Alright, I must first confess that I am a real food aficionado even if it's not that evident with my rather slender statusque. I would eat almost anything once even just for the thrill of trying something for the first time. I don't mind spending for quality cuisine but I'm most certainly not limited to five-star hotel buffets. I find excitement in hole in the wall restos, small quaint cantinas, pleasingly hidden cafes and places that are homey in its entirety which serve good comfort food. I've been wanting to start my FOOD Blog for the longest time but haven't found time to do so...until NOW! Don't get me wrong, I'm no connoisseur but I certainly have a discriminating palate. So let me share some of the restaurants that have made it to my personal list of fave places to eat. I narrowed it down to categories or else my list will just go on and on. Hope it can serve as a guide the next time you contemplate on where to eat....Happy dining! Bon Appetit!
* above: Me and my Tiger Beer at my recent Singapore trip. CHEERS!
* Hyatt's Tempura Misono for their Japanese lunch/dinner buffet
* Tsukiju - authentic Japanese food along Pasay Road. Superb selection of sushi and sashimi. And if you feel like splurging or find an occasion to do so, go for their Kobe beef. I must give a fair warning though that it is pricey... so get ready to swipe that credit card! The last time I ate here was with my parents who almost fell off their seats when we got the bill ;)
* I know this may be cliche but the Classic Sugi would still have to be on my list. I have a lot of fond childhood memories in this resto. I developed my love for Japanese cuisine because I grew up eating sushi and sashimi from this place!
* Thanks to the influence of my bf, I will include Shinjuku for their Mabo Tofu Ramen and Seafood Ramen that's great comfort food during a rainy day- oh and yes their gyoza too is a must-try!
* Heijoken for their Yakiniku (not much ambience but the food undeniably compensates for it!)
* Kai Greenbelt - great ambience and excellent presentation. It's been a while since I last dined here though but I cannot forget the portobello mushroom appetizer we had ;)
* Kikafuji (near Makati Cinema Square) - thanks to my officemate Bap who introduced me to this place, they serve fresh salmon and uni sashimi daily. The place is always packed with Japanese natives (that's one way of telling how good a Japanese resto is!)
* Tsuru - in Davao (wink wink!). They serve great authentic Japanese food with buffets every 16th and 30th of the month. So the next time you're in Davao and suddenly crave for spicy tuna sashimi (gosh! I love raw fish!), grab some from this cozy place.
* People's Palace in Greenbelt - great atmostphere, small proportions but quality Thai food (crispy catfish salad with shredded green mangoes and their Tom Yum Soup - spicy, sour, lemongrass & kaffir lime soup)
* Do Wan along Julia Vargas - for their Galbi Chim and Chapche/Japchae
* Shang Palace - peking duck and dimsum...need I say more?
* If you're tired of traditional Chinese cuisine which serves a lot of fried food and meals that you think have a loads of the killer MSG try Shabu-shabu at Tong Yang or Mini Shabu-Shabu for a healthy and hearty meal
* San Jacinto along E. Rodriguez Ave - affordable Chinese meals - try their pinsik (I'm not sure if I spelled it right) and jamon rebosado
* Penang - because I never get tired of their hainanese chicken...yum!
* Hanoi in Davao (another wink wink! hun, I should get paid for marketing this for free! haha!) Seriously though, they serve the best butter garlic crabs (served with white pepper, salt and lime dipping sauce! Lami (bisaya for masarap)! Their fresh spring rolls are also the bomb! Oh Wait their cabbage roll soup is also delightful...Needless to say, everything in their menu is worth a try! Hope it opens a branch here in Manila!
* Le Souffle
* Je suis Gourmand at the Fort
* Lolo Dad's - If you are not too conscious on your calorie count, the duck entree with foie gras on top and mash potato with duck fat drippings is delectable!
* Segundo Piso/Terry's - I'll give a thumbs up for their mess sandwich on french baguette
* Mi Piace - charming rustic setting where you can indulge in authentic Italalian cuisine
* Carpaccio Ristorante Italiano - as the name suggest, you shouldn't miss their carpaccio offerings (pick from either beef, tuna, salmon, ostrich or lamb) though I've only tried the salmon and beef
* Zuchinni - I love their fresh mushroom soup
* Bellinis - nicely hidden at the heart of the Marikina Shoe Expo -- they serve homemade pastas cooked "just right" meaning al dente (I usually order the simple Bellini's sauce - tomato based with eggplant) and one of the best pannacottas I've tasted so far...ok fine, next to my Mom's ;)
* Alba - I almost always have their dinner buffet which is well worth it so I can eat all the paella I want!
* Prince of Jaipur
* True Food, Boracay
* Antonio's Tagaytay - For their house specialty "Spanferckel" (I'm not sure if I got it right but I call it cocinillo) stuffed suckling pig with herbs, fennel and potato served with horseradish cream, sauerkraut, homemade apple sauce and mustard. The last visit I had here with Tata I remember having the... Baked Oysters with spinach and Pan Seared Foie Gras on top, Chilean Sea Bass on top of Linguine with truffle sauce and Dark Chocolate Souffle with Cardamom Creme Anglaise
I guess you're wondering why I missed out the Pinoy cuisine..well, that's because I am truly fortunate that we cook great classic Filipino food at home so I don't have to go out just to get my share of dishes like sinigang, adobo and kare-kare. I get to enjoy these viands at the comfort of my home ;) Thanks to my Mom and our cooks Ate Minda and Ate Pla who are superb!
Please feel free to add to my list and input your comments... I'd be happy to hear from you ;)