If the United States has New York, then we have Makati. It is, after all, our own "city that never sleeps," our gritty financial hub that never stops coming up with new things to do—and eat. The restaurant scene here has never been more vibrant and alive. With new places to check out cropping up every month, it's hard to keep tabs. Let this list serve as your guide to the latest must-try restaurants of the metro's premier urban jungle.
This 80-seater international franchise in Legazpi Village brings traditional Indonesian fare to the table. Many of Restoran Garuda's dishes are novel to the the Filipino palate, making this new eatery an interesting discovery. Sample their spice-filled dishes such as the Beef Rendang, which is beef stewed overnight in rich coconut milk, or the Es Campur, Indonesia's version of halo-halo.
Restoran Garuda is at 166 G/F Beneficial Life Building, Salcedo Street, Legazpi Village.
Dalat Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine
If you're craving Indochinese flavors that aren't in the form of sandwiches (banh mi) or soup (pho), we suggest you head over to Dalat Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine. This little hole-in-the-wall in San Antonio Village is owned by Vietnam-born Jay Le, who also owns popular snack place BonBanhmi. Enjoy com tams or rice meals like the Traditional Grilled Porkchop that is served with fluffy white rice, sunny-side-up egg, Vietnamese-style mushroom omelette, and fresh vegetables.
Dalat Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine is at 7467 Bagtikan Street, San Antonio Village.
Wine and dine with a view of the glittering Metro Manila skyline at Paper Moon. Reserve your special dates here and order their Italian classics including the Prosciutto e Melone and ultra-light Spaghetti Alla Vongole. With sophisticated food and a picturesque scenery, what more could you ask for?
Paper Moon is at Knightsbridge Residences, Century City.
Wicked Dogs' Makati branch has only been around for three months but it's already receiving a lot of buzz from people who work and live near Poblacion. Their no-fail hotdogs are a winner, with over five variations to choose from. A real standout is the Wasabi Dog, a Japanese-inspired hotdog that combines fiery wasabi mayonnaise and katsu sauce. Their extensive booze selection will also make you want to go back regularly with your gang!
Wicked Dogs is at 2/F Lokal Hostel, 5769 Ebro Street, Poblacion.
Bodega Kitchen & Bar
With a dish named Jogging Bukas, you'd immediately suspect that this restaurant will be a far cry from the traditional Filipino eateries we usually dine in with our families. Bodega Kitchen & Bar is founded by a young team of creatives who want to share their own modern versions of classic Pinoy dishes. Take, for one, their Greek Inasal Gyros, which is your ordinary chicken inasal served with tabbouleh, a bright couscous salad.
Bodega Kitchen & Bar is at G/F Two Central, 109 Valero Street, Salcedo Village.
Only a few steps from Power Plant Mall in Rockwell, La Coctelera sits right above tapas place Rambla. They have the makings of a terrific Saturday night: Delicious bar bites, chill background music, and exciting handcrafted cocktails. Come here for an intimate get-together with friends as they have a wide assortment of wine!
La Coctelera is at 2/F Rambla, Joya Building, Joya Drive, Rockwell.
Although people usually come here for their third wave coffee, their mains also shouldn't be missed. If you're in the mood for something filling, take a bite into their best-selling Wagyu Beef Steak, which is inspired by a certain fast-food chain's burger steak. It is every bit comforting and new at the same time!
Bluesmith Coffee is at MJ Plaza, 2310 Chino Roces Avenue, Magallanes.
Petra & Pilar
From the same owners of Delimondo comes Petra & Pilar, a restaurant that prides in not-so-classic Filipino food. Apart from the Chorizo Slider, which will remind you of the famous chori burgers in Boracay, their Ramen-lalo is another item to add to your checklist. A fusion of ramen and bulalo, the dish is rich in flavor from the bone broth soup. Have this on a chilly night for maximum satisfaction.
Petra & Pilar is at JAKA Center, 2111 Exportbank Drive corner Chino Roces Avenue.
The Test Kitchen
The Test Kitchen is the latest culinary masterpiece of British-Filipino chef Josh Boutwood. Located in the heart of San Antonio Village, the restaurant is compact but private. Pick between a six- or eight-course menu and let Chef Josh take you to a unique gastronomic experience.
The Test Kitchen is at B&C Kamagong Street, San Antonio Village.
Poblacion Dining Room
Another fresh and notable restaurant to find in Makati is Poblacion Dining Room. With elegant furniture and little details reminiscent of old Manila houses, this restaurant will give you a plate of feelings: Nostalgia, tranquility, and satisfaction (from the food, of course). Don't miss their Pork Adobo, which may come close—but not quite—to your mom's version. It's the closest thing to comfort!
*This story originally appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.