Of all the cuisines that we love eating, Filipino food is on the top of the list. This is our food, our heritage, and our flavors that make every dish a delight and a joy to eat every time.
You can cook your favorite Filipino dishes at home, but there are just some dishes that are just not as good as those who have made it their signature dish. That’s why many are willing to order it! Many Filipino restaurants have become famous for certain dishes on their menu but there are dishes from each one that has garnered a special spot in our hearts. Here are a few of our favorite classic Filipino restaurants that serve classic Filipino dishes done right and done deliciously well.
The Aristocrat Restaurant: Chicken Barbecue
When it came to hosting birthday parties, anniversaries, and other gatherings, this was the place in Manila that could do it all and it goes without saying that you should order the chicken barbecue. The sticky, sweet barbecue marinade made the perfectly charred chicken instantly irresistible. To make it much more appetizing was the pairing of the chicken with the java sauce and java rice. The java sauce was a sweet and savory peanut sauce while the java rice was a bowl of brilliant yellow-hued rice. Plus, you can’t leave the party without having a bite of their equally delicious good chocolate cake, which you can buy by the slice.
Via Mare: Bibingka
You can’t think of seafood without thinking of Via Mare and its oyster bar. Meaning the “way of the sea”, this fine-dining seafood restaurant was the place to dine in at the height of its popularity and hosted many state functions because of its trailblazing modern takes on Filipino food.
While the oyster bar is the innovative twist that draws seafood lovers, it’s the bibingka that steals the show for many Filipino food fans and makes this place truly famous in their hearts. Super tender and flavorful and made the way it should be with two burning layers of charcoal on top and bottom, the bibingka of Via Mare is the perfectly balanced blend of sweet and salty. It’s just one of Via Mare’s delicious native kakanin.
Via Mare is located on Ground Floor, Greenbelt 1, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City and is available for take-out and online delivery. Visit the Via Mare website, Facebook, and Instagram pages for a list of branches and more information.
MilkyWay Café: Halo-Halo
This café started out as an ice cream parlor and was known for its wide range of ice creams and unique local flavors including the ube ice cream and buko lechias sherbet. While it morphed into a full restaurant with a new menu which still includes its equally famous chicken asparagus sandwich and other Kapampangan cuisine, the halo-halo is still the well-loved favorite many look to enjoy.
Classic Savory: Fried Chicken
When it comes to fried chicken, many restaurants may come to mind but before fried chicken was considered fast food, this humble Filipino-Chinese fried chicken place was making a name for itself among those living in Binondo.
A deceptively simple fried chicken, you needed a taste of the crispy skin and succulent meat to know that this isn’t your usual chicken. Chinese spices combine with the chicken to create a flavor profile that’s unique and delicious that made its taste a classic.
Bistro Remedios: Crispy Tadyang “D Original”
If you ever dined in, the dishes on the menu as well as the ambiance takes you back to the times of your lola and her fantastic home cooking. Bistro Remedios specializes in Kapampangan dishes and there is one dish that is so good, it’s been given dubbed “original”.
The tadyang, or beef ribs, is treated to a special marinade that when deep-fried, becomes super crispy beef ribs. Dip it in the vinegar and enjoy it with the atsara to help cut through its rich taste. It’s either this that you look for or the Knockout Knuckles, also known as the crispy pata, that will have you hooked.
Romulo Café: Boneless Crispy Pata Binagoongan
Modern Filipino food means new ways of serving classic dishes. It might be a new or unique cooking method that results in an even better dish than traditionally or a new way to prepare it so its presentation is fabulous and even more appetizing. Romulo Café is one of those Filipino restaurants that cater to the new Pinoy diner while still delivering the taste that made its heirloom recipes so well loved.
One of its innovative dishes is the Boneless Crispy Pata Binagoongan. It’s not just the lure of the crispy pata that makes this so mouth-watering but the bagoong makes this sinfully flavorful, too. The marriage of crispy, sticky-chewy yet juicy meat and the burst of salty shrimp paste is one you shouldn’t miss.
Romulo Café is located on 148 Jupiter Street corner Comet, Bel-Air Village, Makati City and are available for take-out and online delivery. Visit Romulo Café website, Facebook, and Instagram for a list of other branches and more information.
Manam: House Crispy Sisig
Sisig isn’t the first dish that comes to mind when it comes to dining out for Filipino food but for Manam, it’s the dish that makes Filipino food lovers will come back again and again (and they do).
Just like the newer Filipino restaurants, modern Filipino cuisine is the theme of Manam but not all dishes need a twist to be appetizing. The dishes are undeniably delicious and sometimes, even nostalgic. The House Crispy Sisig is a classic dish that doesn’t need twists to make it a fan favorite among its diners. It’s a simple dish done well and delivers it on a platter with no fuss.
Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!
Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.