5 must-try tasting menus in Metro Manila

It’s no secret that Manila’s food scene is revving up. Top chefs from all corners of the globe have been flying in to attend world summits like Madrid Fusion and the soon-to-launch World Street Food Congress to, quite simply, tuck in and taste what our country has to offer. Our restaurants are also upping the game and showcasing their best on tasting menus.
 

Nobu

The price: PHP 4,800 for the Nobu Signatures; PHP 6,160 for Chef’s Daily Creations; and PHP 5,400 for the Monthly Special

What’s included: Being that this is an omakase menu, the selection of dishes is highly seasonal and literally “up to the chef”. But order the Nobu Signatures and you can expect a taste of the world-famous Black Miso Cod.

Why visit: Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa has singlehandedly reinvented what modern Japanese fare should look like. Unlike chefs in many Japanese restaurants, who remain ultra traditional, Matsuhisa blends flavors with Peruvian and Californian tastes. It’s a refreshing update that has won the world over as there are now 32 outlets worldwide. 

 

Gallery Vask

The price: PHP 4,900

What’s included: The Alamat menu is highly seasonal but includes 15 courses made from local ingredients such as sea urchin, fermented rice, and banana.

Why visit: The restaurant’s marketing machine explains that “their anthropological cuisine has led us to work with local farmers and fishermen. We use fresh, indigenous products while honouring their true nature”. Thankfully, the highfaultin claim is backed by Chele Gonzalez’s top skills. A Spaniard who sharpened his knives in top Spanish restaurants like Arzak, El Bulli, and Mugaritz, Gonzales impresses with the boldness and creativity he is able to achieve out of little known local produce. Sometimes an outsider’s perspective is indeed needed. 

5/F Clipp Center, 11th Ave cor 39th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; +63 917 5461673, www.galleryvask.com. Tue-Sat 11am-6pm. PHOTO: www.galleryvask.com 

 

Nobu

The price: PHP 4,800 for the Nobu Signatures; PHP 6,160 for Chef’s Daily Creations; and PHP 5,400 for the Monthly Special

What’s included: Being that this is an omakase menu, the selection of dishes is highly seasonal and literally “up to the chef”. But order the Nobu Signatures and you can expect a taste of the world-famous Black Miso Cod.

Why visit: Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa has singlehandedly reinvented what modern Japanese fare should look like. Unlike chefs in many Japanese restaurants, who remain ultra traditional, Matsuhisa blends flavors with Peruvian and Californian tastes. It’s a refreshing update that has won the world over as there are now 32 outlets worldwide. 

G/F Nobu Hotel Manila, Aseana Avenue, Paranaque; +63 2 8008080, www.nobuhotelmanila.com. Daily 6am-10pm, 5pm-10pm. PHOTO: www.cityofdreams.com.ph 

 

Sala Restaurant

The price: PHP 2,600 with an additional PHP 1,450 for wine pairing

What’s included: Five courses of modern European dishes like pappardelle with wild boar ragout, spiced roasted duck breast with pear, thyme and ricotta tart, and port wine jus.

Why visit: This sleek Makati restaurant gives you a taste of modern European fine dining in the centre of the city. The contemporary interiors set the stage for Colin Mackay’s simple yet perfectly executed fare, made from some of the best ingredients found in the city. There’s nothing daring to be had here, but simplicity done well can be mind-blowing too.

Podium level, LV Locsin Building, 6752 Ayala Ave, Makati; +63 2 7501555, www.salarestaurant.com. Mon-Fri, 11am-2pm; Every evening 6pm-11pm. PHOTO: Sala website.

 

 

Mecha Uma

The price: PHP 3,600

What’s included: The restaurant claims this is “perhaps the first establishment in Manila to offer a true seasonal tasting menu”. The dishes on the tasting menu, like the rest of the offerings, are comprised of the best that Japan has to offer alongside local organic produce. Expect the finest raw fish and melt-in-your mouth wagyu.

Why visit: Helming the kitchen is one of Manila’s brightest culinary stars, Bruce Ricketts. He is one to watch in the coming years as his voice of punchy, modern, and fearless cuisine marries well with the most premium ingredients offered at Mecha Uma.

RCBC Savings Bank Corporate Tower, 26th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; +63 917 8557230, www.mechauma.ph. Mon-Sat 6pm-11pm. PHOTO: Instagram.com/jjoejakosalem 

 

Tasting menus at The Tasting Room

The price: PHP 3,500 for 5 courses; PHP 3,900 for 6 courses; PHP 4,600 for 7 courses; and PHP 4,900 for 8 courses

What’s included: 5, 6, 7, or 8 courses of a selection of the chef’s best dishes. Look forward to pushing your palate with dishes like poached cod with sea snails, white beans, lemongrass, and ginger as well as curry risotto with mascarpone, cuttlefish, parsley, and foam.

Why visit: One of the only places to grab a meal by a two-star Michelin chef William Mahi, The Tasting Room at the swanky City of Dreams Manila doesn’t dilute the French chef’s brilliant and abstract creations. Tipple-wise, allow sommelier Damien Planchenault to make the most out of your meal by recommending fine wines to pair with each course. 

G/F Crown Towers Manila, Aseana cor Roxas Blvds, Entertainment City, Paranaque. +63 2 8008080, www.cityofdreams.com.ph. Daily 6pm-11pm. PHOTO: www.cityofdreams.com.ph 

 

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