Where To Eat: The Top 20 Best Restaurants in the Philippines This 2020
- Bar PintxosBar Pintxos
- Benjarong Thai RestaurantBenjarong Thai Restaurant
- Bondi & Bourke, DavaoBondi & Bourke, Davao
- China Blue by Jereme LeungChina Blue by Jereme Leung
- Crystal DragonCrystal Dragon
- Gallery By CheleGallery By Chele
- Hua Yuan Brasserie ChinoiseHua Yuan Brasserie Chinoise
- M DiningM Dining
- Mosaic Latin American GrillMosaic Latin American Grill
- The Pig & PalmThe Pig & Palm
- Raging Bull Chophouse & BarRaging Bull Chophouse & Bar
- Red LanternRed Lantern
- Summer PalaceSummer Palace
- Wildflour ItalianWildflour Italian
Every year, Philippine Tatler celebrates the craft and the dynamism of the local restaurant scene with the annual 'Best Restaurants Guide'. We round-up once again the top 20 restaurants that have made their mark in the Philippine culinary scene. So whether you're looking for a place to dine with your loved ones or simply experience an enticing dining adventure, you won't go wrong with these top picks vetted by a roster of food critics and culinary champions:
This list is in alphabetical order.
Found in the idyllic city of Tagaytay, chef Antonio “Tony Boy” Escalante’s eponymous restaurant strikes a perfect balance between its elegant surroundings and a homey ambience. The colonial-style mansion makes for an ideal fine dining destination, with classic Machuca tiles punctuating its well-appointed interiors and lending the restaurant an old-world feel. These set the stage for a unique gastronomical experience, one where each dish’s flavours flow harmoniously from one course to the next.
A hidden gem in BGC, this cool and casual hangout has become a favourite for those looking to enjoy authentic Spanish bites. Choose from their wide selection of pintxos and tapas, and pair it with a gin and tonic or two—a crowd favourite for this joint. Though its original outpost is still located in Alabang, high demand has also brought it to new locations within Makati City allowing more gourmands to enjoy its delectable food.
Benjarong Thai Restaurant
Benjarong, when translated into English, refers to the “five colours” of porcelain used in royal Thai ceremonies. The name of Dusit Thani Manila’s flagship restaurant clues diners in on the traditional Thai dishes on offer, which are equally (if not more) colourful than its name suggests. Indulge in favourites such as spiced shrimp cakes and green curry chicken in the revamped space, which includes private rooms and a live cooking section.
Once an international airport and a heritage library, the Nielsen Tower now houses chef Colin Mackay’s brainchild, Blackbird. An art deco bar greets guests upon entering, before reaching the picturesque doors that lead to the ambient grill room. One may enjoy contemporary Asian dishes for lunch or dinner here, or lounge at the al fresco area or garden for afternoon tea.
Bondi & Bourke, Davao
Found in a boutique hotel at the heart of Davao City is Bondi & Bourke, where modern Australian cuisine comes alive. With award-winning chef Wade Watson and Patrick McCarthy at the helm, diners are assured something they would truly enjoy, be it a steak perfectly cooked to one’s preferred doneness or charcuterie platters to complement one’s drink. In contrast to its Metro Manila outpost, this Bondi & Bourke exudes a traditional bahay na bato vibe with Spanish elements seen throughout.
China Blue by Jereme Leung
Upon entering China Blue, one can’t help but feel impressed by the restaurant’s high ceilings and wide panoramic windows, which frame its blue- and gold-toned interiors, giving the space its opulent feel. These set the tone for the contemporary Chinese dishes one is about to indulge in. The brainchild of the renowned chef Jereme Leung, China Blue is home to his fresh take on classic recipes, affording one the luxury of a deliciously mindblowing experience.
Like a pot of gold hidden within the sprawling City of Dreams Manila, Crystal Dragon consistently brings Chinese cuisine to the next level with an extensive menu that highlights authentic regional and premium Cantonese fare. Cult favourites include delectable dim sum such as the plump hakao (beautifully embellished with edible gold) and the perfectly crisp barbecue pork bun—arguably some of the best you can have in the metro.
This lavish fine dining Italian steakhouse in Solaire Resort and Casino is home to what could possibly be the most authentic Italian cuisine in Manila. Chef Alan Marchetti strikes an expert balance between each dish’s original formula and his own special touches, resulting in a superb feast best shared with family and friends. One may witness his culinary masterpieces come to life with Finestra’s open kitchen, which adds to the overall dining experience.
Gallery By Chele
The revamped Gallery VASK surpasses its predecessor by continuously elevating the dining experience they offer. Chefs Chele González and Carlos Villaflor lead a team of culinary experts in creating a menu that is made and inspired by locally-sourced ingredients with flavours that capture a spirit that’s uniquely Filipino. Beyond the bill of fare, a mix of classic and original cocktails made with predominantly natural ingredients and different craft techniques may complement one’s meal or be enjoyed on their own.
Hua Yuan Brasserie Chinoise
A brand new entry this year, this dining gem of the recently opened Hilton Manila offers a memorable gastronomic journey through the regions of China with its well-executed Shanghainese cuisine crafted out of the best organic and seasonal ingredients available. Casual yet upscale, each dish highlights bold flavours revisited in a modern way.
2/F hilton Manila, 1 Newport boulevard, Newport City, Pasay City
This unassuming restaurant in Legazpi Village is home to the most authentic kaiseki experience one may find in the city. Chef Ryohei Kawamoto—once the personal chef of the Japanese Ambassador—offers diners eight meticulously prepared courses. One may look forward to his rendition of tuna belly, which deliciously melts in one’s mouth.
A staple in the local dining scene, M Dining has become a classic thanks to chef Tom Bascon’s refined palate. The restaurant emits a sense of quiet sophistication with strong interiors that flow from the main dining area to its bar, making it an ideal location for intimate dinners and drinks. The adjoining Bar M is well-stocked to say the least, ensuring one a top shelf libation paired with one’s meal.
Metronome’s perfectly calibrated experience is a lesson in French cuisine. Refined yet casual; light not heavy; finessed yet far from stiff or rehearsed. Chef de cuisine Miko Calo, restaurateur Elbert Cuenca, Alain Borgers (formerly the GM of celebrated Shangri-La Paris as well as the Makati Shangri-La, Manila), and marketing man RJ Galang, have each contributed their skill set to give the city a concept it didn’t even know it wanted. From the handsome Noel Bernardo designed dining room to the divine degustacion-oriented ‘small plates,’ expertly created by the Joël Robuchon-trained Calo to the fine selection of pours, Metronome is a dining gem that is here to stay.
G/F The grand Midori Makati, Bolanos street, legazpi Village, Makati city
Mosaic Latin American Grill
One almost wishes that the Latin American restaurant of Crimson Resort & Spa Boracay was in Manila so one could access the “mosaic” of bold and vibrant flavours—Argentinian, Peruvian, Chilean, and Mexican—any time. Whether a guest of this 5-star property or not, this resort’s upscale outpost is well worth paying Station Zero a visit for. The chargrilled meats (Bolzico beef, anyone?) and the ceviches are the stars here, but the spicy-zesty tiradito ahumado is as unforgettable as the pulpo is addicting. Elegant yet beachy casual, the beautifully lit, glass-encased space is equal parts date night and family-friendly.
3/F Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay, Punta Bunga cove, Brgy. Yapak, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan
The Pig & Palm
Those looking for modern European fare in the Queen City of the South will find their appetites more than satiated at The Pig & Palm. Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton put his first Philippine outpost in Cebu City with wife Irha and created a space that modernises the locale’s Spanish colonial past. One must indulge in the confit pork belly in apple caramel sauce when here, which pairs well with any of the well-curated pours on offer.
Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar
Steak enthusiasts will agree that this steakhouse in Shangri-La at the Fort is truly right up there with the best of them. A large selection of prime beef sourced from farms in Australia and the US ensure one of high-quality meat served to suit one’s preference. Seafood dishes and salads-including their popular Caesar salad-are also on offer. Dining here, surrounded by its masculine, retro-classic interiors, is truly an experience.
Feast on mouthwatering authentic Chinese cuisine in one of Solaire Resort and Casino’s signature fine dining establishments. This palatial and world-class restaurant offers a wide array of sumptuous old-time favourites such as Peking duck, suckling pig, home-made dim sum, and many more. Aptly named “Red Lantern,” derived from one of China’s iconic ornaments, the restaurant’s interiors are bathed in hues of red and gold, creating a festive mood. With their commitment to using only the best ingredients, diners are sure to fall in love and come back for more.
With its space revamped and menu enhanced a couple of years back, Colin Mackay’s Sala Restaurant upped the ante on its already superb fine dining experience. Its private setting in a prime location makes it the ideal place for any occasion, resulting in their tables being perennially reserved. Loyal patrons understand why—Sala’s exquisite European dishes and on-point service are hard to top.
This iconic Cantonese restaurant is a crowd favourite for many reasons. Its revamped interiors that took inspiration from the Manila Galleon Trade creates an ambience like no other, with blue and white porcelain walls, and shades of red, which add flair to the well-appointed restaurant. Every guest is treated like a true emperor and empress through its seamless service. But the food, above all, is what has kept this restaurant a staple for more than 25 years. The dim sum selection is masterfully created by their dedicated chefs. The sautéed crab meat with scallops and egg is irresistible and the lobster and duck offerings leave a lasting impression, time and time again.
After years of successfully creating home-made pastas that diners love, Wildflour has decided to embrace its Italian influences and create an authentic Italian restaurant with a menu that’s different from their other outposts. Its distinct look and feel remain the same, as well as its service, but one will find new favourites to enjoy, like wood-fire oven pizzas and even an Italian beverage menu.
G/F The Finance Centre, 9th Avenue cor 26th St., BGC, Taguig City
Looking for the best places to unwind? Check out Philippine Tatler's top picks here: The Philippines' Best Bars of 2020.