Eating is the single pastime that binds us all together. Just recall your fondest memories and think about the first few questions that your Filipina aunt or grandma have thrown at you. I bet one of these questions was “Kumain ka na ba?” (“Have you eaten?”). Furthermore, we love indulging on the mid-day snacking called merienda.
As an Overseas Filipino Worker who has been in Australia for so long, you are not updated when it comes to the newest eateries to try out. This is why I have collated a comprehensive list of the hottest restaurants out there. The only thing that you will regret is not checking out this list!
Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen
I beautifully noted Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen on my list of must-try restaurants as it is unbelievably near my hometown. Unbeknownst to many Filipinos, Mama Lou’s used to be one of South’s grandest neighborhood secrets. It was previously situated in BF Homes with its pioneering name – Cafe Francais. Several years have passed and the owners decided to relocate to a more spacious home in Evia Lifestyle Center. Nowadays, the revamped restaurant is considered as a foodie’s destination for authentic Italian dishes.
The brains behind this homey Italian restaurant is French-Canadian Richard Tremblay and his late Filipina wife Marilou. With Marilou’s passing, the operations have been headed by Richard and her daughter Crystal. Their food ranges from PHP 80 to PHP 700. New customers are highly encourage to try the scrumptious Truffle Mac & Cheese and the best-selling Spaghetti Seafood Olio.
Location: Evia Lifestyle Center, Daang Hari Road, Almanza Dos, Las Piñas
For those of you who are not familiar with tipi or teepee, you can imagine a cone-shaped tent with flaps on top. Teepees are traditionally made out of animal skin upon wooden poles. Wouldn’t it be cool to dine at one of this?
Well, the creators of Hippie Tipi certainly thought so. Hippie Tipi is the hottest pasta and pizza eatery along the bustling food street at Marikina. The restaurant began as a three-year business model developed by the young students from University of Santo Tomas. The culmination of their hard work was translated to the restaurant’s menu including grilled pizzas and freshly-made lasagna.
What separates Hippie Tipi from the rest is its laid-back ambiance that is rarely seen in formal Italian restaurants. Its unique twist on the Western-inspired dining is my cup of tea!
Location: Unit 7 Bennt II Bldg., #73 Lilac Street, Concepcion Dos, Marikina
When your hormones are acting up because of your monthly visitor, you just want to indulge on comfort food! I am sure that all the ladies agree to this. For delectable Filipino-American comfort food, you can count on Mudpie Heaven. The restaurant’s menu was adapted from the 30-year old recipes handed down by Ashley Cayuca’s mother. PBA athletes Chris Lutz and Greg Slaughter (part-owners) also influenced the dishes being served.
The hype of this newly opened place is due to its signature chocolate ice cream cake called Mississippi Mudpie. Aside from that, you may try the eclectic Vanilla Bean Milky Bun. It has a vanilla gelato sandwiched in milk buns and served with a shot of chocolate syrup. Personally, I am tempted to get one or two! Food prices range from PHP 85 – PHP 550.
Location: 2/F Circuit Lane Makati, Riverfront Drive, AP Reyes St, Carmona, Makati
Yellow Box Rice Company
For my fellow kababayans who are always dawning a packed holiday schedule, I recommend the to-go meals offered by Yellow Box Rice Company. One ZOMATO user perfectly encapsulated this idea by commenting: “Yellow box has never failed me. I used to spend almost every night as an all nighter and I need food to pick off my energy from…”
In a classic rice in a box fashion, Yellow Box Rice Company is happy to serve you quick and affordable bites. The comfortable setting is suited for the primarily breakfast menu that includes “Tapa And Egg” (PHP 110) and “Beef Teriyaki” (PHP 90). What attracted me was the relatively cheap price tag of the desserts. For instance, the Belgian Chocolate Brownies is as low as PHP 35!
Location: 2/F Petron Gas Station, Katipunan Ave cor Mangyan Road, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Pablo is a world famous bakery that specializes in Japanese cheese tarts. It emerged in Osaka and was soon followed by several branches in Tokyo due to the overwhelming public response. Pablo has 17 branches in Japan and several international branches in Indonesia, Taiwan, and Korea. You do not need to travel to Japan in order to fill your tummy with its goodness as it has arrived in our motherland!
You and your family can enjoy some heated cheese tarts at Robinsons Place Manila. Long queues are a common sight at this branch. Thankfully, they are opening more branches soon.
Try the classic or the matcha cheese tart that oozes with flavors. I simply want to take a bite of the freshly baked matcha cheese tart that is rich in red bean paste and mochi balls!
Location: Robinsons Place Manila, Adriatico St., Malate, Manila
Lazy Bastard restaurant is a college student’s haven!
For starters, its prime location near the myriad of universities is convenient and ideal. Secondly, Lazy Bastard comes with budget-friendly prices ranging from PHP 100 – 220. Lastly, this American joint offers greasy comfort food.
You must try their Bacon Cheeseburger (PHP 220), Sloppy Joe (PHP 150), and Avocadog (190). I am talking about 100% charcoal-grilled beef patties packed with buttery bun and staple ingredients!
Location: 2/F Archer’s Nook, 2464 Taft Ave, Malate, Manila
As a newly converted vegetarian, Hazel Que found it difficult to prepare meals for herself everyday. This is why she decided to venture in the business field to create a vegetarian-friendly café. Il Fioré serves convenient healthy meals and artisan gelato using local ingredients in a homegrown earth kitchen.
Hazel has done a good job in creating an attractive ambiance for customers. Every corner that you explore is truly Instagrammable!
When I get back, I will surely try their Kofta Spaghetti Pomodoro (PHP 240) and a cup of Gelato (PHP 140). The handcrafted Gelato uses nothing but fresh ingredients with zero preservatives. The flavors that I was most intrigued about are the Mango Dragonfruit, Dark Chocolate Ganache, and Pistachio Flan.
Il Fioré is the Italian word for “flower”. Upon entering this place, it will open your tastebuds to blossoming possibilities!
Location: 4740 Salamanca corner Eduque, Poblacion, Makati (in front of Trump Tower)
When you get back home, surprise your family with the amount of knowledge you have about the hottest and the most delicious eateries in the country. You will surely enjoy dining at one or two of these places!