A country’s cuisine tells you much about its people, but its breakfasts speak volumes. Is it more grab-and-go or is it a multi-plated leisurely affair with the family? Manila offers a multitude of cuisines which offer authentic breakfasts, so skip the boarding passes and travel the world through taste over breakfast.
Mornings in Singapore find most locals making a beeline for their nearest kopitiam for a fix of kaya toast, soft boiled eggs, and a coffee or tea to their liking. Singapore-style breakfast sets are available in a range of variations at Ya Kun Kaya Toast. Go traditional with their Kaya Toast with Butter Combo (PHP160) which finds their legendary kaya served on perfectly toasted and buttered white toast alongside runny eggs, which are best eaten with a dash of soy sauce and black pepper, and a warm drink of choice. 1/L Robinsons Place Manila, Adriatico Wing, Ermita, Manila; +63 2 8905922. Call for operating hours and other branches.
Light and easy mornings doesn’t do it in South Korea. Instead, they jump right into a full on meal, usually of a warm soup, a meat dish, rice, and a multitude of vegetable side dishes like kimchi. 24-hour South Korean restaurant Sinsun Seolnongtang offers such breakfasts. Don’t miss their range of tasty beef bone soups, such as the Seolnongtang (PHP300) and Mandu-Seolnongtang (PHP350). 1845 Maria Orosa St, Malate, Manila; +63 2 3108263. Daily 24/7.
Burgos Circle eatery L’Entrecote offers authentic French breakfasts from 7am daily. In typical French fashion, these breakfasts are all about carbs and coffee. Come for the fresh buttery croissants with local jams by The Fruit Garden (PHP155) or go for a selection of freshly-baked pastries via the Assorted Mini Basket (PHP150) which comes with two mini chocolate croissants, two miniature Danish pastries, and two miniature cinnamon rolls. Unit A Bellagio 2, Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, BGC, Taguig; +63 2 8564858, www.lentrecotemanila.com. Call for operating hours.
Americans do enjoy massive breakfast spreads and pancake chain IHOP supplies Manila with mammoth sets to start your day with. Have a little bit of everything with the multi-plate Breakfast Sampler (PHP395) which includes two fluffy buttermilk pancakes, two eggs, two strips of crispy bacon, two pork sausages, two pieces of salty ham, and hashbrowns. But if you’re really going in for a treat, consider the hefty Ribeye and Eggs (PHP895). W Global Center, 30th St cor 9th Ave, BGC, Taguig; +63 2 8089589. Call for operating hours and other branches.
City of Dreams’ Nobu serves up a splendid Michelin-worthy breakfast buffet (PHP1,364) daily. There are continental items which are typical to hotel buffets to be had here, such as upgraded bacon, eggs, pancakes, and French toast, but it’s the Japanese dishes, such as the chawanmushi, okonomiyaki, and miso soup, which have us coming back. G/F Nobu Hotel, Aseana Blvd or Macapagal Ave, Parañaque City; +63 2 6912882, www.noburestaurants.com
Although home-grown chain Maple specializes in American food, it also serves up Mexico’s signature humble breakfast dish of Huevos Rancheros (PHP340), albeit loosely interpreted. This dish, which is served on a hot skillet, steers away from the traditional recipe and forgoes the Mexican rice and avocado and instead adds on strips of grilled chicken and shredded lettuce. L/G Shangri-La Plaza, East Wing, Edsa cor Shaw Blvd, Mandaluyong; +63 2 4777248, www.facebook.com/maplerestaurantPH. Call for operating hours and other branches.
Call it what you want – a fry up, a full breakfast, or a full English – this classic breakfast almost always includes beans, fried eggs, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, sausages, and bacon, and toast. The rest of the accompaniments change with the region and your own preferences. Rockwells’ Hatch 22 calls this dish the Full Monty (PHP445) and is authentic enough with a duo of fried eggs on toast, pork sausages, crispy bacon, mashed potatoes, and pork and beans. G/L Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati; +63 917 8390482, www.facebook.com/hatch22ph. Call for operating hours.
In Hong Kong, the first meal of the day is mostly savory and includes warm dishes, such as congee and dim sum, to settle the stomach. Hong Kong chain Tim Ho Wan offers a terrific congee (PHP140) which is flavored with pork, century egg, and salted egg. Also typical are vermicelli rolls and Tim Ho Wan’s version (PHP150) is stuffed with pig’s liver and doused with a traditional light but flavorsome sweet sauce. G/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, SM Mega Mall, Mandaluyong. Daily 12nn-9pm.
Although this one’s not located in the metro, this Antipolo destination restaurant makes it to the list thanks to its charm. Vieux Chalet lovingly makes a cozy breakfast from 8-11am on the weekends, but if you’re pining for a Swiss brekkie during the working week, make sure to call in first. Their Very Hungry Swiss Farmer’s Breakfast (PHP825) is a real treat with rosti, sausages with caramelized onions, house-smoked ham, pancakes or waffles, eggs, tomatoes Provencal, fruits or fruit juice, and coffee, tea, or milk. 455 Taktak Rd, Sito Sampaguita, Bgy Sta Cruz, Antipolo City; +63 2 6970396, www.vieuxchaletswissrestaurant.com.