Manila may be both chaotic and crammed, but never dull. New shopping malls are rising next to the slum areas, the poverty and the luxury coexist in some weird alignment just next to each other. Manila may not be famous for its beauty nowadays, but its magnetic energy gives you this special feeling, dissimilar and lively in so many ways, it’s a great city to explore even if you only have one day of time.
Although we’re presented with the BGC’s, Makati CBDs and new uprisen hip spots. We always go back to the core of the city. It is where we find its soul, the old funky vibe of what Manila should be. It has character and can cater to anyone. Let us tell you about this wonderful destination restaurant in Paco, Manila where space speaks valiantly of its character and the food is of course, wonderful in every essence.
When asking those in the older generation about the Old Swiss Inn, they instantly say “in Paco?” Most of their seasoned patrons are more familiar with the Paco branch since it opened in the ’70s when it was moved from the Roxas Blvd. branch.
The Paco branch of the Old Swiss Inn is quite different from its younger brother in Makati that’s open 24/7. While similar in theme, the Paco branch still makes use of the old wooden doors, walls and stone interiors from the old Garden plaza hotel building.
EMBEDDED IN MANILA’S DINING SCENE SINCE 1946
Founded by Swiss national Emil Landert and now celebrating its 70th anniversary. This is their first branch was on Dewey Boulevard, now known as Roxas Boulevard. Many people were captivated by its authentic Swiss cuisine, quaint wood interiors, and service.
In the 1970’s the restaurant was transferred to a larger location in Paco to accommodate more patrons. In the 1980’s the Paco branch was destroyed in a fire but was eventually rebuilt and re-opened by Mr.Felix Limcaoco in 1990.
Revamping the space yet maintaining its authentic character
This newly renovated area is a confluence of the old and new Manila. While maintaining the classic look they have added contemporary fixtures.
Aside from the original wooden bar counter, you can still see the bell that hangs by the bar, traditionally it means the start and end of happy hour. They have also kept the stained glass windows from the original Old Swiss Inn restaurant.
Today, they have added several TV’s and a billiard table, as well as, painted the walls a red hue to complete the new look of the restaurant.
Here you can eat good food, drink to your heart’s delight, and socialize while watching the latest televised sports events.
Swiss Cuisine and all its essence
Switzerland is known as a neutral country but they actually have many influences from Germany, Italy, and France. This confluence of flavors can be found in Old Swiss Inn’s menu roster where you can see and taste the influence.
Old Swiss Inn provides the new generation of customers the quintessential experience to European dining. It has all the beautiful textured layers of experience, a remarkable induction to Swiss menu staples.
The Old Swiss Inn’s dedicated patrons will be happy to know that its signature dishes still stay the same.
Fresh Corned Beef
For those of you, who grew up eating corned beef out of a can. This may come as a bit of a surprise. They boil beef brisket until its tender and then serve with sauteed cabbages and boiled potatoes. A crowd favorite, this is one of Old Swiss Inns most popular dishes, and personally our family favorite.
Gnagi is also known as pork knuckles or it can be said that it’s the German version of Crispy Pata. They boil, cure then fry the pork knuckles until its crispy. It’s crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. This is served with a side of sauerkraut and boiled potatoes.
Something new in their line of fondue is the Scamorza Fondue, this newcomer is made from semi-soft Italian cheese that is locally produced at Pinkie’s farm. They use grass-fed cows from a single origin farm to make their cheese then smoke it in apple wood. While the favorites are still Waatlander and Walliser fondue, this is definitely a must try!
Why Establishments Like This Matters?
Let these classic establishments serve as a good example to the current and incoming entrants in the market instead of focusing too much on over-hyping certain food trends who will only provide short-term success.
Their walls witnessed a lot of events and overheard a lot of intimate conversations, It cuts through that the glam facade and continues to serve their loyal patrons’ valuable products for years. More than 70 years in the business? Heck! they must’ve been doing something right.
Let classic establishments like the Old Swiss Inn serve as a good example to the current and incoming entrants in the market instead of focusing too much on over-hyping certain food trends who will only provide short-term success.
Through its history and consistency, the Old Swiss Inn Restaurant is able to continue being relevant from 1946 up to this very day while you are reading this content. Why? because it doesn’t follow and jump quickly to the latest fad. They stick to their vision and values: unapologetically serving comfort food that is neither haute or fusion. A culinary landmark in the heart of Manila.
Old Swiss Inn
- Makati: G/F Somerset Olympia, Makati Avenue corner Santo Tomas Street, Urdaneta, Makati City
- Contact: 818-8251
- Open 24 hours
- Paco: Garden Plaza Hotel & Suites, 1030 Belen Street, Paco, Manila
- Contact: 521-3002, 526-2739
- Open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Official Facebook Page
- Official Instagram Page
- Official YouTube Page
- Official Spotify Page- Curated MixTapes/Playlist
- Zomato Reviewer Profile
- TripAdvisor Top 3% Contributor