A FOODIE’S PARADISE

A FOODIE’S WEEKEND PARADISE

            On weekends, those who love artisan food and laid-back farmers markets will want to check out Salcedo Community Market ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; Jaime Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village, Makati; h7am-2pm Sat) on Saturday and the Legazpi Sunday Market ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; Rufino St, Legazpi Village, Makati; h7am-2pm Sun) the next day. Close to 150 vendors set up shop with a dizzying array of local specialities from food-crazy regions such as Ilocos, Pampanga and Bicol, as well as French, Thai and Indonesian offerings and heaps of organic produce. Several local restaurants are also represented here.

Makati & Poblacion

            Trendy Poblacion is ground zero for foodies and cafe freaks – some call it ‘Williamsburgos’, a dig on its seedy central street (P Burgos) and its alleged similarity to Brooklyn.

            Beni’s Falafel – MIDDLE EASTERN$

            ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %02-621 6163; A Venue Mall, B Valdez St Entrance, Poblacion, Makati; dishes P130-225; h24hr; aW)

            Everything on the menu of this unassuming Yemeni–owned eatery is original and done to perfection. The shakshuka (eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce) and Beni’s falafel are our faves. Shawarmas are served out of neighbouring Beni’s Grill. There’s another Beni’s branch in Mall of Asia.

            TambaiFUSION$

            ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; Felipe St, Makati; dishes P70-300; h6pm-midnight; aW)

            Quick but highly original Japanese–infused Filipino snacks served on the street or in a small air-conditioned room at the back. Try the to-die-for beef-rib laki-tori sticks.

            oCorner Tree Cafe – CAFE$$

            ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %02-897 0295; www.cornertreecafe.com; 150 Jupiter St, Makati; mains P250-350; h11am-10pm; aWv)S

            The Corner Tree provides a tranquil escape from busy Jupiter St, not to mention heavenly vegetarian fare that even diehard meat-eaters will love. The soups, stews, spinach filo triangles and smoothies are our favourites, or try the tofu walnut burger or vego chili. Vegan and gluten-free options available.

            oEl Chupacabra – MEXICAN$$

            ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; 5782 Felipe St, Poblacion, Makati; tacos P110-170; h11am-3am Mon-Thu, to 3am Fri-Sun; a)

            Bringing the Mexican street-food craze to Makati, El Chupacabra is a grungy open-air taqueria cooking up a mouthwatering selection of soft-corn tortilla tacos. Go for the spicy chipotle shrimp or sisig (sizzling grilled pork) tacos. It’s wildly popular so expect to wait in the evenings (no reservations). Grab a margarita in the meantime.

            Mantra – INDIAN$$

            ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %02-776 0318; Bolanos St, Legazpi Village; mains P275-500; h11am-2.30pm & 6-11pm)

            Mantra represents the very best of contemporary Indian cuisine in the Philippine capital, serving divine dhal and other vegetarian dishes and plenty of meat mains such as succulent lamb curries. It’s in a dimly lit, minimalist space with outdoor and indoor seating in the heart of Makati’s business district.

            12/10JAPANESE$$

            ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %0915 663 2823; 7635 Guijo St, Makati; dishes P250-500; h6-11pm Mon-Sat; aW)

            This is a sleek Japanese izakaya (drinking spot) run by a Filipino chef in Makati’s arty Guijo St neighbourhood. There are fancy cocktails and Japanese whisky, but the focus is on small plates of contemporary fusion fare like salmon kushiyashi (salmon skewers with truffle teriyaki sauce) and the signature katsu sando (fried pork cutlet sandwich).

            TimHoWan – HONG KONG$$

            ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; Glorietta 3, Makati; small plates P120-170; h10am-9.40pm; a)

            Michelin–starred in Hong Kong, this dim sum institution was an instant smash upon opening in Manila in 2014. It’s a more sanitised experience than its hole-in-the-wall parent, but the signature BBQ pork buns leave nothing to be desired. We also love the vermicelli rolls, but really you can’t go wrong here.

            Other branches are at MegaMall, Mall of Asia and Uptown Mall in the Fort (BGC).

            CommuneCAFE$$

            ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; www.commune.ph; 36 Polaris St, Poblacion, Makati; light meals P150-320; h8am-midnight Mon-Sat, 11am-10pm Sun; aW)

            Commune sources its own coffee beans from around the Philippines – the beans of the month are written on a large blackboard wall, along with the schedule of community happenings in their event space upstairs. Good espressos, Aeropress and cold drips, as well as sandwiches, salads, Filipino breakfasts and other light bites.

            Kite Kebab Bar – MIDDLE EASTERN$$

            ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; 5772 Ebro St, Poblacion, Makati; mains P200-400; h11am-4am; aW)

            Mediterranean street food is the name of the game here. Besides the basics (hummus, keema) you’ll find original surprises like Wagyu kebabs, lamb ribs and ox brain, all delicious. The attractive space in the heart of Poblacion invites lingering with a single malt or beer, or build your own wrap for a takeaway lunch.

            Kismet Cafe -VEGAN$$

            ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; Kalayaan Ave, Poblacion, Makati; sandwiches P165-295; h6am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm Sat & Sun; aWv)

            Blink and you’ll miss this hippy, trippy Rumi–inspired cafe specialising in delicious vegan sandwiches and fair-trade coffee from Benguet in North Luzon. A delightful retreat for meryenda (snack) or a wi-fi–enabled morning on the laptop.

            Siamaroi – THAI$$

            ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; 124 Jupiter St, Makati; mains P240-400; h10am-9pm; a)

            Focus on the ‘must try’ menu written on the blackboard here. It’s mostly staples – pad thai, green curry, sticky rice with mango – but that’s what they do best. One of Manila’s few Thai restaurants with a Thai chef, their Thai omelettes are particularly succulent. Big eaters should opt for the ‘family size’ dishes.

            Wingman – AMERICAN$$

            ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; Collective, Malugay St, Makati; 6/12 wings P180/300; hnoon-1am; aW)

            One of the first establishments to plant its flag at the Collective, Wingman caters to local hipsters with its American diner food, most notably several varieties of buffalo wings – the best in town by far – plus burgers, imported beers and cocktails.

            oSala – FUSION$$$

            ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %02-750 1555; www.salarestaurant.com; Makati Ave cnr Ayala Ave, Makati; mains P500-1500; h11am-2pm & 6-11pm Mon-Fri, 6-11pm Sat & Sun)

            Arguably Manila’s finest restaurant for almost 15 years, this refined European bistro is headed by Scottish chef-owner Colin Mackay, who also runs People’s Palace ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %02-729 2888; www.peoplespalacethai.com; ground fl, Greenbelt 3, Makati; mains P400-600; h11am-2.30pm & 6-11pm Mon-Fri, 11am-11pm Sat & Sun; a) and Blackbird. It features top-level service and an ever-changing selection of fusion dishes and creative desserts. The five-course tasting menu (P2900) is a good choice; add P1450 to have wine paired with each course.

            Blackbird – INTERNATIONAL$$$

            ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %02-828 4888; http://blackbird.com.ph; Nielson Tower, Ayala Triangle, Makati; mains P600-1000; h11am-11pm; a)

            Blackbird is set up inside the art-deco Nielson Tower, a historic 1937 airport control tower, with dining in the old terminal. The menu is international fusion – you can expect the likes of prawn Scotch egg served on betel leaf with sambal, gourmet burgers, Mussaman lamb shank or vegetarian lasagna filled with portobello mushrooms, asparagus, fontina cheese and truffle oil.

            Afternoon tea and an eclectic weekend brunch menu, too.

            Apartment 1B – EUROPEAN$$$

            ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %02-843 4075; Sedeño St cnr San Agustin St, Makati; mains P450-1500; h7am-11pm Tue-Sun; aW)

            A dependable expat fave hidden in the Makati residential district Salcedo Village, Apartment 1B is known for delicious stick-to-your-ribs continental cuisine and huge, hangover-slaying breakfasts (served 7am to 3pm) such as croque madame, steak and eggs, and the famous eggs Benedict. Another branch is in a gorgeous space at the Henry Hotel in Pasay.

Originally posted 2021-05-05 21:39:03.