Photo from EJ B.’s looloo review of Sunnies Cafe

The participants of the food crawl got the opportunity to try some of Sunnies Cafe’s new dishes! The Garlic Cream Soup and the Garlic Beef Ribs came out as the top favorites but if it’s dessert you’re after, it’s the Churros that you should go for.

The golden fried churros are served with three different sauces: matcha, salted caramel, and chocolate. Our reviewers are pretty divided when it comes to which sauce is the best so if you want to find out which one really is the best, drop by the nearest Sunnies Cafe and try it out yourself!

Sunnies Cafe can be found at these locations.

12. Teriyaki Boy

The other half of the two-part Max’s Group food crawl, Teriyaki Boy similarly went through an overhaul of its restaurant and menu. Located right next door to Sizzlin’ Steak (you can cross order regardless of where you dine at!), Teriyaki Boy still serves the classic Japanese dishes you’ve come to love. But this time, they’re definitely bigger and better!

Photo from Camille S.’ looloo review of Teriyaki Boy

Among all the dishes they’ve tried, Julie L. counts the Teriyaki Boy Chicken and the Tofu Steak as the top dishes of the day. “They’ve certainly improved it,” she says in her looloo review, “The serving size is bigger and the chicken is juicier!”

As for the Tofu Steak, she admits that while she’s not a big fan of tofu, the dish “resonated” with her. “It looks like your usually fried balls but it was crispy on the outside and soft and flavorful on the inside,” she describes.

Teriyaki Boy can be found at these locations.

13. Tim Ho Wan

The fourth and last restaurant that took part in the Megamall Foodee food crawl, Tim Ho Wan has become synonymous to pork buns here in Manila. There’s no problem with that at all, especially since Tim Ho Wan’s pork buns really have become instant favorites among foodies. It’s pretty much a sin to miss out on them when you dine here.

Photo from Salie D.’s looloo review of Tim Ho Wan

For the food crawl, however, Tim Ho Wan had the chance to showcase the new dishes on its menu. An instant hit among the looloo app users is the Crispy Golden Shrimp Balls. In fact, Charlzz C. calls it the “darling of the crowd” in his looloo review and recommends that you dip them in some sweet chilli sauce for added flavor.

The other dishes that were presented include Deep-fried Fish Skin with Salted Egg, Fish Cake Laksa Noodle Soup, and Traditional Steamed Pumpkin Cake.

Tim Ho Wan can be found at these locations.

14. Tsuta

We’ve reached the last stop of the BGC Foodee food crawl! Hailed as the first ramen restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star, Tsuta arrived in Manila just last year. The participating reviewers got the opportunity to try Tsuta’s latest ramen, the Chicken Teriyaki Soba.

Photo from Raisa Z.’s looloo review of Tsuta

“I swear, I like the quality of their noodles,” Raisa Z. says on this newest menu addition in her looloo review. “So heavy. And their broth is the exact opposite, it was light which is something I like.” And if you’re wondering about how Tsuta does their Ajitama egg, you have nothing to worry about because Raisa Z. assures that the egg is “perfect” and “so creamy”.

Ramen isn’t the only thing you can get from Tsuta’s menu. You can also order traditional sides like edamame, gyoza, karaage, and even dessert! Matcha fans in particular should order the Matcha Bavaro. It’s basically a creamy matcha pudding topped with adzuki beans and whipped cream!

Tsuta can be found on the 2/F on the Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Avenue corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

15. XOXO

Let’s end this very extensive list on a sweeter note with the newest dessert place in Greenbelt! From the same guys that brought us Three Guys & A Grill comes XOXO. It’s actually a franchise from Bali, Indonesia that focuses on rolled ice cream! All the items on the menu are priced at ₱200 each so there’s no way you’ll forget or get confused about the prices!

Photo from Bernisse C.’s looloo review of XOXO

Chocolate lovers will definitely enjoy the bestseller called The Godfather. Made up of a triple chocolate ice cream, crushed maltesers, milk chocolate chips, and Tim Tam, you don’t have to worry about the flavors being too overwhelming. “With all the mixed chocolate, the best part about it was that it wasn’t contradicting the flavor,” says Roby L. in his looloo review. “It enhanced it. Overall, it was good.”

For those looking for more familiar Filipino flavors, XOXO has two local-inspired options: the tropical and fruity Manny’s Fruit Punch and the Mabuhay Fiesta, which takes everything we love about the halo-halo and turns them into a wonderful cup of rolled ice cream!

XOXO can be found on the 3/F of the Greenbelt 3, Makati Avenue corner Esperanza Street, Ayala Center, Makati.

 

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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.