The year is off to a great start with new restaurant and bar openings and re-openings, of established local concepts and imported brands alike—including two as yet unconfirmed concepts slated to open in Manila from a famed Tagaytay-based chef. While we’re waiting for more news, here’s our confirmed list of what has just opened or is sure to open in the next few months.
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OPENING THIS JANUARY
Molito Lifestyle Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa, Instagram @cangrejoslocosmnl
Chef Robby Goco’s name may be synonymous with Greek cuisine thanks to his successful Greek concepts, Cyma and Souv. But this January, he decided to go Spanish with Cangregos Locos (which is Spanish for crazy crabs), a new paella and crabs restaurant concept in Molito, Alabang. Goco is also scheduled to open two new concepts later this year in El Nido, Palawan, as well as open more Cyma branches in Ayala Mall Manila Bay and Robinson’s Magnolia.
39 Malingap Street, Teacher’s Village, Quezon City, Instagram @pinorestoph
This Maginhawa Street pioneer (they began in 2008), has recently reopened at 39 Malingap Street in Quezon City, is Chef Ed Bugia’s first baby. It is where you can still indulge in his approachable take on traditional Filipino dishes that includes his bestselling Kare-kare Bagnet. Pino closed after a decade last April 2019 for a much-needed break (a.k.a. renovations) and re-opened in time for the new year. It is now ready to serve you again, with some new dishes to boot.
Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory Café
Ayala Malls Manila Bay Parañaque and Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons Pasig, Instagram @tokyomilkcheesefactoryph
Japanese import Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory collaborated with Bryan Tiu’s I-Foods Group (who brought in the former to the country) to open the first ever Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory Café in the world. The first branch opened this month at Ayala Malls Manila Bay, followed soon after with a second store in Estancia Mall in Capitol Commons. The café features an all-original menu filled with both savory and sweet delights made from ingredients sourced from Japan, including must-tries like the 12-Hour Short Rib Sandwich, fluffy Japanese pancakes, and flaky milk pies filled with Hokkaido milk cream.
5382 General Luna Street, Poblacion, Makati, Instagram @anejo.mnl
Award-winning tequilas, anyone? 🥇 How about some mezcal, sotol, or raicilla? . We’re slowly stocking up our shelves with some awesome bottles. If you have any agave requests, shoot us a message and we’ll do our best to have it in store. 😉 . . . #poblacion #bar #agavebar #tequilabar #craftedcocktails #cocktails #friends #agavecocktails #tequilacocktails #agave #tequila #mezcal #anejo #hangout #amigos
This new Poblacion watering hole aims to give tequila a good name, located at a cozy corner spot in a building dominated by laundromats.
104 Aguirre Street, Legazpi Village, Makati, Instagram @bartenfour
This new Legazpi Village bar located on the ground floor of Somerset has that neighborly, friendly vibe that will lure you in, along with mean cocktails that may just make you stay way past the happy hour traffic.
5883 Enriquez Street, Poblacion, Makati, Instagram @oto.ph
This old Poblacion favorite, which garnered the number 47 spot on last year’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, just re-opened at a new and bigger space right across its old spot on Enriquez Street, right under Lampara restaurant.
Kiwa, the fine dining Korean restaurant at Solaire, is all set to open a more casual sibling at nearby Ayala Malls Manila Bay.
Chef Margarita Fores’s luxe comfort haven is all set to go north and open a much bigger Lusso, complete with a bar, at The Podium by April, while the Greenbelt branch is gearing up to expand by the third quarter of 2020.
After 13 years and three branches, the Mamou group is now getting set to open a new flagship branch at The Podium that will feature dishes not available at the older branches.
The Nippon Hasha restaurant group (owner of everyone’s favorite local ramen joints Yushoken and Mendokoro) is planning to open a new concept called Marudori in 8 Rockwell that will specialize in Tori Paitan Ramen. A new Mendokoro ramen bar branch is also scheduled to open near the Mall of Asia before the year ends.
After its first branch at City of Dreams, Ruby Jack’s steakhouse is set to open its second branch later this year at the Ayala Triangle.
Opening by the end of February at the second floor of Resorts World Manila’s grand wing is a branch of the famed Sun Kitchen of Melbourne. Recently awarded the Herald Sun’s Delicious Top 100 Restaurants, this Cantonese restaurant will feature a stylish contemporary setting complete with private dining spaces. It will offer a wide array of fine wines and premium spirits from around the world to complement its menu of Cantonese classics such as Imperial Treasure Seafood Claypot, as well as fresh seafood offerings like Wok-fried Lobster with E-fu Noodles in Superior Broth.
Argentine-based chef with Kapampangan roots, Christina Sunae, has partnered with the Nikkei group to open a Manila branch of her highly-rated Cantina Sunae in Buenos Aires, known for featuring Southeast Asian flavors with Latin American influences. She’s coming back to her roots with this restaurant slated to open in Bonifacio Global City this March.
Located in Bonifacio Global City beside SM Aura, the new dusitD2 The Fort Manila is scheduled to open at least four more dining outlets this year that will include its signature Thai restaurant called Tanom to feature an innovative take on authentic street/comfort food-type Thai cuisine.
Instagram @txokoasador @barpintxos
Looks like the Bar Pintxos restaurant group has their hands full this year with Bar Pintxos expanding to Cebu and Greenbelt 5 this January. But what I’m most excited about is the opening of their newest concept, a Spanish asador called Txoko in Legazpi Village, Makati with a Spanish chef at the helm, currently getting ready to open by early February. The restaurant group’s small plates pop-up concept called Kutxara is also set to take over the Bar Pintxos Salcedo slot come April, as Bar Pintxos Salcedo moves to a more central Salcedo Village location near Wildflour Salcedo and Elbert’s Pizzeria.
This world famous Japanese concept that is best known for its Wagyu cutlet sandwiches or katsu sando is scheduled to open this year at the World Finance Center in Bonifacio Global City, right beside Wildflour Italian.
Wildflour Café + Bakery
Instagram @wildflourmanila @pinksmanila
The Wildflour group continues its expansion plans this year with new branches opening at Uptown Ritz, Greenbelt 3 (the former Café Havana spot), and SM Mall of Asia. Also, the group’s LA-based hotdog and burger concept, Pink’s, will soon open its second branch at The Podium.
Save your tastebuds for our Kampai Sour~ this earthy drink always keeps us coming back for more. Bourbon based & garnished with edamame, we know you’ll be coming back for more too! 🥃 this and more soon! #KampaiPh #waitforit . . . #poblacion #tgif #thecomeback #makatinightlife #poblacionnightlife #wheninmakati #whenimanila #cocktails
One of Poblacion’s pioneer bars finds a new spot on the northern side of Kalayaan Avenue and is now getting ready to re-open beside Agimat Bar this February.
Destileria Limtuaco’s Aaron Aw is set to open a new cocktail bar that will feature historical and classic Filipino cocktail recipes around the second quarter of 2020 in Poblacion.
Wildflour photo by Ocs Alvarez courtesy of FOOD Magazine