Our Bistro Manuel dining experience!
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. This city may not be famous for its beauty, but its magnetic energy gives you a special feel. 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.
This experience guide is a mixture of old and new. Come with us! as we re-introduce Manila to you on a different angle .
Come away with us as we show you Where to EAT, Where to GO, and What to DO in Manila!
This beautiful sanctuary has also served as burial sites of heroes, specifically the three Filipino martyr priests, namely Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora collectively known as GOMBURZA, who were executed by garrote on February 17, 1872. They were interred in unmarked graves near the outer wall of the cemetery.(photo from the right side).
The exact place where Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero was secretly buried after his execution on December 30, 1896 at Bagumbayan. When Rizal’s sisters discovered the site, they bribed a guardia civil veteran to mark the spot with the initials “RPJ” and was guarded for 15 days. His remains was exhumed on August 17, 1898, placed in an urn made by Teodoro Romualdo de Jesus, deposited in the house of his mother in Estraude Street, Bonondo. and on December 30, 1912 laid beneath his monument at Luneta.
Old Swiss Inn-Paco: A Culinary Landmark in the Heart of Manila
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 1970s the restaurant was transferred to a larger location in Paco to accommodate more patrons. In the 1980s the Paco branch was destroyed in a fire but was eventually rebuilt and re-opened by Mr.Felix Limcaoco in 1990.
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.
The National Museum has a three-dimensional goal covering diverse fields of knowledge through various educational, scientific and cultural activities. The personal favorite will always be the preserved cultural significance art in history.
Aside from collections from different known National Artist like Juan Luna, they also showcase contemporary art and installs per time seasons. Making Art today as an open forum for visual statements available for aesthetic consumption.
- Location: The National Museum of Fine Arts
- Opens: 10:00am-5:00 pm
- Entrance: Free
- Address: P. Burgos Drive, Rizal Park, Manila
Tuesdays-Sundays, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Along the gritty district of Ermita is a hidden forest park, The Arroceros Forest. A 2.2- hectare of urban forest on the south bank of the Pasig River footing the Quezon Bridge. Having 61 different tree varieties, 8000 ornamental plants, and 10 unique bird species.
This forest park is “Manila’s Last Lung” and it needs our help as private citizens to raise awareness on how important landmarks like this should be preserved.
The park is located in the center of Manila, just north of the Manila City Hall adjacent to the walled district of Intramuros. It is within walking distance from the Central Terminal station and is right across from the Manila Metropolitan Theater.
Located in Intramuros, the museum is housed in a Bahay na Bato that then-CEO Julius Limpe acquired back in 1979. We initially had the impression that it was one of the original official sites where they actually conduct their business, but not to that extent. Former CEO envisioned building a company museum 40 years ago.
Over 166 years company, a good backstory, and having the Bahay the Bato as its showroom. Why not. We absolutely love the Manille Liqueur de Calamansi—a local take on Italian limoncello. Years back you’d see a woman riding gallantly a white horse on her red bikini on primetime local TV commercials and your friendly neighborhood sari-sari store’s calendars. White Castle Whisky stroke every man’s ego desires.
The Bahay the Bato exudes charm and is already inviting. There you will find young Gen Z’s explaining each part of the tour. The museum’s first floor exhibits show the actual process of making rum and whiskey, from fermentation and aging to bottling.
The guide will show you the process of making rum their mini tank of fermenting molasses and a distillation. You will be asked to open a jar and sniff to found out what fermented molasses smells like.
To culminate the tour, a fitting liquor tasting flight experience is a must! We personally would recommend sampling The Philippine Craft Spirit Collection- fine local fruit extracts that are infused with their blended liquors.
The Glory Days
Escolta in her glory years was known to be grand in its architecture and as a centralized location that houses malls, drugstores, stores, and stand-alone theaters. She was roaring lioness that commands respect and adoration in her time.
It was the commercial hub of Manila during the early 1900s and was a witness to many pioneering establishments in the country: first ice cream parlor, first movie house, first electric tram among others.
Commerce in the area was booming, large financial institutions, high-end boutiques, restaurants, and production houses. Neoclassical and Beaux artistry in its buildings built thru various visionaries of the world-renowned local and international architects.
First United Building
For the last three years, 98B COLLABoratory (98B) in partnership with the First United Building (FUB) have been organizing the Saturday X Future Market at Escolta a few years back and now they’re open during weekdays as well. Here you will find HUB: Make Lab is an incubation space for artists, craftspeople, and entrepreneurs. A project started by a collective community of artists, 98B the market aims to bring back the glory days of the former premier shopping district. Every weekend, most predominantly Saturdays. Where local artist makers of multidisciplinary design disciplines gather and sell their own products. Entrepreneurs gather here and set up shops to interact with the community and sell artist-made merchandise, crafts, and quirky vintage items.
Entrepreneurs gather here and set up shops to interact with the community and sell local artist-made merchandise, crafts, and quirky vintage items.
Cap off with a cup of joe or perhaps an ice cold beer
Aside from the maker’s market, here you can find a nifty specialty coffee shop; The Den. A nondescript space at the back of a classic Art Deco building hailing from the Queen- Escolta. The Den is your gracious host inviting you to come ins and enjoy a cup or two of their specialty coffee.
Fred’s Revolucion the Cubao Expo famous has its second branch opened in First United Building having the same operating hours as the Cubao Expo branch—Tuesdays to Sundays, 5 pm – 1 am.
Read more about Escolta Proj. Here: Escolta Resurrection
We Choose Manila, Always.
Most myriad attractions may look obscure and flawed by the people and lack of government support before, but we can now see that we are picking up slowly and both national gov’t and even private groups are making an effort to resurrect the spirit of the past that influences us now. We are a cultural gumbo of Spanish, American, and Chinese influences are heady and rich.
What we inherited from our ancestors is their resiliency, adaptability and the capacity to rebuild ourselves and our nation after centuries of being handed over from one colony to another.
For convenient and worry-free transportation visit Hertz Philippines to book your own car for your next Manila road trip!
Update: Would you like to experience this day with us? We’ve recently partnered up with Klook to provide Out of the Box activity tours like this. You may book your own tour here A Day in Manila with the Fat Girls Day Out.
While most of us want to get out of the city during weekends. We like to revisit what Manila has to offer. Manila may not be famous for its beauty, but its magnetic energy gives you this special feel. Dissimilar and lively in so many ways, […]
BROTZEIT WAY of Celebrating Octoberfest 2018! Solid German beer lagers and a curated limited menu roster. A Fat Girls Day Out Dining Experience Guide.
Perceptive palates will be in for a solid treat when they visit Alfred at Makati Diamond Residences every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., from July 27 to September 28. Enjoy an amazing an astounding Cheese and Charcuterie Buffet for only P1,800 net per person.
They have recently introduced a grazing buffet menu as part of their banquet offers, and the cheese and charcuterie is part of the variety of what they have to offer. Overseeing the whole kitchen operations is executive chef Merlinda Junio who also captained the hotel’s culinary team to win in the Philippine Culinary Cup at SMX Convention Center last 2017.
Alfred at Makati Diamond Residences
The curated grazing menu selection is made remarkable with its shaved-on-the-spot Jamon Serrano and mouth-watering scrapings of melted Raclette cheese.
Highlights of the buffet include the jamon serrano from Spain, sliced thinly and generously; raclette cheese from Switzerland, partnered with bread, fruits, and nuts; slow-cooked US beef belly; and pinakbet paella with crispy bagnet.
Enjoy starters consisting of well-loved cheeses such as Baked Brie with caramelized walnuts, Dates with cheese, and Caprese Skewers. There starters created a nice sweet-savory-salty bite that was a perfect pairing with the Gin.
Delectable spread of Chicken Sate with a cucumber yogurt sauce, hummus with beets, Emmentaler Tart, Onion and cheese pastry, Pate en Croute and Baba Ghanoush. Finish it off with Rose Macaroons, and dip your fresh fruits, and small bites in their chocolate fondue.
Explore the interesting world of gin and tonic creations (inclusive in the buffet price ) with six different brands— Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, JJ Whitley Elderflower, Beefeater, and local fine drinks like Sirena and Premium Gin. Gin cocktails are wonderfully garnished with herbs and spices that will put the accent on the flavor profile of the gin.
Fat Girls Day Out Drink of Choice: Whitley Elderberry Gin with Mediterranean tonic water, pink peppercorns, and rosemary. A smooth refreshing drink with just a bit of a peppery bite that completes the whole Cheese and Charcuterie experience.
Experience delights from Alfred at the Diamond Residences Makati grazing menu selection of assorted appetizers, cold cuts, Raclette and heavier fare of US Beef Belly and Paella. For more details, call 0917 636 4875 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org. #Alfred24Hours #BestLocationInManila
Note: Guests will experience a rotating selection of food for a different experience every visit
Ground Floor, Makati Diamond Residences 118 Legazpi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City 1229
For reservations, call +632 317 0999 local 1114, or email email@example.com
Engage with us; firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
It may be one of the smallest cities in the Philippines but San Juan’s Little Baguio area has ridiculously immense food gems you need to include in your eat list. Common denominator will always be among these homegrown restaurants is their homey ambiance. Although we’re from the South, […]
Ang Bistro sa Remedios is the perfect place to visit if you want no-frills honest to goodness traditional Filipino fare. From the moment you step in, until the end of your meal, you get to experience Filipino hospit
[March 27, 2019] Toyo which means soy sauce in Tagalog. Why Toyo? Navarra sees it as a spirit condiment. People look at it as simple, its day-to-day. But there are a lot of layers and elements involved in making it. It is complex yet simple and that character truly represents what Toyo Eatery is all about.
Toyo opened its doors last March 2016 to rave reviews and is located at The Alley, a compound at Karrivin Plaza along Chino Roces.
Chef Jordy Navarra’s clean technique was helmed both by his innate passion, talent and at the same time a true reflective work coming from his previous experiences at The Fat Duck in the UK and Bo Innovation in Hong Kong.
Subtlety of Fixtures
The restaurant has an open atmosphere which allows guests to enjoy Filipino hospitality in a contemporary setting. Complimented with locally sourced types of furniture; Diretso Acacia Tables, E. Murio rattan chairs, and capiz fixtures by Milo Naval. The warn local wood and items stood out so well against the polished concrete and basic interiors.
The bar, by David Ong of the Curator, offers a selection of craft cocktails.
Food Essence and Philosophy
Toyo’s philosophy revolves around taking basic elements of Filipino flavor presenting it in a subtle way that strips basic elements to highlight the true essence of it.
They cook using wood and charcoal. Open fire, but in essence, keep the flavors clean that will lead to simplicity and easy to understand food.
Offerings and Price Point
Toyo’s offerings are best enjoyed through its tasting menus (P2,900 +++ per person) or its three-course set menu (P1,600 per person). A handful of dishes are available in à la carte. We decided to try first the 3-course meal.
(Disclaimer: We updated photos for their 2019 NEW 3 course meal items)
A complimentary bread basket. These are not your usual bread basket. Our particular favorite was the Tocino bread, a warm brioche with bits of tocino and onion.
(NEW) Chicken Liver with Caramel Corn
Tomato Merengue with Ginataang Langka
This is a palate cleanser. Pick it up, put right in the center of your tongue and just wait for it to melt by itself.
About a song that has a garden. Took all the 18 vegetables that they would sing the song. Eggplant and peanut the sprout was a mustard leaf. Incorporated into one cohesive albeit complex dish.
It was considered by many as one of the most creative Filipino dishes to date. Apart from palatably translating the story of a small nipa hut surrounded by a garden filled with vegetables, the chef championed to employ Filipino ingredients – a movement that took its time to come to execute.
Burnt Kalabaza with Sea Urchin and Orange Kamote
They burn the squash until it’s really dark on the outside and then thy scoop out the inside and make a soup with it, they put sea urchins inside and on top they put crispy kamote (sweet potato) for added texture.
(NEW) Nilupak of Sweet Potato and Cassava with Grated Cashews topped with local sea urchin
This was a balancing act; a kiss of sweet and salty in one. We can still experience a bit of sweetness from the kamote, and a subtle briny taste from the uni.
(NEW) Kinilaw of Oyster with Gamet (seaweed from Ilocos), Kabayawa (citrus from Butuan), and Tabon-Tabon (local ingredient typically used in Kinilaw).
The three-cut pork BBQ
The three-cut pork BBQ plays on our classic and staple street fare that is the Pinoy BBQ by using three different cuts of pork (kasim, pigue, and liempo) brushed with reduced pork bone broth in a process that takes 12 hours to do. Cooked over wood and charcoal then served with coconut cider vinegar.
The meat is tender, smoky and savory. Dip it in the coconut cider vinegar for most flavor. Served with Silog. Chicharon, Toyo rice, garlic, and egg yolk.
Grilled Belly and Loin
Twist play on our classic Bangusilog. It’s ridiculous how perfectly the bangus (milkfish) was cooked perfectly. Served on a bed of spinach, while the silog’s sticky rice, raw egg, and crispy fish skin make for an exciting amalgam of flavors and textures.
We had the Grilled Cassava cake over charcoal. Smokey and not too sweet. Delectable and simple preparation.
The Dulce de Leche Chocolate with Patis was very interesting in terms of the use of ingredients and texture play. Elements of sweetness, bitterness, and saltiness were present in each drop.
Pineapple and Smoked Coconut is made with layers of coconut cream mousse, pineapple gelée, pineapple granita, garnished with a cadena de amore flower. We were instructed to make sure to sink our spoons to the very bottom of the bowl, and get all layers as we dig in. Velvety, naturally sweet coconut cream hits you as it hits the tongue, followed by a subtle introduction of acid from the granita melting in your mouth, then the gelée helps marry in the coconut and pineapple together, similar to a piña colada, but more defined in flavor and very refreshing.
A fun and light approach to food and this mirroring is a reflection of the Filipino culture where we’re pretty hospitable and nice to visitors. The casual and candid approach, yet you see the technique and refined style applied to every dish.
There’s a sense of family among them. When you see the way each one interacts with one another. Very confident and knowledgeable of what they are serving a true sense that all of them are very proud of their team’s output product.
A small detail that we notice as well as how they are championing to use Tagalog when they explain and share insights with the diners. No pretense.
Overall Story to Tell
Fine dining for the QUALITY and NOT for the FORMALITY.
The staff made us feel relaxed and comfortable during our stay which adds up to the overall dining experience.
Chef Jordy Navarra and his team are doing things differently. They are challenging the status quo and offers something unique, familiar and yet refined to Manila’s dining scene.
Food that represents who we are and where we’re from. It’s a good way to understand Filipinos and Filipino food in general.
As of March 26, Toyo is now counted as among the best in Asia, according to an annual list curated and voted on by the industry’s top gourmets.
The 2018 Miele One To Watch Award recipient was ranked 43 in the 2019 list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, an annual event organized by William Reed Business Media.
The awards night took place at Wynn Palace in Macao late Tuesday, March 26.
We never give out CX rating of 5/5 of 5, but for Toyo Eatery we’re putting it out there.
Special cheers to our fellow taste chaser The Domestic Diva for sharing her inputs!
2316 Chino Roces Ave.
1231 Metro Manila
+63 917 720 8630
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