restaurant outdoor terrace at night with view into indoor seating as well in a high end asian restaurant

Blackbird Makati

Located in the building that was once Manila’s first International Airport, Blackbird is a favorite of many Manila residents and is one of the hot spots from Scottish-born chef Colin Mackay. He settled here more than 20 years ago and is credited with igniting the city’s fine dining scene with his mini gourmet empire. The terminal from the 1930s, Nielson Tower, sits in the heart of bustling Makati on an oasis of greenery in a sea of skyscrapers. The building’s Art Deco origins have inspired the restaurant’s design, and what was once the arrivals hall is now a bar, while tables fill the former departure lounge and spill outside to what was the airport tarmac. The best seats are upstairs in the former control tower.

The contemporary Asian menu features delicious riffs on Southeast Asian classics, like salt and pepper squid and shrimp with sweet soy and ginger; prawn scotch eggs on betel leaves with coconut chili sambal; and southern Thai seafood curry with coconut, lime and jasmine rice. Save room for desserts like the mango and passionfruit baked Alaska and sticky date pudding, served with a caramel sauce and vanilla seed ice cream.

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dark modern restaurant with sleek furniture  and white stone tables with wall of white translucent curtains in back

Helm by Josh Boutwood

There are just 24 seats at this fine dining spot from chef Josh Boutwood. Raised in Spain by his English mother and Filipino father—and trained at Noma in Copenhagen and Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in England—Boutwood uses seasonal, local produce to create dishes that defy geographic placement but that are uniformly excellent, and beautifully prepared. The multi-course tasting menus come with optional wine pairings (which are not necessarily of the same quality as the food).

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interior of warmly lit restaurant with only eight seats at a fancy bar counter


With only eight counter seats, Inatô is one of Manila’s most intimate restaurants. The dishes are a celebration of Filipino cuisine, although some global influences and ingredients can appear.

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prepared dishes ready to be served = colorful artfully presented vegetables and seafood on many little plates before being brought to restaurant table

Kasa Palma

Philippine chef Aaron Isip spent many years in Paris, working first for Michelin-starred chef Alain Senderens at L’Apicius, then opening his own restaurants in the City of Light. Almost ten years ago, he was recognized by food arbiters Gault et Millau as an up-and-coming chef, and he lived up to his promise with his first Manila restaurant, Balai Palma, where he melded his French training and techniques with his love for his classic native cuisine. In an atmosphere that felt more like the bohemian residence of a global nomad, he served up ten-course meals of small plates marrying items like scallops and meunière cheese with Spanish ham. In 2024, he decided to expand his Manila footprint with a new concept that will be larger than Balai and offer two restaurant concepts in one. The first “kitchen” will continue to offer his ten-course tastings with his beloved mixes like a Pacific sea bream served in hollowed out dragonfruit with crunchy tapioca chips or his tk served to sip from a seashell. One of his most iconic dishes is his take on the traditional Filipino breakfast staple Tosilog, an egg and bacon sandwich, which he serves spoon-size with foie gras instead of pork. So the city’s foodies and fashionable who embraced his first restaurant in Poblacion with fervor can expect their favorite dishes but his second “kitchen” welcomes more casual diners who can sit at the counter or tables and order a la carte appetizers and mains for a lighter meal.

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This much-lauded restaurant gained popularity due to its inventive take on Filipino cuisine.
wooden table set for dinner inside restaurant kitchen where staff works at metal counters


Named to Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant list, Metiz may be one of the toughest reservations to get in Manila, and it has raised plant-based eating to a new level, though it also serves fish and meat dishes. The name derives from the term mestizo, which the Spanish used to designate those of mixed-race European and indigenous heritage. Chef Stephane Duhesme, who is half-French and half-Filipino, trained at restaurants in New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong before opening his first restaurant in Bogota. During his time in South America, he became obsessed with fermentation techniques, and the mission for Metiz is “to serve traditional Filipino flavors in non-traditional forms.”

Stepping into the low-ceilinged dining room of Metiz, which opened in 2019, feels like joining a vibrant culinary innovation lab, where a team of dynamic young chefs is experimenting nightly with fermentation, foam and plant-based Philippine ingredients to create eight-course evening menus. The dining area, which is lined with shelves crammed with jars of pickling ingredients, opens right into the kitchen and a constant view of the courses in preparation. As the focus is on seasonal products and Filipino techniques, illustrative dishes are the catfish hito or poached chicken breast in coconut milk and clam sauce.

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interior of a fine dining restaurant with white table cloths and forest green seating with glamorous bar on view in background


Now a Makati gourmet go-to, Metronome was opened by one of the Philippine’s most celebrated female chefs, Miko Calo, just before the country’s long Covid lockdown. Calo studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris before spending many years working at Atelier Joel Robuchon, including opening the famous French chef’s outpost in Singapore. Her first Philippine gourmet foray is a sleek contemporary brasserie, where she serves her modern take on French cuisine. Located in Legazpi Village, the intimate space was designed by Noel Bernardo with teal blue banquettes and an Art Deco-style marble bar. Not only does Calo work with local ingredients but she also highlights artisans like local bakeries (the Daily Knead and Manila Bake) who make mini-baguettes and multigrain sourdough for her bread baskets and the last fine bone china maker in the Philippines who crafted the exquisite sea urchin-shaped bowls to serve her remarkable fresh uni with orzo, uni sabayon and bonito foam as well as the elongated tub that cradles her divine dark chocolate mousse with crème Chantilly. Filipino French fusion at its finest.

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The Wholesome Table

When a break from heavy Filipino food appeals, there's The Wholesome Table. Read Indagare's review.
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Toyo Eatery

Manila’s most exciting new restaurant opened in 2016 and is already a game-changer in Philippine haute cuisine.

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