We know how hard it is to keep up with all the restaurant, bar, and club openings in Metro Manila. Sometimes they’re local concepts bringing something totally fresh to our city’s F&B scene, other times they’re big international brands coming to the Philippines for the first time.
The Coconuts Manila Restaurant Roundup is here to help with a breakdown of what these new places are all about, to help you decide which spots are worth your time and $$$. Watch out for these lists monthly and stay updated.
There is no shortage of Chinese restaurants in San Juan City but this new one serves more than the run-of-the-mill lauriat. Moon Rabbit is a cafe and restaurant with a curated menu and a modern approach to favorites.
They only have three clay pot options, including the Duck Claypot Rice (PHP260/US$5.10), which is duck breast, Chinese chorizo, greens, and rice.
Their dessert menu similarly only has six items, including this Grass Jelly with Red Bean (PHP110/US$2.16).
Even with the shorter menu (relative to most Chinese dining spots), the restaurant does not seem lacking or half-baked in any way. Each dish is plated beautifully and takes on a contemporary spin without losing the ingredients and flavors that make the classics good.
The restaurant itself has the same mix of old and new. It’s located in a refurbished house that now has bright modern interiors thanks to pristine white walls and light brown wooden floors. Still, it keeps elements usually found in Filipino houses like solihiya weave chairs.
This month, local Katsu chain Yabu introduced two new items to their menu which both feature a meaty curry developed by Michelin Bib Gourmand-starred Japanese chef Kazuya Takeda.
One is the Kazuya Katsu Curry (PHP450/US$8.82 – PHP650/US$12.74, depending on the meat). It is darker with deeper flavors compared to Yabu’s previous curry katsu offerings and is made with ground pork.
We liked that the katsu tasted clean and not greasy even though it was obviously fried until crunchy. However, the sauce could be spicier as it leaves not much more than a passing kick on the tongue.
The same curry is used in the restaurant’s other new dish, the Curry Cheese Gyoza (PHP295/US$5.78). Unlike other potstickers, this one is deep-fried with a crunchy exterior instead of the usual chewy wrapper. This allows the dumpling to keep its shape even as it sits on the curry sauce and melted cheese. The shredded cabbage and nori on top add another level of crunch to the starter.
Both dishes are available in all Yabu branches.
Manila’s seems to be in a cookie craze as two international brands known for the baked good opened stores in the city this month.
First was British chain Ben’s Cookies which now serves gooey cookies in Mandaluyong City’s The Podium mall.
Ben’s Cookies is known for their chewy cookies that do away with chocolate chips and go for chunks instead. Their flavors include milk chocolate chunk, ginger & dark chocolate, orange & milk chocolate, and coconut, among others.
One cookie is priced at PHP90 (US$1.76) but boxes containing seven and 15 cookies are also available for PHP450 (US$8.82) and PHP900 (US$17.64), respectively. A small gift tin with four cookies is PHP495 (US$9.70) while a large gift tin with eight cookies is PHP855 (US$16.76).
Pasay City also got a new cookie shop this week, with the opening of Famous Amos in the S Maison mall.
Pre-packed Famous Amos cookies are easy to come by but these ones are freshly-baked and come in a variety of flavors. This includes No Nut Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip Pecan, Oatmeal, Butterscotch, Chocolate Chip Macadamia, White Chocolate Macadamia, Chocolate White Chocolate Chip, and Double Chocolate Chip Pecan.
Prices vary depending on the weight and type of cookie. 100g go for PHP180 (US$3.53) or PHP190 (US$3.72), 200g for PHP350 (US$6.86) or PHP370 (US$7.25), 300g for PHP 510 (US$10.00) or PHP540 (US$10.58), 400g for PHP660 (US$12.93) or PHP720 (US$14.11) and 500g for PHP800 (US$15.68) or PHP850 (US$16.66).
Apart from the S Maison outlet, a Famous Amos store will also open in SM North EDSA in Quezon City among other planned branches around the metro.
Famous Amos is at 2/F S Maison, Marina Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
Open daily, 10am – 10pm