5 Restaurants That Offer Off-The-Menu Experiences
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5 Restaurants That Offer Off-The-Menu Experiences

While we normally envision menus as a semi-permanent affair, that’s certainly not the case for fine dining establishments. Even as the type of person who googles menus in advance, there’s something thrilling about not knowing what’s in store. The results may vary, of course, but more often than not, a seasonal menu rewards you with new gastronomic experiences that come from the creative minds of Manila’s best chefs and the country’s freshest ingredients. We list down some of our favorite establishments with seasonal menus:

1. Ninyo Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge, Quezon City

Image via Ninyo Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge’s Facebook Page

In light of the pandemic, Ninyo has taken to overhaul the way they do business. They are now a restaurant that operates with zero food waste. Expect delightful alternatives and witness brand new, creative ways of preparing food that’s not only great for you but for the planet as well.

Image via Ninyo Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge’s Facebook Page

Their current menu, as with all their menus, is a blend of European-Asian fusion cuisine. It features dishes like the Indian pani puri with a foie gras mousse, soy pickled hijiki, vinegar pickled harame, crispy kani, seasonal greens, sesame dressing; seaweed salad with wakame; smoked duck breast with umeboshi glaze, duck jus, carrot purée, asparagus, raspberry veil, tomato confit, onion petals; and rack of lamb marinated with miso, lamb jus, pickled cauliflower, eggplant purée, quinoa salsa, and squid ink chips.

2. Metiz, Makati

Image via Metiz’s Facebook Page

Filipino-French chef Stephan Duhesme proudly sources local ingredients. In working with what he knows, he has managed to create whimsically unique dishes using fermented foods and an absolute love for vinegar.

Image via Metiz’s Facebook Page

His current seasonal menu showcases this in spades with dishes like the Ike-jime(fied) lapu-lapu from Batangas, an incredible piece of fish that was rested for seven days, scored, sprayed with lambanog and grilled until crisp. It also includes a halo-halo inspired dessert with charcoal grilled corn and muscovado cake glazed with a fermented corn caramel above an ube halaya diplomate, Dikay leaf ice cream, and nata de coco for a photo finish.

3. Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Image via Tahanan Bistro’s website

Dine on inventive Filipino cuisine in a house that was built with 100% reclaimed wood from salvaged houses and bridges all over the Philippines, also known as designer and woodworker Benji Reyes’ home.

Image via Tahanan Bistro’s website

Located in Antipolo, the family-run business aims to give diners the feel of home. Their menu is made up of dishes inspired by local Philippine produce that changes with the seasons (or simply, every three months). They currently offer three set meals, each with their own versions of pininyahang manok, bistek tagalog, and binagoongan, with staples like danggit and a seasonal fruit popsicle to punctuate the meal. Dietary sets for vegetarians and pescatarians are also available.

4. Mecha Uma, BGC

Image via Mecha Uma’s Facebook Page

The clue is in the name. Mecha Uma means “absurdly delicious”, and they surely do their best to deliver. The brainchild of Chef Bruce Ricketts and Moment Group is serving up the fancier side of Japanese cuisine mixed with the same kind of eccentricity that they pour into all of their brands.

Image via Mecha Uma’s Facebook Page

Unlike most, Mecha Uma actually offers to-go boxes, with their current menu featuring the newly-returned Toro Don, Oyster, Foie Gras Nitsuke Bento, the Premium Chirashi, and more. Bentos are available from Wednesday to Sunday, and customers are encouraged to order a day ahead.

5. Toyo Eatery, Makati

Image via Toyo Eatery’s Facebook Page

Toyo Eatery made history as part of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, and they show no signs of slowing down. Everything from the restaurant’s name, interiors, and food is inspired by Philippine culture and flavors, providing a very unique and creative seasonal menu.

Image via Toyo Eatery’s Facebook Page

Proudly Filipino Chef Jordy Navarra offers something new every time you come round, whether it’s the full six-course menu, or a la carte. Panaderya Toyo is also just nearby with its sensational selection of Filipino bread and dips.

Still uncomfortable about going out? Create your own seasonal menu from the comfort of your own home. Enjoy making seasonal menu items with Ally Madamba’s Travel With Your Tasebuds: Europe Edition or Franco Saycon’s 36-Hour Adobo, exclusively on SHOOR.

Kiko Baraquel

Kiko Baraquel

Kiko Baraquel is a content lead for SHOOR. His daily pursuits include anything football, fashion and music. When he’s not seaside, you can be sure to find him in-game on one of his many multiplayer platforms.
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