M. Manila & the places my tummy loved

So central is food in Filipino culture that the question, “Kumain ka na ba?” (translation: Have you eaten yet?), deserves a top 3 spot for frequently asked questions in the Philippines. Filipinos love their food — rightly so, because there is definitely something magical about food in the Philippines.

It seems that a Filipino pastime is to go out to eat at good restaurants regardless of cuisine (meaning: not necessarily Filipino food). Metro Manila is popping (my fave word of the moment) with amazing restaurants. Disclaimer: If you are interested in drooling over pictures of traditional Filipino food, this is not the post you are looking for. However, if you are open to appreciating amazing non-traditional food in the Philippines, here’s a list of my favorite spots (as of January 2018) in Metro Manila:

Ramen Yushoken

I have not been to Japan yet, so I can’t compare to actual Japanese cooking, but Yushoken is, hands down, my favorite ramen spot ever. It beats Orenchi and Kotetsu on my list (if you don’t consider Kotetsu as a good one, I’m not sure if we can be friends), but I’ve only really explored those in the Bay Area.

I went to Yushoken twice during my visit, and both times the wait was crazy. I didn’t keep track on my first visit, but the second time, my friends and I were 29th in line even when we came at 9:30pm.

Beware: the typical high fat content of ramen may cause heartburn. It aint pretty if you’re not used to eating this dish. (I hadn’t had ramen in a year.) Luckily, I always bring a small pack of Tums everywhere, so all good! The second time, there was no more heartburn. (See, ya need to be accustomed to it.) Ramen’s good with beer, btw.

  • What: Ramen. My favorite ramen. See reviews here.
  • Location: Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Wildflour Cafe + Bakery

This is my go-to restaurant in BGC whenever I can’t decide where to go. Ever so reliable, Wildflour can be counted on to serve good food at all times of day. I really love how they bake their own bread, so the bread is always fresh from the oven.

  • What: Bakery + Restaurant for all times of day. They bake their own bread (must try!), serve good juices, and wonderful dishes. It’s very easy to go overboard and order too many dishes (and spend more money). See reviews here.
  • Location: Multiple, including BGC, Taguig

Bondi & Bourke

I’m not sure what Australian cuisine is typically like, but Bondi & Bourke is either Australian-inspired or has an Aussie owner. Regardless, you cannot go wrong with the food here. We ordered family style, which was great because the servings were large and we were able to try different dishes.

  • What: Australian-style food that is basically really good westernized food with ginormous servings. The prime rib eye melts in your mouth, or something of that sort. See reviews here.
  • Location: Legaspi Village, Makati City (also in BGC, Taguig)

Exchange Alley Coffee House

It’s nice and cozy, and there’s a lot of seating options. The food is good —  I had the smoked gouda cheesecake and the avocado toast — and they have good coffee! They were also serving holiday drinks when I was there. I typically only order black coffee, but I tasted the other drinks that my companions ordered.

  • What: Fave third wave coffee shop in the South, possibly in Metro Manila. See reviews here.
  • Location: Alabang, Muntinlupa City

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