When the goings get rough, good chow is the stuff

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff

Ten amazing Filipino comfort food restaurants in Metro Manila

By Jeremiah Capacillo

If you’re working in Metro Manila, chances are you’ve had it with the traffic, the growing workpiles, looming deadlines and languid afternoons in the humid city streets. Break out of the cycle and treat yourself to the best comfort Filipino food in the metropolis.

Abe

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
LJC Group of Restaurants website

Abe was included as one of the country’s top five best restaurants in the 2012 Miele Guide, considered as the Asian definitive guide to fine dining. You don’t want to miss out on their Binukadkad na Crispy Pla-Pla, an oversized tilapia fried to golden perfection, split butterfly-style and served with pickled shrimp paste and mustard leaves. For diners looking for something a bit more homey, try the Klassik Kare-Kare – this creamy meat stew drapes a thick, savory peanut sauce over choice tender oxtail and beef cuts and is sure to leave you wanting for more.

Bestsellers: Binukadkad na Crispy Pla-Pla (P425), Abe’s Morcon (P355), Klassik Kare-Kare (P675)

See a list of Abe branches.

Aristocrat

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
Aristocrat Restaurant website

This beloved restaurant was founded in 1936 and in 2013 was declared a historic site by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. It’s no wonder the Aristocrat has amassed such a loyal following, as its quaint interiors bring back nostalgic memories of Sunday lunch with the family after Mass. Of course, their main draw is their famed chicken barbecue – expertly complemented by the perfectly pert savory-sweet sauce, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more tender and juicier alternative around the Metro.

Bestsellers: 3-Piece Chicken Barbecue (P210), Sinigang na Baka (P375), Pancit Luglog (P190)

See a list of Aristocrat branches.

Crisostomo

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
Crisostomo website

Named after the protagonist of Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere, Crisostomo serves classic Filipino dishes that highlight the country’s Spanish influence. Described by Chef Florabel Yatco as “turn-of-the-century Filipino dining,” the dishes are named after characters from Noli and are tailor-made for the savory Filipino palate. Try the Don Rafael Crispy Pata, their take on the FIlipino staple: an entire pork leg is braised and baked until the meat is fall-off-the-bone succulent and the skin sinfully crisp.

Bestsellers: Don Rafael Crispy Pata (P735), Paella Filipino (P450), Isagani Rellenong Bangus (P550)

See a list of Crisostomo branches.

Little Quiapo

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
Flickr user Treetop_Apple_Juice

On days when you’ve got the heavy blues, head over to Little Quiapo to enjoy a no-fuss spread reminiscent of Mom’s cooking. Although it’s not actually located in the busy Manila district (it has two branches, one in Quezon City and the other in BF Homes Paranaque), Little Quiapo has been delighting Filipinos with its affordable homestyle dishes that come in hefty servings. Their bestselling Pancit Bihon Guisado is a hearty noodle dish filled to the brim with stir-fried vegetables and topped with an assortment of classic ingredients: chicharon (fried pork rinds), liempo, shrimp and pork – a truly value-packed dish that will surely fill both your heart and stomach up.

Bestsellers: Pancit Bihon Guisado (starts at P195), Sinigang na Blue Marlin (P450), Kare-Kare (P425)

Little Quiapo is located at 42 Aguirre cor. Lirag Street, BF Homes, Parañaque City; and 90 Malakas Street, Brgy. Pinyahan, Quezon City.

Locavore

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
Eastwood City Facebook page

What do you get when you prepare tried-and-tested Filipino recipes using French culinary techniques? A mouthwatering menu that manages to be both traditional and innovative. The brainchild of Chef Mikel Zaguirre, Locavore’s approach to Pinoy cuisine is a great option for adventurous diners looking for modern Filipino dishes. Take, for example, their version of the beloved turon, a deep-fried banana snack wrapped in puff pastry instead of a spring roll wrapper and served with an umami-infused salted egg sauce. Or consider ordering the Lechon Oyster Sisig, an upscale take on the sizzling beerhouse staple but prepared with tiny oysters and draped in a spicy-sweet lechon sauce.

Bestsellers: Sizzling Sinigang (P550), Lechon Oyster Sisig (P380), Gising Gising (P275)

See a list of Locavore branches.

Manam 

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
The Moment Group website

Remember when you were a kid and pretended to be a chef coming up with the craziest recipes? Visiting Manam is kind of like that, specialising in affordable Filipino favourites with playful and inventive twists. Don’t miss out on their Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon, their unique take on the sour beef stew dish made sweeter by the unexpected inclusion of fresh watermelon in the broth. Or try out their Crispy Pancit Palabok, the Manam staple made famous by being in every hip Manila twenty-somethings’ Instagram. The charm lies in the dish’s presentation: a tower of crispy palabok noodles collapses once a rich and salty orange shrimp sauce is poured lava-like atop it.

Bestsellers: Crispy Pancit Palabok (starts at P200), House Crispy Sisig (starts at P140), Sinigang na Beef Short Rib & Watermelon (starts at P245)

See a list of Manam Comfort Filipino branches.

Max’s Restaurant

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
Max’s Restaurant website

A true-blue Pinoy foodie staple, Max’s has become an iconic go-to family restaurant for generations of Filipinos. Dubbed as “the house fried chicken built,” their renowned fried chicken has the crispiest skin but with the most tender and flavourful flesh. Hit up the one of the restaurant’s many locations if you’re in the mood for heartwarming family-style fare – they’ve been serving since 1945, so they’ve definitely nailed delicious taste. Or cap a stressful day with a quiet dinner and their signature Buko Pandan dessert, the proverbial cherry on top.

Bestsellers: Max’s Fried Chicken (starts at P187), Beef Caldereta (P399), Crispy Pata (P657)

See a list of Max’s Restaurant branches.

Recovery Food

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
AirBnB

For late nights out, when you’ve drank a little more than you should have, a hearty meal always helps to sober up. It isn’t uncommon to see crowds of partygoers fill up Recovery Food in the wee hours of the morning to, well, recover. Their scrumptious rice bowls with staple Filipino toppings such as lechon kawali, tapa and egg, and pares are top-notch comfort food you’re free to enjoy inebriated, stressed or just plain hungry.

Bestsellers: Happy Beef Rice (starts at P165), Lecheng Kawali (starts at P225), Dalandan Juice (P75)

See a list of Recovery Food branches.

Sarsa Kitchen + Bar

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
Sarsa website

With a name that literally translates to “sauce,” Sarsa knows the power that dressing has in enhancing a dish’s flavour and character. With celebrity chef JP Anglo at the helm, the restaurant offers the best in Filipino-Negrense cuisine with a hint of Spanish flair. Chef JP constantly adds new dishes to the menu every six months which makes it a real treat to visit often! Their Special Batchoy is a great alternative to ramen on cold rainy days, the clear garlic-infused noodle soup topped with rich egg yolk, steamed bone marrow, luscious bacon-cut liempo and crisp chicharon making the perfect combo in the face of stormy weather.

Bestsellers: Chicken Inasal (P185), Special Batchoy (P285), Oven-Roasted Lechon Kawali (P365)

See a list of Sarsa Kitchen + Bar branches.

Sentro 1771

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
Sentro 1771 website

Touting itself as the “first in modern Filipino cuisine,” Sentro 1771 began the Filipino fusion trend when it opened its doors in 2002, bringing Filipino food into the twenty-first century. Its inventive dishes have become a hit among Manila foodies, and for good reason – their bestselling Corned Beef Sinigang eschews the traditional bone-marrow beef cuts for the umami-salty corned beef, giving the soup dish a distinctly smokey flavour. That and several other sumptuous crowd-pleasers make dining at Sentro a hearty comfort-food experience.

Bestsellers: Corned Beef Sinigang (P595), Catfish Adobo Flakes (P330), Fried Kesong Puti (P220)

See a list of Sentro 1771 branches.

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Ten amazing Filipino comfort food restaurants in Metro Manila By Jeremiah Capacillo If you're working in Metro Manila, chances are you've had it with the traffic, the growing workpiles, looming deadlines and languid afternoons in the humid city streets. Break out of the cycle and treat yourself to the best comfort Filipino food in the metropolis. Abe LJC Group of Restaurants website Abe was included as one of the country’s top five best restaurants in the 2012 Miele Guide, considered as the Asian definitive guide to fine dining. You don’t want to miss out on their Binukadkad na Crispy Pla-Pla,...

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff

Ten amazing Filipino comfort food restaurants in Metro Manila

By Jeremiah Capacillo

If you’re working in Metro Manila, chances are you’ve had it with the traffic, the growing workpiles, looming deadlines and languid afternoons in the humid city streets. Break out of the cycle and treat yourself to the best comfort Filipino food in the metropolis.

Abe

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
LJC Group of Restaurants website

Abe was included as one of the country’s top five best restaurants in the 2012 Miele Guide, considered as the Asian definitive guide to fine dining. You don’t want to miss out on their Binukadkad na Crispy Pla-Pla, an oversized tilapia fried to golden perfection, split butterfly-style and served with pickled shrimp paste and mustard leaves. For diners looking for something a bit more homey, try the Klassik Kare-Kare – this creamy meat stew drapes a thick, savory peanut sauce over choice tender oxtail and beef cuts and is sure to leave you wanting for more.

Bestsellers: Binukadkad na Crispy Pla-Pla (P425), Abe’s Morcon (P355), Klassik Kare-Kare (P675)

See a list of Abe branches.

Aristocrat

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
Aristocrat Restaurant website

This beloved restaurant was founded in 1936 and in 2013 was declared a historic site by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. It’s no wonder the Aristocrat has amassed such a loyal following, as its quaint interiors bring back nostalgic memories of Sunday lunch with the family after Mass. Of course, their main draw is their famed chicken barbecue – expertly complemented by the perfectly pert savory-sweet sauce, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more tender and juicier alternative around the Metro.

Bestsellers: 3-Piece Chicken Barbecue (P210), Sinigang na Baka (P375), Pancit Luglog (P190)

See a list of Aristocrat branches.

Crisostomo

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
Crisostomo website

Named after the protagonist of Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere, Crisostomo serves classic Filipino dishes that highlight the country’s Spanish influence. Described by Chef Florabel Yatco as “turn-of-the-century Filipino dining,” the dishes are named after characters from Noli and are tailor-made for the savory Filipino palate. Try the Don Rafael Crispy Pata, their take on the FIlipino staple: an entire pork leg is braised and baked until the meat is fall-off-the-bone succulent and the skin sinfully crisp.

Bestsellers: Don Rafael Crispy Pata (P735), Paella Filipino (P450), Isagani Rellenong Bangus (P550)

See a list of Crisostomo branches.

Little Quiapo

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
Flickr user Treetop_Apple_Juice

On days when you’ve got the heavy blues, head over to Little Quiapo to enjoy a no-fuss spread reminiscent of Mom’s cooking. Although it’s not actually located in the busy Manila district (it has two branches, one in Quezon City and the other in BF Homes Paranaque), Little Quiapo has been delighting Filipinos with its affordable homestyle dishes that come in hefty servings. Their bestselling Pancit Bihon Guisado is a hearty noodle dish filled to the brim with stir-fried vegetables and topped with an assortment of classic ingredients: chicharon (fried pork rinds), liempo, shrimp and pork – a truly value-packed dish that will surely fill both your heart and stomach up.

Bestsellers: Pancit Bihon Guisado (starts at P195), Sinigang na Blue Marlin (P450), Kare-Kare (P425)

Little Quiapo is located at 42 Aguirre cor. Lirag Street, BF Homes, Parañaque City; and 90 Malakas Street, Brgy. Pinyahan, Quezon City.

Locavore

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
Eastwood City Facebook page

What do you get when you prepare tried-and-tested Filipino recipes using French culinary techniques? A mouthwatering menu that manages to be both traditional and innovative. The brainchild of Chef Mikel Zaguirre, Locavore’s approach to Pinoy cuisine is a great option for adventurous diners looking for modern Filipino dishes. Take, for example, their version of the beloved turon, a deep-fried banana snack wrapped in puff pastry instead of a spring roll wrapper and served with an umami-infused salted egg sauce. Or consider ordering the Lechon Oyster Sisig, an upscale take on the sizzling beerhouse staple but prepared with tiny oysters and draped in a spicy-sweet lechon sauce.

Bestsellers: Sizzling Sinigang (P550), Lechon Oyster Sisig (P380), Gising Gising (P275)

See a list of Locavore branches.

Manam 

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
The Moment Group website

Remember when you were a kid and pretended to be a chef coming up with the craziest recipes? Visiting Manam is kind of like that, specialising in affordable Filipino favourites with playful and inventive twists. Don’t miss out on their Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon, their unique take on the sour beef stew dish made sweeter by the unexpected inclusion of fresh watermelon in the broth. Or try out their Crispy Pancit Palabok, the Manam staple made famous by being in every hip Manila twenty-somethings’ Instagram. The charm lies in the dish’s presentation: a tower of crispy palabok noodles collapses once a rich and salty orange shrimp sauce is poured lava-like atop it.

Bestsellers: Crispy Pancit Palabok (starts at P200), House Crispy Sisig (starts at P140), Sinigang na Beef Short Rib & Watermelon (starts at P245)

See a list of Manam Comfort Filipino branches.

Max’s Restaurant

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
Max’s Restaurant website

A true-blue Pinoy foodie staple, Max’s has become an iconic go-to family restaurant for generations of Filipinos. Dubbed as “the house fried chicken built,” their renowned fried chicken has the crispiest skin but with the most tender and flavourful flesh. Hit up the one of the restaurant’s many locations if you’re in the mood for heartwarming family-style fare – they’ve been serving since 1945, so they’ve definitely nailed delicious taste. Or cap a stressful day with a quiet dinner and their signature Buko Pandan dessert, the proverbial cherry on top.

Bestsellers: Max’s Fried Chicken (starts at P187), Beef Caldereta (P399), Crispy Pata (P657)

See a list of Max’s Restaurant branches.

Recovery Food

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
AirBnB

For late nights out, when you’ve drank a little more than you should have, a hearty meal always helps to sober up. It isn’t uncommon to see crowds of partygoers fill up Recovery Food in the wee hours of the morning to, well, recover. Their scrumptious rice bowls with staple Filipino toppings such as lechon kawali, tapa and egg, and pares are top-notch comfort food you’re free to enjoy inebriated, stressed or just plain hungry.

Bestsellers: Happy Beef Rice (starts at P165), Lecheng Kawali (starts at P225), Dalandan Juice (P75)

See a list of Recovery Food branches.

Sarsa Kitchen + Bar

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
Sarsa website

With a name that literally translates to “sauce,” Sarsa knows the power that dressing has in enhancing a dish’s flavour and character. With celebrity chef JP Anglo at the helm, the restaurant offers the best in Filipino-Negrense cuisine with a hint of Spanish flair. Chef JP constantly adds new dishes to the menu every six months which makes it a real treat to visit often! Their Special Batchoy is a great alternative to ramen on cold rainy days, the clear garlic-infused noodle soup topped with rich egg yolk, steamed bone marrow, luscious bacon-cut liempo and crisp chicharon making the perfect combo in the face of stormy weather.

Bestsellers: Chicken Inasal (P185), Special Batchoy (P285), Oven-Roasted Lechon Kawali (P365)

See a list of Sarsa Kitchen + Bar branches.

Sentro 1771

When The Goings Get Rough, Good Chow Is The Stuff
Sentro 1771 website

Touting itself as the “first in modern Filipino cuisine,” Sentro 1771 began the Filipino fusion trend when it opened its doors in 2002, bringing Filipino food into the twenty-first century. Its inventive dishes have become a hit among Manila foodies, and for good reason – their bestselling Corned Beef Sinigang eschews the traditional bone-marrow beef cuts for the umami-salty corned beef, giving the soup dish a distinctly smokey flavour. That and several other sumptuous crowd-pleasers make dining at Sentro a hearty comfort-food experience.

Bestsellers: Corned Beef Sinigang (P595), Catfish Adobo Flakes (P330), Fried Kesong Puti (P220)

See a list of Sentro 1771 branches.

Share your vote!


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