Let it be put on record that am mighty proud of the restaurant scene in Manila. It takes a native to see the diversity of offerings, the variety of cuisines and the excellence of the food available in town now. I love learning how young Filipinos, after being schooled in the great culinary traditions of New York, Vancouver, Sydney or wherever, are coming home to set up shop and pay it forward.Indeed, no longer shall we be called a Third World country if only for this!
In the meantime, new fabulous places in town are sprouting up like the latest strip of Megaworld Corp. called Tuscany at McKinley Hill which is dotted with the latest must-go-to restaurants in the metro.Almost adjacent to the Venice Piazza, I love how the restos were carefully curated so that they are not the same in terms of the menu and cuisine.
As a baptism of fire to the great food offerings of the restos in Tuscany at McKinley Hill, we highly recommend joining An Awesome Secret Foodies Tour being organized by top restaurant blogger Anton Diaz and his business partner RJ Ledesma. This will be held on four Saturdays (Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14 & 21)… a value-for-money treat where you will sample approximately 20 dishes from 8 restaurants for only P1,000. Not a bad deal!
Here’s my own experience of the foodie tour that was held for the media. The evening started sampling a glass of red wine and another of white wine in Planet Grapes. This is a wine place which has a unique vending machine, aside from its extensive collection of bottles from all over the world. There is also a wine connoisseur on standby.
Afterwards it was time to go Italian at Trattoria Poggio Antico where we had more wine and food. One good thing with tours like this, you get to share laughs with like-minded foodies. Dieting is never an option 🙂
The plate served in front of me looked sparse but it was filling and contained my favorite things: Prosciutto on a slice of melon, mozzarella crostini with tomato, oyster on liver pate and ham & cheese crepe with mushroom in truffle oil. Yum!
The sampler plate at B & T Mexican Kitchen was immense. It had Chipotle Chicken Pizza, Mango Glazed Habanero Chicken, Taquitos Special and Nacho Chips with assorted dips.
I will always love the colorful interiors of Mexican restaurants, and B & T was no exception.
L.E.S. (Lower East Side) Bagels was the next stop. This is more of a breakfast place that mimics the great bagel shops of New York. They even have an American-Jewish chef transported from Manhattan, Cuit Kaufman, who makes sure the counter is filled with gooey fudge brownies, rugelach, knish, homemade oreos and salads.
And of course, the huge chunks of gourmet-flavored cream cheeses on the display looked tempting enough!
After tasting the bagels, it was time to try healthy cooking of Sauceria. We had Tuna Tataki paired with zaru soba, artisanal all-beef burger and feta cilantro tomato cocas. (Note to self: when you’re in Spain, coca means pizza, hehe)
Marciano’s boasts of Italian-American comfort food and they actually have a couple of branches in the city. For the food tour they served a pizza with four flavors, linguini with mushrooms and prosciutto plus this massive-looking plate with US T-bone steak, sausages and roasted vegetables. Comfort food indeed!
Okay, it’s not over yet. We hopped on to Main Street, perhaps the first resto in Manila to specialize on the food of maple leaf country, Canada! We caught young owner Adam Tan, born & bred in Vancouver, balancing some plates of the Wagyu burger. We also had poutine and to-die for candied bacon ice cream, but perhaps more of this in another post.
Finally…. the last stop! It’s gotta be Sophie’s Mom, the quaint bakery cafe which has caught the hearts of dessert lovers in the metro with their delish cupcakes. Will always love the charming interiors too.
Verdict: the food tour has got to be the best P1,000 you’ll spend from your Christmas bonus this year. Book now before slots get sold out. This is supposed to be “secret” remember? 🙂 For inquiries, call 709-0888 or
Note: Thanks to Megaworld PR for the photos of the cupcakes and resto interiors used in this post.