Lechon Diva's picks: Best 2019 restaurants to try in 2020
Dedet De La Fuente (Philstar.com) - January 6, 2020 - 8:17am

Here is a list of restaurants I enjoyed visiting the most for 2019 and what we always order in each restaurant. I hope you can try them for the new year.


At Fort Strip, BGC. Cash only.

With my mommy friends at ShaoLongKan

ShaoLongKan is a new hotpot restaurant at BGC located between Ogawa and K-Pub. It’s my favorite hotpot place—it can rival my favorite Elixir Hotpot in Taipei.

You can choose up to two kinds of soup and my favorite soup is the Butter & Pork Ribs Mushroom pot. I guess anything with butter will always be No. 1 for me. The two other soup base are Butter and Chicken Mushroom Pot & the Spicy Soup which I heard is good! A milder version is also available.

What I add to the hotpot :

  1. Tendon. When it becomes so soft after a long boil, it's yummy to eat.
  2. Taro. After boiling for a long time, it helps make the broth a little thicker and I love eating really soft taro—at least two orders!
  3. Pumpkin.
  4. Shrimp paste. It's softer and fresher than shrimp balls.
  5. Bicho bicho, the Chinese donut. It absorbs the flavor of the soup if you dip it for a few minutes

My friends love adding different balls: lobster, fish, mushroom, etc.  It’s like a “meatball surprise” because there is a tasty filling inside each ball.

There is a dipping sauce station with 25 condiments. You can mix together the different sauces and ingredients you want. You can also follow the this recipe for your own dipping sauce:

  1. Sesame paste
  2. Fresh garlic
  3. Ground peanuts - lots of this!
  4. Beef paste or oyster sauce
  5. Sugar
  6. Sesame oil - lots of this so the sauce will be pasty wet
  7. Spring onions
  8. Cilantro

The best time to go is for lunch on weekdays since it's not too crowded.  


At Rockwell

The last time we ate in Amano, a few days before Christmas, I noticed our favorite dishes just got better! We were told by the mom-and-son team of Margarita and Amado Fores made a few adjustments on some dishes, so now the really good just got even better!

  1. Focaccia bread. One is never enough. I suggest you order this as soon as you sit because it takes a while to cook. It’s like the thinnest crust pizza sandwich with a good amount of cheese. SARAP!
  2. Buttered chicken. Tender and flavorful chicken served on a sizzling plate drowning with melted butter.  
  3. Ravioli with buttered saje
  4. Ravioli with egg yolk

Goto Tendon

At BGC beside Starbucks drive thru

Sizzling Goto and the Goto Tendon

I first tasted Goto Tendon in their Greenhills branch last year.  It was love at first slurp! I am so happy they opened their BGC branch near the Starbucks drive thru very recently.

1. Goto. With extra crunchy garlic please!
2. Sizzling tendon. OMG! This is so good.

George Town Super Steak

At One Bonifacio High Street Mall, BGC

Here's George Town Super Steak's Half-slab Baby Back Ribs which I took with my tennies friends.

George Town Super Steak just opened a few months ago by George Pua who also owns Tony Roma’s, which as we know, served the best baby back ribs in Manila years ago. It is no surprise that those mouthwatering ribs will make a reincarnation at his newest venture.

You can choose from three different sauces for the baby back ribs. When I ate with my friendes, Michelle and Pao, we all chose different sauces and were very happy with our very tender baby back ribs.

Here's a tip: We asked to taste the sauces before we decided what sauce we will order with our baby back ribs.  hey have the original, spicy and sweet sauce.

Manpuku Steakhouse

At Makati Cinema Square

Manpuku's Salmon Aburi and Steamed Wagyu
With little Pepita at Manpuku

My Little Pepita is a steak lover so I am happy to have rediscovered this gem of a restaurant on basement 2 of Makati Cinema Square. It’s just right beside the Bingo Bonanza area and very easy to find. It’s a very small restaurant and is always filled with Japanese clients.

They supply Japanese steak to many hotels and restaurants in Manila, so their price is more affordable than the usual wagyu restaurants. They also serve other Japanese dishes like tempura, unagi, sushi, etc.

Our favorites are :

  1. Steamed Wagyu. At first I was hesitant to order this because I could not imagine thinly sliced wagyu being steamed, but I am so happy we did! It's a MUST whenever we go to Manpuku. The taste is so clean and the meat is made more tender because of the way it's been cooked.
  2. Stone Grilled Wagyu Steak
  3. Wagyu Rice
  4. Dragon Roll. My favorite unagi roll.
  5. Salmon Aburi. According to Little Pepita, Manpuku serves the second best salmon aburi after Inagiku.


At Milky Way Bldg., Pasay Road, Makati
This is a great go-to Thai place as it's never too noisy, food is consistently good and parking is never a problem. It's my favorite spot for lunch MEATings.

I suggest you try:

  1. Binagoongan Rice
  2. Steamed Sea Bass with Lime
  3. Green Curry Chicken
  4. Phad Thai


At Greenbelt 5

Lusso's Spinach Taglierini and Duck Confit

We enjoy going to Lusso for dinner.  Dining here is very relaxing and service is always the best.

Don't skip:

  1. Spinach Taglierini
  2. Truffle Chips
  3. Foie Gras Sandwich
  4. Duck confit. It is best with the dressing of the salad on the side.

Makati Supermarket


Happy childhood memories comes back each time I eat Makati Supermarket’s spaghetti.

I usually order one regular spaghetti with extra sauce on the side. The more sauce, the better!

Hong Kong Master Cook

Dampa along Macapagal. Cash only.
(There is also a Hong Kong Master Chef, which is a different restaurant altogether.)

With my dive buddies at Dampa’s Hong Kong Master Cook

When at Dampa Macapagal, we only go to Hong Kong Master Cook, which is always crowded on peak hours, so it's best to go on off hours.

  1. Sweet and Sour Lapu Lapu
  2. Crabs in Salted Egg sauce. It has sticky buttery yummy sauce !
  3. Fried Chicken. Even I was surprised it was so good!
  4. Chong Qing Lapu Lapu. The fish is cooked in a special broth with lots of Asian flavors. This dish is usually spicy, but you can always ask for a mild version like I do.

Tao Yuan

At Resorts World or Ermita

Tao Yuan is an old favorite that we never tire of ordering from.

  1. Fish Head Curry. I always ask for extra tofu for curly Pepita and extra okra for me.
  2. Cereal only. No prawns! It’s the perfect combination: crunchy cereal with fish head curry! Yum! I usually get three to four orders of cereal only per order of fish head curry.
  3. Laksa. Their perfectly seasoned broth and the most tender noodle make this my favorite Laksa.
  4. Taro Nest with seafood and vegetables. Best eaten in the restaurant so the taro nest will still be crunchy.


“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” George Elliot

Wishing you all a New Decade filled with much happiness, enormous opportunities and enough pixie dust to make the what seems impossible possible! — Video editing by Efigenio Toledo IV

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