Our 10 Favorite Restaurants From 2017
We’ve eaten our way through the city and these are top of mind. What are yours?
210° Kitchen + DrinkeryG/F Icon Plaza, 25th Street corner 6th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City (0995) 015-2192 www.210degrees.ph FB and IG: 210degrees.ph
William Mahi, formerly of The Tasting Room, finally opened his very own restaurant with a refreshing take on French food. That is, he’s cooking without the fussiness associated with haute cuisine. The result is an engaging menu of classic French favorites done extremely well—from steak tartare to onion soup to quiche Lorraine. And he also infuses his menu with signature dishes, like The Egg cooked at 48° with bacon and caramelized onions, and The Octopus marinated in ras-el-banout (a North African spice blend). We recommend the five-course tasting menu offering his “greatest hits.” It’s affordable, with generous portions, and the flavors are always spot on.
Bistro MadridUnit B1-028 Estancia at Capitol Commons, Meralco Avenue corner Shaw Boulevard, Barangay Oranbo, Pasig City (0915) 932-5302, (02) 470-1675 FB and IG: bistromadridph
Bistro Madrid is Juan Carlos de Terry’s much-awaited second act (after the masterpiece that is Terry’s Bistro), and it doesn’t disappoint. With dishes covering the 17 regions of Spain, a meal here is truly a journey of exploration. It’s the only place where you can taste Tortilla Catalana made from the family recipe of Jordi Roca, one of the world’s best chefs and a personal friend of Terry. Our favorite tip: you can buy wine and cheese at deli—not restaurant—prices, and still enjoy them at your table.
Kazunori2301 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati (02) 989-3152
Kazunori makes a religion of quality. A soba master was hired to perfect the soba and udon dishes—right down to the thickness of the broth and texture of the noodles. A ramen expert tweaked the ramen to his satisfaction. And Japanese chefs, steeped in the discipline that is so part of their culture, manage every single area of the restaurant. The result is a super-luxurious menu with all the delicacies, from uni to toro to edo sushi. You can cross-order between the izakaya and the cafe, but we recommend placing your fate in the hands of the sushi craftsmen by ordering the omakase menu.
Kyo-to Kaiseki RestaurantG/F 119 C. Palanca Jr. Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City (02) 805-7743, (0917) 596-9697 www.ryoteikyoto.ph FB and IG: kyo.toph
Chef Ryohei Kamamoto’s kaiseki menu is a multisensory experience, presented through one exquisitely prepared dish after another. Steeped in the centuries-old Japanese kaiseki tradition, his food is a delicate balance of flavors and textures, made with quality ingredients as fresh as can be. Even diners unschooled in this refined style of dining will take pleasure in one of the chef’s multicourse dinners where perfect timing, elegant presentation and superb flavors combine. Truly a one-of-a-kind culinary performance.
Little FlourG/F World Plaza, 4th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City IG: littleflourcafe
By now, the folks behind the phenomenal success of Wildflour Cafe + Bakery have mastered what Filipino diners want. This shows in their newest baby, Little Flour. Wildflour’s younger sibling—can its name be any cuter—is all about all-day brunch, and the dishes are guaranteed to hit the spot. With sisig rice bowls, lechon manok rice bowls, blueberry pancakes, baguettes with bacon butter, even arroz caldo (this is served with roast chicken and poached egg), this is definitely a place worth waking up early for.
Sagana Epicerie and BistroG/F Net One Center, 3rd Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City FB: EpicerieSagana IG: saganabgc
Chef Marc Aubry is back, and he is simply brilliant. Sagana, his new restaurant, is a superb fusion of French and Filipino. That is, he’s cooking French classics with locally-sourced, quality Filipino ingredients. It’s about terroir, he says, a celebration of how soil and the environment gives flavor and character to the produce, and thereafter to the dish. It’s a very Gallic approach to cooking, and the results are evident in the quality of his dishes, from the simple homey classics like Clams Marinière in a light wine-cream sauce, to the more traditional La Côte d’Agneau where the lamb is played off by a side of local zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes. His fans will be happy to find many beloved favorites from his previous restaurants have made it to the new menu, including the Algerian couscous that’s so good no one can bear to share it.
SOUVG/F Net Park Building, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City (0949) 481-9621 FB and IG: SOUVbyCyma
Opa! Robby Goco has done it again! This time, his Greek resto is all about “fun, modern, progressive” dining. So to the traditional Mediterranean ingredients of olive oil, lemon and salt, he adds avocado (as in his Greek Summer Salad), reimagines Roka Salata as a Salata Kinoa (with quinoa), and creates Greek nachos by layering tzatziki, melizanosalata and hummus. He even braises and grills Angus Beef Short Ribs and serves it with gremolata. Lunch sets and dinner platters are customizable, and the wine list is a real steal.
The Common Table2/F Forbes Tower, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati FB and IG: commontablesalcedo
A gastropub with an eclectic menu, The Common Table is easily one of the best places for a weekday dinner with friends or drinks after work—craft beers on tap and the cocktails are amazing. And, there’s great music at night, with ‘80s music playing on Fridays. Most important is the exceptional food created by Chef Ian Padilla. Start with some plates to share—we loved the Jamon Serrano Flatbread—and take it from there.
The Test Kitchen9780 Kamagong Street, San Antonio, Makati (0917) 304-1570 www.thetestkitchen.ph
Josh Boutwood’s tiny dining space seats only 20 people, so it’s necessary to make a reservation well in advance. The effect is to tantalize you with anticipation long before the actual dinner—not a bad mood to be in, because Chef Josh will certainly not disappoint. Sophisticated dining is what he calls the experience at The Test Kitchen, where he will focus your tastebuds on an imaginative journey through six to eight superbly-crafted courses. His food, he says, is refined, complex and balanced, with every little part necessary to bring completion to the end. You have to taste it to believe it.
Tyler’s Cafe317 Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City FB: tylerscafeph
Tyler’s Cafe is not just another restaurant serving all-day breakfast. It’s a cozy hub, a friendly space with a palpable sense of community that gives warmth to its modern, well-lit interiors. Regulars are likely to bump into a neighbor or classmate while wolfing down ricotta pancakes with strawberries, or eggs Benedict. Owner Jutes Templo decided on a spare but exceptionally-curated menu. Everything is made in-house, including the breads, bacon, cheeses and jams. The result is fresh, homecooked dishes that are irresistible —which explains the growing number of regulars asking for their fix.