Things to do in Makati: Eating

When I first arrived in Makati, I was struck by just how many restaurants there are.  It’s not like some of the other Asian cities I’ve been to where there is lots of street food, hawker stalls and hole-in-the-wall type restaurants.  I’m talking about proper restaurants.  And a really international selection.

Perhaps this is because Makati is the main financial centre in Metro Manila.  It’s not entirely representative of the rest of the Metro.  But this is where we live and work, so this is where we spend most of our time.

Within Makati there are at least 3 BIG malls – Glorietta, Greenbelt & Powerplant.  Within each of these malls there are countless restaurants representing cuisine from all over the world.  Often these are chains, either national or international.  With lots of fast food choices.

Outside of the malls, particularly within Salcedo Village, Legaspi Village and the area around Burgos Street there are numerous other restaurants.  The restaurants found here tend to be independent and a bit more interesting.

There is a great website, which gives details of local restaurants including, sometimes, a full menu.  This is really useful as most restaurants don’t seem to have their own websites.

We’ve eaten at Japanese, Korean, Italian, North African, Spanish, Middle Eastern, Indian, Thai, American, Vietnamese, Mexican, Serbian & Filipino restaurants.  Generally, the quality of food is decent (some better than others).  But sometimes it’s just a bit sweet, or a bit greasy.  The service isn’t quite up to European or American standards – the most common grumble being that food is just served when it’s ready.  If you’re part of a big-ish party, this can sometimes mean that the first person has finished eating before the last person’s food has even arrived.  And the costs are far below what we’d pay in the UK.  Generally, a meal for 2 in a decent restaurant, with drinks is almost always less than £15.

Particular favourites are:

  1. Spudoo (for lunch) which is found in the RCBC office block.  Spudoo serves what is probably best described as ‘comfort food’.  Roast lamb, spare ribs, lasagne, salads, great sandwiches, baked potatoes etc.
  2. Balkan (Serbian food) which is on Perea Street in Legaspi Village serves delicious food, but the bread rolls in particular stand out.  Really good bread isn’t easy to find here.
  3. People’s Palace (Thai food) in Greenbelt is excellent, serving authentic tasting Thai.
  4. Tsukiji (Japanese) which is on Pasay Road, almost directly opposite our apartment block.  A bit more expensive than some of the others but really really good quality.

During the working week, there are also Jolly Jeeps, which are a bit like the trailers you get at the side of the road in the UK serving breakfast rolls, hamburgers etc.  Jolly Jeeps display their available, ready-cooked, dishes of the day for punters to pick and choose.  They’re then served on plastic-bag covered plates, and the punters will stand at the counter wolfing down their food before making way for next-in-line.

I’ve only been brave enough to try the banana-cue and banana turon from the Jolly Jeeps.   Both of these are local specialties which tend to be served as merienda or an afternoon snack.  Banana-cue is 2 small bananas, on a kebab stick, covered in sugar and fried.  Banana turon  is banana, wrapped in a pastry case similar to a spring roll, covered in sugar and fried.  Both frighteningly healthy.  But who cares about the health properties when they’re so tasty!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *