Hello! Just want to answer a question posted by Shry over at the chatterbox (see right side bar). Thanks Shry for dropping by and for leaving a message.

For the record, I am not sure I actually have a favorite restaurant. I have favorite foods though and these are the reasons why I keep coming back to some restaurants. Here’s a list of some of the restaurants I don’t mind going back to, and the reasons why I love it. I also listed our average spend per visit – FOR TWO. In no particular order:

1. Sugi (Greenbelet 2 Makati) – Japanese
What we love about it: One reason – the Crispy Oyters. We haven’t found the same in any other Japanese restaurant so we keep coming back here. All the other stuff we order are also available in any Jap restaurant (e.g. Salmon Sashimi, Ebi Tempura).
Dislikes: Nothing really
Average spend per visit: Php1,200-1,400 for the two of us.

2. Cafe Bola (Greenbelt 3 Makati) – fusion
What we love about it: – We order the Penne in Chorizo Parmesan Cream almost 90% of the
Dislikes: Other dishes are just average.
Average spend per visit: P600 – making this really great value for money.

3. Cafe Mediterranean (Greenbelt 1 and Powerplant Mall, Makati) – Mediterranean dishes
What we love about it: I like pretty much everything I order here. Our favorites include: Beef Gyro, Gyro Plate, Beef Kebab, any of the side dishes, any of the salads.
Dislikes: None
Average spend per visit: P600

4. Chili’s (Greenbelt 5 Makati) – American
What we love about it: I like pretty much everything here but my fave is the Mushroom Jack Fajitas – combination beef and chicken.
Dislikes: Always crowded and noisy; difficult to get a table
Average spend per visit – P1,400.

5. La Cocina De Tita Moning (Manila, near Malacanang) – Spanish-Filipino cuisine
What we love about it: Hmmm…where do I begin. We didn’t just pay for dinner here. We paid for a unique dining experience which includes a tour of the old house turned museum and restaurant. My favorites are the paella, the lengua (one of the best I tasted), poached fish, fresh ubod and the salad. The cost of dining here depends on which menu is selected.
Dislikes: Can be very expensive, definitely for very special occasions only
Average spend per visit: We spent almost P5,000 on our last visit which included wine. We picked one of the heaviest menu and we were so full after. Read my post here.

6. Mamou (Serendra, Makati) – Filipino Cuisine
What we love about it: Steak!
Dislikes: Dinner reservation only at 6:30pm (too early for us!) and 8:30pm (too late!); they serve the steak with the dripping which is too oily; a bit pricey
Average spend per visit: P2,200 – see my post here.

7. Gaudi (Serendra, Makati) – not sure actually
What we love about it: Steak also – the one you cook in front of you
Dislikes: Nothing
Average spend per visit: P2,200

8. Abe (Serendra, Makati) – Filipino/Kapampangan
What we love about it: Sinuteng Baby Squid is our favorite but everything in the menu is good
Dislikes: The service sucks!
Average spend per visit: P1,200

9. Piadinna (Greenbelt 1, Makati) – Italian
What we love about ti: Pasta Vongole, Four Cheese Pizza – they don’t scrimp on the cheeses
Dislikes: None
Average spend per visit: P600

10. Via Mare (Greenbelt 1, Greenbelt 3, Powerplant Mall) – Filipino Cuisine
What we love about it: Almost everything! Our favorites include Crispy Binagoongan, Vigan Longanisa, Lugaw Toppings, Adobo Flakes, Puto Bungbong, Bibingka.
Dislikes: The interior is a bit dated – no big deal.
Average spend per visit: P800

11. Galileo (Pasong Tamo, Makati)
What we love about it: The ambiance, the food, the wine. Great value for money. Great date place. The cheese platter, the cold cuts, the wine, the pasta, the coffee. Love everything!
Dislikes: The location. Stay away during rainy days. (There’s one in Mandaluyong but I haven’t been there).
Average spend per visit: P1,200 including wine – we are happy with the set menu but even the ala carte selection is also great value for money.

12. Soms Noodle House (near Powerplant Mall)
What we love about it: Cheap Thai food
Dislikes: Well, it’s practically street food and we just come here for the food. No expectations on ambiance and service, so I guess, there’s nothing to dislike about it.
Average spend per visit: P500 and below

13. Ariel is insisting that I include KFC (practically anywhere) – fastfood!!!
What Ariel loves about it: Original Recipe Chicken, Zinger
Dislikes: The transfat! Haha!
Average spend: P250 for two

Other gems outside of Metro Manila:
1. C Italian Dining (Friendship Highway in Clark, Pampanga) – Try the Panizza, pasta, risotto and sausages plus the Italian Soda. Prepare to shell out P1,500 for 2.
2. Zapatas (also in Clark) – Try the Fajeeta Bureeta (or something like that), the Quesadilla and Tacos. P500 for 2.
3. RFW (San Fernando, Pampanga) – Best tokwa’t baboy in town, pretty good palabok and halo-halo, too. P200 for two.
4. Sonya’s Garden (Tagaytay) – Set meal which includes super yummy salad, bread basket and dips, pasta with a selection of sauces, fresh dalandan juice, turon, sweet camote, chocolate cake and tarragon tea – all for P610 per hear or P1,220 for two.
5. Antonio’s (Tagaytay) – Everything is really good. See my post here. Prepare to shell out P4,200 for two.
6. Bawai’s (Tagaytay) – Delicious Vietnamese dishes. You’ll never go wrong with any of the appetizers. The noodles soups are so good too! P1200 for two.

Written by Alby Laran

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