10 memorable restaurants in 2014

Categories Food

One thing that I really like about travel is this: getting to know more of a place through food or experiencing good comfort food. 2014 has been a good year and I’ve been to several restaurants and food places across the country. Although I should say that Cebu is shaping up to be a food destination, based on the restaurants included here.

The food is great and highly recommended in this list of top 10 memorable restaurants that I’ve been to. Check this out!

La Patisserie's different pastries and cakes makes for a fitting ending to a great buffet experience
At Spiral’s La Patisserie atelier (Manila)

1 Spiral

Spiral, is, no contest, the best buffet restaurant in Manila and with its 21 dining ateliers, you are in for a wonderful gastronomic experience. It has an extensive cheese and premium aged ham selection at the L’Epicerie, interesting French regional cuisine at the French Stove or fresh, delectable seafood of lobsters, prawns, crabs and oysters at the L’Ecailler. And many more. But you have to be prepared and calculating (or come back again) to fully appreciate what Spiral has to offer.

READ MORE: Manila’s best buffet is a destination in itself and 10 dining ateliers I love at Spiral

La Piadina
Crepelle Di Ricotta, Funghi E Carne Macinata (Crepe with ricotta cheese, mushroom and minced meat) is a new dish from La Piadina (Makati City)

2 La Piadina (Makati City)

Chef Giorgio Matera is a master at Italian cuisine and it is with this that the new menu he created for La Piadina is one of the best I’ve tasted. The Risotto ai Funghi e Olio di Tartufo (Italian style rice with fresh mushrooms, parmesan cheese and truffle oil) was especially good. Arborio rice plump with earthy flavor is silky. The Crepelle Di Ricotta, Funghi E Carne Macinata (Crepe with ricotta cheese, mushroom and minced meat) was delectable. And eight other new dishes are sure to make you want for more of his food.

READ MORE: Sumptuous, unforgettable Italian food at La Piadina

Irie Gastropubliko’s Classic Angus handcrafted burger is one of the best there is (Cebu City)

3 Irie Gastropubliko (Cebu City)

Irie is one of those restaurants that has both good food, great atmosphere and reasonable price that at first, you can’t believe these are all coming together in this gastropub. Have you’re share of handcrafted angus burger, the Fat Bastard is sure to sate your craving for good comfort (and lard goodness) food. The deconstructed New York cheesecake is interesting and unforgettable. The interior also is tops.

READ MORE: Memorable food experience at a gastropub in Cebu

Bringhe at Circa 1900 (Cebu City)
Bringhe at Circa 1900 (Cebu City)

4 Circa 1900 (Cebu City)

A good example of adaptive reuse of a heritage mansion owned by one of the elites in Cebu. The house, built at the turn of the century, thus Circa 1900, is home to this beautiful restaurant. But beyond its interiors and history, Circa 1900 has great comfort fusion food that you would not want to miss. I had a great time savoring such dishes as the smoked marlin salad, got intrigued with the ravioli which eating it is an experience in itself. The bringhe was a layered tour de force, a solid take on flavors, textures and taste.

READ MORE: Good food at an old house, new space in Cebu

Bresaola of beef at El Viento Restaurant and Pool Bar (Cebu City)
Bresaola of beef at El Viento Restaurant and Pool Bar (Cebu City)

5 El Viento Restaurant and Pool Bar (Cebu City)

Marco Polo Cebu Plaza Hotel is known for its award winning (Miele Guide) Cafe Marco restaurant for its sumptuous buffet. But Another F&B outlet, El Viento by the pool has exciting offerings as well. Food is ala carte but the quality, the taste and experience is just memorable. I had a great time with the medley of flavors with the Bresaola of Beef salad with poached pears, a respectable vegetarian thin crust pizza that is done good. But it was the pizza burger that really shone and a must try.

READ MORE: Memorable food, al fresco at a luxury hotel in Cebu

Soy chicken of Chop Chop Food Center (Cebu City)
Soy chicken of Chop Chop Food Center (Cebu City)

6 Chop Chop Food Center (Cebu City)

One of the best char kway teow I’ve tasted! Chop Chop Food Center is Singapore style hawker food in Cebu, a first. Opened by Chef Vance Borja, who worked in Singapore for three years, it uses only fresh ingredients and condiments that are sourced from that country. It has a respectable number of equally flavorful dishes that fulfills you’re craving for good hawker fare.

READ MORE: Finally, Singapore hawker style food in Cebu! And its really good!

Panangitan at Six Sisters Food (Tagbilaran City)
Panangitan at Six Sisters Food (Tagbilaran City)

7 Six Sisters Food

It came highly recommended by a friend in Tagbilaran City and Six Sisters Food carinderia really doesn’t disappoint. Although it’s located a distance from the city proper, lunches are always full. Panangitan, stewed fatty eel in gata (coconut milk) is a must try as well as the gelatinous, melt in your mouth balbacua. The eatery is also known for its fried chicken (available in half or whole) and yummy, tender caldereta.

READ MORE: Delicious home cooked meals in a Bohol carinderia

Okoy ra Sinarapan at Lake Buhi Resort (Buhi, Camarines Sur)
Okoy ra Sinarapan at Lake Buhi Resort (Buhi, Camarines Sur)

8 Lake Buhi Resort (Buhi, Camarines Sur)

Tucked in one of Lake Buhi’s edges is Lake Buhi Resort. And you would not expect that this beautiful provincial resort serves good homecooked Bicol cuisine with a bent on local Buhi dishes. The ginisang sinarapan (sinarapan is one of the smallest fishes in the world and only thrive in one or two lakes in the area) is a must, the ninatkan na laing is another version of the popular Bicol food. Try these and some local dessert and you would swear Bicolanos really knows what good food is.

READ MORE: Good Bikolano food at Lake Buhi Resort

Chili crabs of Inato Lang Restaurant in Dapitan City (Zamboanga del Norte)

9 Inato Lang Restaurant (Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte)

If it’s good seafood you crave, Inato Lang Restaurant in Dapitan City is highly recommended. I love their chili crabs, the garlic prawns are sumptuous, the crispy pata is great and there’s a lot of seafood, vegetable and meat dishes in a setting that is scenic. Located along the Liboran River and in a native hut style, it’s provincial dining at its best.

READ MORE: Delicious food at Inato Lang in Dapitan City

The fresh lumpia or lumpiang sariwa with its delicate wrap swimming in sauce
The fresh lumpia or lumpiang sariwa of Busy Bee (Zamboanga City)

10 Busy Bee (Zamboanga City)

Busy Bee is one of two carinderias, local eatery, in this list. A nondescript shack along Gov. Camins Ave. (beside the airport), its the best place for a hot bowl of arroz caldo and good fresh lumpia. Depending on you, these two unlikely pair can be a meal (with the full bowl) or as a merienda, snack, with a smaller serving of arroz caldo. The two are delicious, cheap and sating.

READ MORE: The best arroz caldo and fresh lumpia in Zamboanga City

Stan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London).

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. Open for work, collaborations and inquiries for site features.

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