I’ve been working in the City of Manila for the longest time. Even though the place is “decaying” due to the rise of more contemporary restaurant strips in The Fort, Makati and beyond, some good ol’ places still remain. Here are some suggestions on where to take your loved one for a Valentine’s Day date in Manila:
1. Restaurant Le Bellevue on the 27th floor of the Manila Diamond Hotel is a favorite for viewing the bright lights of the bay-enclosed city, while savoring French cuisine
2. Cosa Nostra on Adriatico St. Malate is the cutest little spot in Manila. A small hang-out with five or six tables. Be sure to talk in whispers while you’re munching on your salad and pasta
3. I’d also go to another Malate mainstay, Cafe Adriatico, for a nightcap over coffee and Claude’s Dream, their divine-tasting buko pandan dessert
4. White Moon Bar, a new open air hangout at the Manila Ocean Park looks cozy enough. The perfect spot for enjoying the bay breeze and Manila’s famous sunset while lounging in their comfy sofas
5. Harbor View, another popular open-air restaurant with mainly Filipino cuisine on the menu
6. Harbour Square at the CCP Complex. I think of this place as the new Luneta – albeit a small version – where you can HHWW (hold hands while walking) amid a view of the buildings in Roxas Boulevard and the ships sailing Manila Bay 😀
7. Don’t count out the Walled City of Intramuros too, and having dinner in the legendary Ilustrado Restaurant. I love their pastries!
8. Summer’s safe enough to try a Manila Bay dinner cruise. You can choose to just sail, or sail while partaking of a buffet for the price of P495. Another alternative is cruising in a 70-foot yacht by Realship Corp amid food, wine and piano music. All of the boats dock in the CCP Complex
9. And then there’s Lolo Dad’s.
Hubby and I had dinner here during our wedding anniversary recently. He liked very much the food at Lolo Dad’s Brasserie in 6750 Ayala Avenue, Makati and so I wasted no time in telling him that they also have a restaurant in Manila.
With its long-lived existence, Lolo Dad’s Cafe beats the notion that in business, location is everything. Situated in Quirino Avenue (near the Quirino LRT station), it’s a family house converted into a restaurant that can seat 50 people (including the function room for 20).
What we ordered that night:
An appetizer of seafood pot-au-feu for me, but the strong taste of the prawns and fish dumpling proved to be too much for my pregnant woman’s taste. In turn, I wish I had hubby’s Caesar’s salad with salmon gravlax, crispy pancetta and six-minute boiled egg instead 😉
As a prelude to the main course, they served us a smoking teapot filled with flavorful raspberry sorbet. This was remarkable in itself.
For our entrees, I had Herb de Provence Roasted Rack of Lamb, while hubby had charcoal grilled duck breast with foie gras, butterscotch pudding and poached pear in saffron. These dishes came with a hefty price tag, but I truly savored every bite. As much as possible, I order lamb when out dining (whether in a Middle Eastern joint or in fancy dining) because we don’t cook lamb at home. Lolo Dad’s roasted rack was pure indulgence as I joyfully separated the meat from the bone.
For dessert, we had the Sampler of Chocolates and the Declension of Mango and Mascarpone Cheese. I thought it was sugar overload to have ordered two, instead of sharing just one, but Lolo Dad’s desserts were a feast for the eyes and the senses. 😉
How about you, what is your favorite date place in Manila????