By Alexis Betia
With the rainy season knocking on our doors, it’s a physical struggle to keep ourselves from running to the nearest Filipino restaurant in search of comfort food as solace from the dreary weather. And while Filipino grub is delicious enough on its own, these restaurants with their fresh, innovate takes on classic dishes will make any Pinoy’s chest swell with pride—not to mention salivate at the mouth.
Unit 101, Seven East Capitol Building, East Capitol Drive cor. Santa Rosa Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
(02) 655 6902 | Facebook
Open every day from 11:30am to 2pm, then 6pm to 10pm
Budget for two – P1,100
Chef Quito Jose (one of the Jose trio behind Brothers Burger) takes comfort food to a whole new level at Ninak, which, if you hadn’t noticed, is ‘kanin’ spelled backwards. Pay the restaurant a visit and become a believer in their eclectic mix of Thai, Singaporean, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Pinoy flavors.
Try the nasi goring, laksa and pialum lagyu (a mix between Vietnamese spring rolls and lumpiang ubod)—which is served with their signature Ninak sauce. Time your visit on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, when patrons are treated to babi guling—a melt-in-your-mouth Balinese style roast pork.
4F, Two E-Com Center, Ocean Drive, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
(02) 986 9372 | Facebook
Open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 2pm, then 5pm to 11:30pm
Budget for two – P600
UPRice holds its own amidst the countless food choices in Mall of Asia, especially with their unique take on risotto, which is served in balls stuffed with melted cheese. If that wasn’t convincing enough, it’s served with aligue sauce on the side. Other must-tries are their signature home-made bacon, and those who love spicy food are sure to meet their match in UPRice’s angry wings and spicy beef quesadilla.
6. Mateo’s Restaurant Café
Named after their family patriarch, Mateo’s is a must for those looking for a Spanish flair to traditional Pinoy dishes. With heirloom recipes handed down through generations, their flavors more than stand the test of time and trends. Experience their delicous Spanish paella for yourself, perfect with crispy bagnet sisig.
231 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City
(02) 510 9209 | 0977 282 0209 | Facebook
Open Monday to Sunday from 12nn to 11pm
Budget for two – P500
If their name wasn’t enough of an indication, ConFusion is the place for those who like to have the very best in fusion flavors. Indulge in unique dishes that more than pack a punch in the form of tocino wings and their sisig quesadilla. If that isn’t convincing enough, two words: Ribeye pares.
76 Scout Limbaga Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City, Tomas Morato, Quezon City
Open Sunday to Thursday from 11am to 3pm, then 6pm to 12mn | Friday and Saturday from 11am to 3pm, then 6pm to 2am
(02) 351 5279
Find yourself in the mood for fusion cuisine that’s a bit closer to home? Then Cherchio is the place to go. Throw your diet aside and treat yourself to oven-baked crispy pata, or if that’s too indulgent, try their pumpkin malunggay soup—just make sure to pair it with their Singaporean crispy squid heads, which are sure to have you raving about them (not to mention craving for them) for weeks.
3. Purple Yam
603 Nakpil Corner Bocobo Street, Malate, Manila
(02) 523 3497 | 09267133523 | Facebook
Open Friday & Saturday from 7pm to 11pm, Sunday from 11:30am to 2pm
Budget per head – P2,500
Run by Amy Besa and husband Romy Dorotan of Cendrillon fame, Purple Yam resides in a restored building from the 50s—Besa’s own childhood home in the Nakpil-Orosa neighborhood. Their grilled squid paella will have you salivating at the mouth, along with their chorizo and crab claws. While their menus change, the restaurant has been dubbed “serious dining” as compared to fine dining. One thing is sure, however: you can definitely look forward to their halo-halo bar.
Pro-tip: Watch out for their leche flan, which is made with carabao milk!
2. Patio Vera
70 General F. Santos Street, Calumpang, Marikina City
(02) 239 0615 | Facebook
Open Monday to Thursday from 4pm to 12mn, Friday to Sunday from 11am to 12mn
Budget for two – P800
Patio Vera is perfect for a night out with your significant other, owing to the fact that their food is served in a romantic garden setting. If bae is otherwise occupied (or you’ve yet to meet them), comfort yourself with their seafood paella, which is made with saffron. Their sinigang na lechon kawali with shrimp is sure to make you forget all about the tempermental weather, while their chicharon sisig will more than raise your spirits. And because the restaurant is located in Marikina, your bill will be served in a stiletto!
GF, Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Avenue, Magallanes, Makati City
0917 720 8630 | Facebook
Open Monday to Saturday from 6pm to 11:30pm
Budget per head – P1,000 for three courses, P2,900 for the tasting menu
Tucked into Karrivin Plaza, Toyo Eatery is surprisingly cozy despite its (totally cute and Instagram-worthy) industrial vibe. While a bit on the pricey side, Toyo’s patrons come back for seconds and thirds—even when the menu hasn’t changed yet! Take note that you can also order ala carte. Diners rave about their barbeque, which is the perfect flavor match to the signature Toyo rice—fried with chicharon. Cap off your meal with their unique cassava cake, and your tastebuds will throw a party to thank you.
What are your favorite Pinoy fusion restaurants in the Metro? Share your foodie finds in the comments section!