5 cool food and drink places in Manila

Malaysian Airlines marketing manager for London and Ireland, Bettina Walsh, a Filipina who lives in London but often travels to Manila, shares her list of favorite food and drink spots in the city


Flame, Makati

"Flame at Discovery Primea – a five-star hotel in Ayala Avenue –offers modern European flavors with an Asian twist. It’s on the 16th floor with a panoramic view of the Makati skyline. Gorgeous in the evenings.”
Visit Flame, tel +632 955 8888

Bank Bar, Bonifacio Global City


Enter through a door in 7-Eleven #BankBar #Speakeasy #HubabHoliday #HubabDoesPhilippines #HiddenBar

A photo posted by Hubab Hood (@hubabhood) on


“A great vibe and I love that you access the bar through a 7/11 store, past security guards and through a door to a storeroom, before getting to the bar itself.” Bank Bar is an intimate speakeasy-inspired joint with an enviable selection of liquor including absinthe, aquavit, sake, single malts, and perhaps the biggest choice of cocktails in town. The seats at the bar are the best, perfect for people-watching or chatting with the bartenders."
G/F RCBC Corporate Center (inside 7/11), 25th & 26th Streets, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, tel +632 801 4862.

À Table Gourmet by Dulce Gibb, Makati  
A Table Gourmet's Dulce Gibb does a good job of bringing Philippine flavors to the table

“If you are a big group looking for a special out-of-this-world private dining experience, you won’t find much better than the gorgeous penthouse flat of Filipina chef Dulce Magat-Gibb, in Salcedo Village, Makati. Give her your brief and she can work wonders producing an exclusive lunch or dinner. I asked her for ‘Filipino with a Twist’ and she served inventive and mega delicious dishes such as calamansi scones, melt-in-your-mouth pork belly, grilled tuna cooked in kare-kare sauce, and inasal-coconut rice topped with crispy lapad fish and fried peanuts. I took friends from the UK including the London foodie blogger Luiz Hara and they all said it was the highlight of their trip to the Philippines.” Dulce-Magat Gibb used to be executive chef at Via Mare, the popular Filipino café-restaurant that has several branches around Manila." Visit A Table Gourmet, tel+63917 862 1800

From left, Bettina Walsh, Dulce Gibb, and Terri Olan Reyes at Gibb's penthouse flat in Makati, the setting for Gibb's A Table Gourmet's private dining experience, an intimate alternative to restaurants

Ogawa, Bonifacio Global City



A photo posted by jantapiagono (@jantapiagono) on


“Fantastic, authentic Japanese food with loads of opportunity for celebrity spotting, from Imelda Marcos, Manny Pacquiao, Noynoy Aquino, the actor Richard Gomez and British domestic goddess Nigella Lawson.”
Visit Ogawa, tel +643 886 4994

The Bon Bon Club, Makati


Best find of the year with a comprehensive selection of gin-based drinks ????

A photo posted by Cai M (@sighcai) on

"The newish Bon Bon Club in Makati is the country’s first gin specialty bar, featuring more than 50 different types of gin from all over the world and bartenders in lab coats. After all, back in the day gin was created for medicinal purposes. Ladies will love the Madam Geneva, made with pomelo, Ungava dry gin and aloe vera. For something with a bit more kick, try the Dr. Sylvius, which uses gin infused with black pepper, plus lemongrass and ginger ale. Prices range from P300-P450. Bon Bon is run by the same people behind the equally cool Finders Keepers (off Chico Roces Avenue in Makati)."
Visit The Bon Bon Club, G/F 16 Tropical Palms, Gallardo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City, tel +632 801 4840. Open Monday to Saturday

-Interview by Giselle Dalton

Originally published in InFlight Traveller December 2016 to February 2017. Updated December 2016