Travel and Food

Published on September 6th, 2019 | by admin


5 Must-Visit Restaurants in Malate

It’s difficult to describe Malate in a nutshell. The place combines a distinctly bohemian atmosphere with the vibe of a college town, which is made even more complicated by its proximity to Manila’s most well-known red-light district. Look beyond its odd reputation, though, and you’ll find that Malate still got something—quite a few things, really—up its sleeve. There are respected establishments here that have been serving some of the best food in Manila for decades, and great new places are opening up every day, revitalizing the area as people begin filtering back in, curious about their offerings. Read on for some of our favorite food finds in this colorful neighborhood:

  • Café Adriatico

This Remedios Circle institution has occupied the same space since 1979, outlasting several of its neighbors. It’s like the queen mother of all Malate restaurants, silently watching over her domain, still welcoming patrons with open arms. The food is comforting bistro fare, executed in a flawless manner that can only be achieved with experience—think 40 years’ worth of experience.

Try the chicken a la Kiev, one of the house specialties, or the tenderloin steak served with Béarnaise sauce. Wash it down with rich Spanish hot chocolate, then have the crepes Suzette for dessert, which are made table-side for that added attention to detail. Checking into nearby accommodations, such as in a hotel near St. Luke’s Extension Clinic, is recommended if you wish to continue exploring after your meal; Remedios Circle and the surrounding area is well-known for its nightlife and there are plenty of places to dip into for a nightcap.

  • Li Li

If the word “unlimited” is what gets your jets going, the unlimited dim sum at Li Li, New World Manila Bay’s flagship Cantonese restaurant, should satisfy your cravings. Here, chefs prepare over 30 kinds of fresh, homemade dim sum for lunch, available from Monday to Sunday starting at noon up to 2:30 PM. Standout steamer baskets include the shiu mai and the xiao long bao, but make sure you don’t miss out on the roasted offerings either; the honey roasted barbecue pork and succulent Peking duck are to die for.

  • The Champagne Room

This opulent space at the Manila Hotel can feel a little like it’s stuck in a specific time period—an awesome one. The interiors call to mind Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, or perhaps Old Manila’s affluent past; wrought iron archways, unapologetically floral upholstery, and ceiling-high palm trees adorn the restaurant. Choose from the available degustation menus or go a la carte. The Champagne Room serves fine European cuisine classics such as escargot, roast duck breast with a passionfruit sauce, and Chilean sea bass, among others. Top it off with a glass of Moet et Chandon Brut for a truly indulgent meal.

  • Purple Yam Malate

After making waves in the Brooklyn dining scene and earning a New York Times Critic’s Pick, Purple Yam’s Malate branch opened in 2014 in the childhood home of co-owner and author Amy Besa. It’s our food, exported to the East Coast and then victoriously returned: the menu changes regularly as head chef Romy Dorotan constantly finds ways to elevate and innovate flavors that Filipinos have long grown accustomed to. Purple Yam Malate only serves multi-course menus and only accepts group bookings. Reservations are required.

  • Izakaya Kenta

If you want to find good Japanese food in Manila—not the tonkatsu and ramen being hawked in shopping malls, though those can be very good, too—follow the Japanese people. Many of them flock to Little Tokyo behind Makati Cinema Square for authentic sushi and sake, but for the ones who don’t wish to endure hellish city traffic for their fill, there’s Izakaya Kenta, an unassuming little restaurant at the ground floor of Malate Bayview Mansion. Here, you’ll find Japanese salarymen seated at low tables on tatami mats, shoulder-to-shoulder with locals and scarfing down fresh sashimi and handmade sushi, washing it all down with glasses of sake. Don’t miss out on their gindara shioyaki, grilled black cod doused with flavorful teriyaki sauce, or the unaju, grilled eel basted with a sweet soy-based sauce served in a pretty lacquer box with rice.

The presence of these respected restaurants, among others, makes Malate a great destination for locals and tourists who want to satisfy their cravings. Anyone who’s looking for comfort food or new flavors certainly will find plenty of options when they visit the district.

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