Tatler Dining Awards 2022: The 14 Most Resilient Restaurants in The Philippines

The Test Kitchen by Josh Boutwood

Meet the 14 restaurants we are awarding as the most resilient in the industry.

In the past, Tatler Dining has released an annual top 20 list of the best restaurants in the Philippines. However since the past two years were challenging to say the least, instead of a top list of the best restaurants we wanted to honour establishments that impressed us and braved the odds.

This year we reveal the Most Resilient awards and present restaurants that rose to the challenge, innovated, and pushed onwards–those that really went above and beyond.

Here are the 14 award winners:

1 / 14

Bamba Bistro

Beaming with a familial charm, Bamba Bistro is home to chef Tina Legarda’s inspired array of comfort food and the precious memories that have formed within its walls. Beyond its delicious food, Bamba Bistro is well-loved for its heartfelt service and care for its loyal customers. Over the pandemic, the quaint restaurant introduced drive-in dining complete with a steering wheel tray, a curated playlist, and even a tent to shield diners from the heat as they enjoy a meal in the comforts of their own cars. When the city fell back into Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), Legarda quickly got to work on a secret ECQ menu to bring some excitement in such a dispirited time. All this, while successfully moving to a second location—one much larger, rich with the same neighbourly allure.

2 / 14

Cibo

As the Italian casual outlet of culinary icon chef Margarita Forés, Cibo has long been a natural go-to for reliable comfort food. With diners trapped at home and unable to visit the vibrant restaurants, Cibo introduced in-house delivery services, integrating front of house and kitchen staff to minimise layoffs and meet the intensified demand. Additionally, chef Forés launched Cibo’s frozen pizza line, now stocked in countless supermarkets around the country (albeit, often sold-out). To celebrate its 24th birthday, the brand also introduced festive EATalian boxes filled with Cibo’s greatest hits.

3 / 14

Gallery by Chele

Gallery by Chele is no stranger to innovation. Lauded for their creative approach to celebrating quality local ingredients with world-class techniques, the eccentric team continued to apply their out-of-the-box thinking throughout the pandemic. Through Gallery by Chele | At Home, the restaurant brought fine dining to the homes of discerning foodies while championing sustainable and biodegradable food containers. True to its ethos, Gallery by Chele also launched Deli by Chele, a sustainable artisanal delicatessen that has made its way into numerous pop-up markets throughout the metro.

4 / 14

Hapag

First making its mark in the local food scene as a private dining concept, Hapag has quickly accelerated into one of the country’s most talked-about destinations. Midway through 2020, the homegrown restaurant introduced Hapag Family Meals—an earnest invitation for their beloved diners to be a part of the kitchen’s daily staff meals, inducting us into the Hapag family. Although lauded for their Filipino fare, these family meals spanned from Korean to South American cuisines, including collaborations with other chefs.

5 / 14

Korea Garden

Since first opening its doors in 1974, Korea Garden has welcomed families with its warm hospitality and comforting yet spirited Korean-Filipino dishes. Thus, when they rebranded halfway through 2020, the fresh, youthful appeal was somewhat surprising but undeniably brilliant, to say the least. Apart from launching their direct ordering website, the brand encouraged takeaway orders by enlisting young creatives to participate in a takeout photo series on Instagram. Korea Garden also piggybacked on the success of Korean pop culture in the Philippines by introducing meal sets inspired by popular Korean dramas, complete with promotional videos and photoshoots in the style and costume of the shows.

6 / 14

Lampara

Operating in what was recently the metro’s busiest and perhaps most competitive drinking and dining district, Lampara continued to draw an audience with its inspired neo-Filipino dishes and unique cocktails. Poblacion was among the hardest-hit areas in the dawn of the pandemic, and Lampara was certainly not immune from its consequences. However, as establishments old and new shut their doors, Lampara boldly continued their operations and even launched a weekly meal subscription service called Lite by Lampara, as well as bottled cocktails to enjoy at home.

7 / 14

Manam Comfort Filipino

Manam Comfort Filipino, The Moment Group’s biggest restaurant brand, is well-loved for its reliable local fare whether served in traditional fashions or with a creative twist. The culinary titan was among the first organisations to pivot its services with Mo’Go, an in-house delivery service and Moment The Grocer, an online shop with ready-to-cook meals from its portfolio of restaurants—strategies that soon inspired many others to follow suit. The Moment Group also launched a delivery-only concept Papa Pancitan, collaborated with 7-Eleven to offer microwavable Manam meals, and joined the online-to-offline gift voucher platform ShareTreats.

8 / 14

Metronome

Without an outdoor dining area for their acclaimed restaurant, Metronome was forced to shut its dine-in operations on numerous occasions. But as fans of the gourmet takeaway brand Lazy Oeuf will know, this did not stop the Metronome team from serving its loyal patrons some exquisite gourmet fare. Since launching this sister brand in April of 2020, Lazy Oeuf has rolled out French onion burgers with foie gras, croissant sandwiches, and many more sinful savoury creations, alongside decadent desserts to boot.

9 / 14

Mijo Comfort Food

Whether you’ve come for the good music, killer cocktails, or creative yet familiar comforts, you can never go wrong with Mijo Comfort Food. Its inviting, make-yourself at-home atmosphere earned loyal stalwarts, most especially among the Poblacion crowd. When pandemic restrictions halted the district’s hustle-and-bustle, chef Enrique Moreno took the opportunity to prepare thoughtful meals for our essential frontliners thanks to donations from the Mijo community. The kitchen then launched at-home pasta kits, deli and pantry items, and ready-to-cook meats, plus a meal plan subscription programme called Mijo Express.

10 / 14

Sarsa

Helmed by Tatler Philippines’ 2020 Local Champion, Sarsa continues to be a proud proponent of Filipino cuisine and Filipino spirit. Amidst the pandemic, chef JP Anglo and his team at Sarsa prepared meals to thank and support the courageous health workers at Makati Medical Center, sold merchandise to raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Ulysees, and even offered free water and canned foods for the delivery couriers stopping by the restaurant. To top it off, Sarsa even collaborated with fellow Filipino establishment Hapag for a family meal set and launched ready-to-cook kits with seafood purveyor Marv’s Boqueria while offering a range of inspired meals-to-go from their own kitchen.

11 / 14

The Test Kitchen by Josh Boutwood

True to its name, The Test Kitchen by Josh Boutwood features an ever-changing yet consistently reliable menu that exemplifies the chef’s boundless talents. While many establishments opted for a leaner menu of time-tested dishes, Boutwood explored sourdough pizzas, brunch specials, micro-batch ice creams, and even sous vide kits for home cooking. The restaurant’s new bakeshop, Test Kitchen Bakery, is emboldened with the same curiosity and fearlessness, leading to creations like a naturally fermented ale sourdough and a hybrid croissant-cardamom loaf.

12 / 14

Toyo Eatery

Internationally praised for its thought-provoking renditions of Filipino food, it comes as no surprise that Toyo Eatery’s innovative flair persisted through these challenging times. Together with its sister bakeshop brand Panaderya Toyo, Toyo Eatery crafted whimsical bilao sets with lip-smacking barbecue skewers, the restaurant’s signature silog fried rice, and other festive staples. Chef Jordy Navarra captured the attention of foodies once more in July of 2021, set to host the Philippine leg of the global food event Gelinaz! with other top chefs featured in the ensemble. Confronted with yet another round of lockdown and unable to provide the dine-in service they had planned, Navarra and the team devised a safe drive-through alternative, oft considered to be among the most innovative dining experiences to date.

13 / 14

Wagyu Studio

After making its much-awaited debut in October of 2020—a bold move, but certainly the right one—Wagyu Studio continued to entice indulgent carnivores with luxurious takeaway creations. Showcasing the luxurious beef it’s known for, the modern Japanese steak house offered a Kobe chirashi with uni, caviar, ikura, and edible gold; and a Kobe pastrami burger showcasing 10-day homemade pastrami made with 100 per cent A5 Kobe, among others. In addition, executive chef Yoji Kitayama collaborated with chefs Josh Boutwood, Margarita Forés, Miko Calo, and Chele González on four separate four-hands dinner degustations, breathing invigorating life into the restaurant scene at a time it was most welcome.

14 / 14

Wildflour

At this point, is there anything that Wildflour cannot do? Since opening its doors in 2012, the restaurateurs kept themselves busy launching original concepts Farmacy, Little Flour Café, and Wild Flour Italian plus bringing Pink’s famed American staples to the Philippines, all within 2014 to 2019. This vivacious drive remained relentless over the past two years as they introduced delivery-only concepts Wildflour Pizza, Wildflour Burger, Wildflour Rotisserie Chicken & Wings, and Wildflour Pantry as they expanded their delivery services throughout the metro with Wildflour To- Go and the Wildflour mobile app.

Source: Tatler

Tatler Dining Special Awards 2022: Find Out Who Has Won These 8 Coveted Titles

Photo: Delightin Dee / Unsplash

Meet the 8 recipients of Tatler Dining’s Special Awards for 2022, including Restaurateur of the Year, Chef of the Year, and Best New Restaurant

Every year, Tatler Dining spotlights the achievements, talent and finesse from certain people and establishments in the industry. These eight awards were voted on by our Tatler Dining panel which is comprised of industry leaders and esteemed foodies. After months of deliberation and vetting, the final award winners were whittled down by our editorial team and we couldn’t be happier with our final eight winners. 

Read on to find out who has won: Restaurateur of the Year; Chef of the Year; Best New Restaurant; Local Champion; Impact Award; Rising Star; Best Service; and Best Interior Design. 

1 / 8

Restaurateur of the Year: Ana Lorenzana de Ocampo

As co-founder and CEO of The Wildflour Group, Ana de Ocampo does not shy away from a challenge but instead stares it straight in the face–with optimism, class and curiosity. During the pandemic, the group has grown to tremendous new heights by establishing new spin-off brands, embracing e-commerce, and even opened their largest location to date. What was once your charming neighbourhood café and bakery has become an F&B empire that keeps customers craving for yet another bite. While successfully maintaining the brand’s much-admired cosy ambience and lip-smacking quality, each new location and development has widened their reach and brought their darn good comfort food to a larger demographic.

2 / 8

Chef of the Year: Miko Calo

To truly grasp flavours and masterfully conduct a symphony of ingredients, or for that matter, coax out bold expressions from just a few elements is a feat that is meant to be celebrated. Chef Miko Calo of Metronome is a woman who does not settle for less than excellence. She lives in the nuances of her craft, constantly finessing her every move until the menu, and every plate meets her highest of standards. Not a woman to rush, chef Calo takes her time to indulge in the beauty of cuisine, and bask in the hectic nature of her craft. Trained in classic French techniques under the mentorship of the legendary chef Joël Robuchon, this gourmand is a force to be reckoned with.

3 / 8

Best New Restaurant: Txoko Asador

Located in the quaint streets of the Legazpi village locale is an asador bursting with flavours so delightful, one can’t help but feel as if they are in Donostia. This establishment spearheaded by restaurateurs Carlo Calma Lorenzana, Miguel Vecin, Tinchu Gonzalez, Magsy Concepcion, Randy Libre, and Bobby Tenchavez proudly opened its doors on March 15, 2020, a mere day or two before restaurants were told to cease operations due to the pandemic. Despite major setbacks, these seasoned industry veterans charged forward armed with a deep-rooted passion for food and sheer culinary talent, both of which has fueled Txoko’s continued success.

4 / 8

Local Champion: Jordy Navarra

Tatler Dining’s Local Champion award celebrates a chef who has helped to elevate, promote and celebrate all that the Philippines has to offer. This year, the award goes to Jordy Navarra of Toyo Eatery.

A meal at Toyo Eatery is never just a meal. It is at once a history lesson, a cultural excursion through our abundant archipelago, and an invitation to engage in the dialogue that pervades chef Jordy Navarra’s restless mind. Their approach to modernising Filipino cuisine was not immediately comprehended nor appreciated, but such is the story of trailblazers like himself. Unshaken by a hesitant market, and empowered by his love for food and country, Navarra continued to realise his vision–one that would later earn the restaurant global acclaim. Today, the chef is highly regarded as an expert in Filipino gastronomy and culinary cultures, but his unquenchable thirst for knowledge remains.

5 / 8

Impact Award: Gallery by Chele

Our Impact Award recognises an establishment that has made an indelible mark on the country through its innovations and culinary creations. Whether it’s through his bold, flavourful dishes or his penchant for spinning the DJ decks, chef Chele Gonzalez has proved that he is not of a shy breed. This drive has emboldened the team at Gallery by Chele with courage, faith, and determination during a time when these were sorely needed, but hard to find. On top of pivoting their existing dishes for delivery, the kitchen also introduced take-out gastronomic feasts. Amidst the mayhem, they also launched Deli by Chele, a sustainability-focused online delicatessen with their signature knack for the whimsical and imaginative. A sense of normalcy may creep back into the scene, but these innovations are here to stay– indeed, Gallery by Chele illustrates that fortune continues to favour the bold.

6 / 8

To say this French-Filipino talent marches to the beat of his own drum would be an understatement. Chef Stephan Duhesme’s restaurant Metiz is etymologically and philosophically inspired by his heritage, reminiscent of the concept mestizo – an identity that is unequivocally Filipino, though perhaps in a way less familiar. He dons the executive chef and co-founder titles at one of the metro’s most talked-about destinations, where he explores the vast possibilities of fermentation. Embark on a head-spinning journey with every picturesque dish across his ever-changing six-course menu, as Duhesme disputes the boundaries of Filipino cuisine. This chef approaches every situation as an opportunity to inspire a sense of pride, curiosity, and an exclaimed “Eureka!” moment through damn good food.

7 / 8

Best Service: Blackbird at The Nielson Tower

The allure of the dine-in experience comes with the desire to feel pampered. To be seated at a table with crisp white linens, elegant stemware, dim lighting, and soothing music all while being catered to by attentive yet non-intrusive servers is all that we ask for after a long day at work. This is a task not achieved by most but is one that Blackbird accomplishes effortlessly. To say that the devil in the details could not be more true, and is a sentiment that chef Colin Mackay takes to heart in each one of his endeavours. From decor, ambience, to table-side manner, etiquette, and menu knowledge, the team at Blackbird takes pride in their ability to foster an ambience that simply, keeps us coming back for more.

8 / 8

Best Interior Design: Metronome

In this high-ceilinged expanse, guests are welcomed into a world of class with its marble-top bar, encircled by teal stools that encourage early-comers and post-meal lingerers to scan through their selection of top-shelf tipples. From the golden lights that dangle from above to the illuminated mirrors that line the dining room, the space glows with a sophistication that draws your eyes through the textured white walls, streaked indigo panels, and velvety green booths. Exuding French flair, these chic elements are harmoniously married with familiar touches of fawn wood and solihiya weaves. Designed by Noel Bernardo, the restaurant beams an intoxicating aura that sets the mood for the Metronome experience helmed by chef Miko Calo: meticulously refined, not a note out of tune, nor a beat out of rhythm.

Source: The Tatler Dining Guide is Co-Presented by HSBC. Supported by Santa Ana Gin.

Wildflour’s New Dessert Is Like Mango + Strawberry Shortcake’s Even Lighter Cousin

PHOTO BY WILDFLOUR ILLUSTRATION WARREN ESPEJO

(SPOT.ph) We know, we know, we’re still in the midst of the ‘Ber months, and the desserts that usually come to mind this time of the year are those of the cozy, warming sort—though really, does the appeal of fresh, juicy fruits ever go away? We think not. One of the best ways to showcase them is through the dessert known as a pavlova! Combining meringue, cream, and fruit, it’s especially popular in New Zealand and Australia—and its sweet and lush, crisp-meets-creamy profile makes for a great pair to just about any fruit. That includes everything from tangy strawberries to our naturally sweet and lush mangoes, and if this idea gets your mouth watering, guess what. You can get exactly that at Wildflour as they’ve introduced a new dessert: The Strawberry Mango Pavlova!

Also read: The 10 Most Popular Dishes at Wildflour

Fresh fruit, cream, and meringue come together in Wildflour’s newest dessert. PHOTO BY PATRICIA BAES

You’ll fall in love with the new pavlova at Wildflour:

The Strawberry Mango Pavlova (P950/mini, P1,960/whole) is a vibrant dessert with a meringue base that’s light and airy, making for a crisp and delicate bite that melts in the mouth. It’s then topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit, namely strawberries, mangoes and blueberries—each of which contribute their own telltale taste and bursts of juiciness, not to mention a pop of color against the pale-white cream and meringue! Yup, consider it a fête of varying flavors and textures as all parts come together.

Fresh mangoes, strawberries, and blueberries add pops of color, juiciness, and tang. PHOTO BY PATRICIA BAES
You’ll want to get a little of everything—meringue, cream, and fruit—in each forkful for the full experience! PHOTO BY PATRICIA BAES

Wildflour’s got other new additions to their dessert line, too. The Birthday Cake (P1,450) is a colorful treat of vanilla sponge layers, custard, a dulce de leche filling, and pastel-hued rosettes of Italian meringue frosting swirled all around the cake—definitely worth adding to your weekend spread, whether or not it’s your birthday! The Pistachio Tres Leches (P1,895), on the other hand, upgrades Wildflour’s bestselling tres leches with a shower of crunchy green pistachios on top. And for a tropical bite, try the Mango Passion Fruit Pie (P2,450)—it’ll take you straight to the islands by taste with its mango-passionfruit filling, whipped cream, and nutty almond crust.

Just look at those colors on the Birthday Cake! PHOTO BY INSTAGRAM/WILDFLOURMANILA
The Pistachio Tres Leches is the good kind of nutty. PHOTO BY INSTAGRAM/WILDFLOURMANILA
A filling of mangoes and passionfruit makes for a lush, tropical-tasting treat in the Mango Passion Fruit Pie. PHOTO BY INSTAGRAM/WILDFLOURMANILA

These desserts are all available for orders via Wildflour’s delivery website, Wildflour To-Go. You can also opt to message their Instagram page or give the branch nearest you a call for same-day deliveries.

Wildflour is a homegrown bakery and restaurant that first opened in 2012. They’re known for their pastries as well as their brunch and dinner specials that take inspiration from cuisines all over the world. Wildflour was also among the first to bring the Cronut—the trendy croissant-doughnut hybrid pastry created by pastry chef Dominique Ansel—to our shores.

For orders, visit Wildflour To-Go’s website. You can also send a message to their Instagram page, or see a list of contact numbers you can call. For more information, check out Wildflour Restaurant’s Facebook page.

Why top restos open their biggest branches during this pandemic

The nearly 500-square meter Wildflour Cafe in Uptown Bonifacio is a place to enjoy good food and heartwarming conversations (Source: The Philippine Star)

Megaworld, leads the way in helping revive the economy, welcomes Wildflour Cafe at Uptown Bonifactio, Mary Grace at Newport City and McDonald’s at Capital Town in the City of Pampanga, with safety protocols in place.

While most restaurants are still hurting due to the pandemic, it’s business as usual for three of the biggest players in retail dining. Wildflour, Mary Grace and McDonald’s open their biggest branches in the country – at Megaworld townships to be exact – amid the pandemic.

Megaworld, which leads the way in helping revive the economy, welcomes Wildflour Cafe at Uptown Bonifacio in Taguig City, Mary Grace at Newport City in Pasay City, and Mcdonald’s at Capital Town in the City of San Fernando Pampanga, with safety protocols in place.

You can succumb to fear and let it drive you into hiding, or you can work smartly with it

Wildflour chief executive office and president, Ana Lorenzana de Ocampo

Ocampo when asked why they remain keen to open one of their biggest branches in a Megaworld township in the middle of a pandemic.

With a floor area of almost 500 square meters that can host up to 115 diners, the soon-to-open branch in Uptown Bonifacio offers a log of al fresco or outdoor seating. Here, diners will have excellent views of the greenery and picturesque spots in the township. The store will feature Wildflour’s first “Grab-and-Go” concept, while also flaunting the brand’s widest bakery and pastries selection.

ANC Cityscape: Feature on Wildflour’s activities during the pandemic

ANC Cityscape: Feature on Wildflour’s activities during the pandemic, November 2020

Recent interview feature on Wildflour and its activities during the pandemic by one of the country’s most prestigious news channels. It is available exclusively on ANC’s mobile app and thus we have not been able to repost it on our own channels, but they have allowed us to share the raw file with partners interested in knowing more about the growth and initiatives we’ve had throughout the pandemic

Go wild with your cravings!

Go wild with your cravings! Enjoy 10% OFF with your Wildflour Loyalty Card, only from September 8 to 10, 2020.

Apply 10% OFF to take-out, online purchases via wildflourtogo.com, or dine-in at all branches of Wildflour, Little Flour, Wildflour Italian, Pink’s, and Farmacy.
To avail, simply present your loyalty card or card number to staff, or share a photo of your card if for delivery.
This promo is not valid in conjunction with other promotions or discounts and not applicable to members who have signed up on the same day. Loyalty cardholders cannot earn points when this promo is availed. Not valid for pre orders for future claims for delivery or pick up after Thursday, September 10, 2020.

Dine with us from a distance 🍽

Our doors are open, and we’re ready to serve you! 💪🏼

We accept customers for dine-in at a 30% capacity, following directives mandated by the government. We have established a new set of health and safety protocols, and we ask that all customers comply as we head to a new frontier of restaurant dining.

We appreciate your continued support, and your cooperation as the situation continues to evolve. We will continue to monitor it closely, and adjust our operations as we see fit.

Scroll through this post to see the measures we’ve taken to ensure the health and well-being of both our guests and staff.

If you’re not quite ready to dine-in, you can still order for curbside pick-up, takeout, and deliveries via Food Panda, GrabFood, and wildflourtogo.com ⚡️

See you soon, and stay safe!

Wildflour, Poison, and More: Where To Get The Yummiest Doughnuts In Metro Manila

By Ryanne Co

Craving for something sweet? Satisfy yourself with some of these delicious doughnuts, which are also some of the best in Manila!

Homer Simpson’s favourite snack is back with a vengeance. Manila’s top bakers aren’t letting community quarantine stop them from doing what they do best: fulfil everyone’s sugary cravings. Check out these delicious doughnut places in the city just in time for Doughnut Day on the 5th! 

Poison Coffee & Doughnuts

What’s better than ramen? Ramen and doughnuts — which is exactly what Poison Coffee & Doughnuts specialises in. Their flavours are simultaneously fun and intriguing. How do you feel about merienda with pili glazed doughnuts, coffee with the champorado doughnut, and dessert with salted dark caramel? They’re easily accessible on foodpanda and GrabFood and are open from Mondays through Sundays.

Buns & Bros

Although Buns & Bros are famous for their burgers, it would be a sin to overlook their doughnuts. Celebrate your birthday in quarantine with their whimsical doughnut birthday cake — a double layer of doughnuts, both munch-sized and regular. Topped with delicious frosting, sprinkles, and crumble, it’s the perfect way to treat yourself on a special occasion while at home.

Green Bar

If you’re looking for guilt-free indulgence, check out Green Bar’s vegan doughnuts. Their decadent flavours are an absolute treat, especially when you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary. Indulge in lemon matcha, peanut butter & jelly, decadent chocolate, and more!

Cello’s

Students in Katipunan likely have wonderful memories of Cello’s. They are, after all, a Quezon City staple — born in 2004 from a couple’s love of food. Nowadays, the brand’s letter doughnuts have become famous as a cute way to let someone know how you feel; their indulgent classic doughnuts are a great afternoon snack too. Choose from a variety of flavours that range from Boston Creme to Pastillas and Peanut Butter.

The Sugar Free Bakery

You might be able to tell what The Sugar Free Bakery is best known for; so if you’re looking for something a little less sinful then head on over to their page to their website to order something sweet. Although their flavours are currently a little limited, its soft texture and delicious flavour are a promising combination to future releases.

Wildflour

Wildflour is a staple for us here at Tatler, so we’re grateful for the fact that we can order their treats online! Wildflour To Go allows us to satisfy our cronut cravings any time of the day between 8:00AM to 4:00PM.

Bungalow Cafe

Bungalow Cafe’s doughnuts are famous for their awesome flavours. Their most recent releases include lemon cream, ube halaya, and double chocolate. Of course, they’ve got more than up their sleeve.