The Jelly List: Top Metro Manila Restaurants for your Valentine’s Day Date

What? It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow you haven’t decided on where to take your beloved yet?!?

Oh, honey

Let your Tita Jellybeans share with you my top picks among the metro’s restaurants to serve as the romantic setting for your intimate get-together for two.

How did I come by this list? Well, to narrow down the choices, here are the criteria I used:

  • The resto should be away from the madding crowd so it can sustain an intimate and romantic mood. I recommend establishments situated away from the crowded malls frenetic with the Valentine’s Day (and payday) rush.
  • The resto should have well-appointed interiors, because special moments deserve special settings.
  • Most importantly, the resto should offer great food. I’m sure you know that food is oftentimes used as the language of love (it is one of mine!). Nourishing our beloveds with something that pleases their senses makes for a memorable time together. (And if the resto has a special Valentine’s Day offer, all the better.

Valentine’s Day is the time to go all-out on romance and spoil that special someone with good food and a good time. Check out the restos that made it to this month’s Jelly List for your date on Valentine’s Day.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel was opened in 2016 by Chefs Ariel and Mia Manuel of Lolo Dad’s. It is a quiet establishment, almost hidden being situated away from Poblacion’s more casual (and noisier) bars and restaurants.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Here, diners can look forward to a fine-dining experience featuring award-winning culinary masterpieces.

A real treat to the taste buds is the Lolo Dad’s Baked Oysters in which each oyster is accompanied by delicate angel hair pasta under a layer of melted cheese, and accompanied with a cube of foie gras.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

This week, diners can enjoy a special five-course Valentine’s menu featuring the resto’s signature takes on European cuisine for just Php1,980 per person (+10% service charge).

Bistro Manuel is located at Second Floor, Six Axis Center, 4347 B. Valdez Street, Poblacion, Makati City, open daily from 11am to 2pm and from 6pm to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 88718566, +63 926 7341067 or +63 998 3423566.

Read more about Bistro Manuel here.

Sammy’s, Cainta

Sammy’s is a rustic restaurant tucked away in one of the inner subdivisions in Valley Golf, Cainta.

Its decor is a cross between rustic and industrial with polished pine wood tables and woven hemp place mats complementing the black and white ceramic ware and clear glassware. Other tastefully quirky elements such as clocks made of bike parts and a light fixture made of pipes are DIY’ed by Chef Sammy Isidro.

Sammy’s, Cainta

Sammy’s serves a carefully thought-out curation of Asian cuisine influenced, no doubt, by the seventeen years that Chef Sammy and his wife Dorothy spent in Jakarta.

This is where I had my first taste of the Indonesian dessert Martabak Manis, a thick pancake filled chocolate sprinkle, crushed peanuts, cheese and condensed milk. It has since become one of my absolute favorites.

Sammy’s, Cainta

On February 14 and 15, enjoy Sammy’s Valentine’s Menu which includes Balsamic Pork Salad, Chicken Fricasee and Creme Brulee plus special Valentine’s Day perks such as photo souvenir and romantic renditions of popular love songs from The Singing Chef and his wife.

Sammy’s is located at 14 Raspberry Bend Street, Valley View Executive Subdivision Phase 3, San Juan, Cainta. The restaurant is open Tuesdays to Saturdays for breakfast from 7am to 11.30am and for dinner from 7pm to 10.30pm, and on Sundays for breakfast from 7am to 11.30am.

Seating is strictly by reservation so call +63 939 1483960 to book your table.

Read more about Sammy’s here.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Awesome interiors, breathtaking view and creative takes on native dishes. With all these going for it, Tahanan Bistro is your home away from the city, a welcome and delicious respite from the hustle and bustle.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro offers set meals at Php1,350 (+10% service charge) per person. Each set consists of five courses with dishes hinged on the produce and flavors found in country.

One such dish is the Bistek Tagalog, made with braised beef shank, adlai, onion puree, charred white onions, parsley oil and fried enoki, a definite upgrade from the home-cooked beefsteak.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

On February 14 to 16, you and your special someone can dine on two of Tahanan five-course meals and two glasses of wine plus get the romance going with a bouquet of flowers, all for just Php3,695 (+10% service charge).

Tahanan Bistro is located at 22 Loresville Drive, Lores Farm Subdivision, San Roque, Upper Antipolo, Rizal, open Saturdays to Sundays from 11am to 4pm and 6pm to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 925 8801487.

Read more about Tahanan Bistro here.

Nanka Japanese Steakhouse, Paligsahan

Located at the nook of Mother Ignacia and Chino Roces Avenues in Quezon City, the place has an elegant yet homey vibe, a welcome respite from my workday’s stresses. It is a perfect place for intimate date nights, chill barkada get-togethers or quiet family dinners.

Nanka, Paligsahan

Nanka’s executive chef Michael Santos takes pride in the work his team (which includes executive sous chef Rogel Rogel Pagtalunan, executive pastry chef Joel Gonzales and chef de cuisine Kenneth Afable) does in accentuating the natural flavors of food, made with the finest locally and internationally sourced ingredients.

I’ve waxed poetic about Nanka’s steaks several times in previous posts so this time, I will sing the praises of its Garlic Crabs. Fresh and simply sauteed in garlic and butter, its succulent meat is best eaten by hand.

Nanka, Paligsahan

Nanka offers a special five-course Valentine’s Day menu that you and your loved one can enjoy, along with a live romantic musical performance by Anja & John Acoustic Duo for Php2,650+ per person.

Nanka is located at 1810 Mother Ignacia corner Chino Roces Avenue, Paligsahan, Quezon City, open Mondays to Saturdays from 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 85179677, +63 977 6218472, or +63 917 6734917.

Read more about Nanka here.

Alta by Relik, Santolan Town Plaza

At ALTA by Relik at Santolan Town Plaza, you and your beloved can enjoy the flavorful comfort food amidst vibrant and colorful surroundings.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

The restaurant is an offshoot of the popular BGC restaurant Relik. Restaurant owner Gen Mortel and Chef Jam Laboriente collaborated on a Filipino-Spanish menu to provide an elevated dining experience to its diners.

I just love ALTA’s Seafood Paella, made of saffron-infused medium-grain rice with white shrimp, squid, Chilean mussels and roasted bell peppers served in a special paellera pan that helps it develop a nice toasty crust at the bottom. This is more than enough for two so you can bring some home and reheat to extend your Valentine’s date to the next day.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

You can also just opt for ALTA’s Special Valentine menu which consists of five delectable courses plus your choice of drinks among soda, iced tea, red or white wine.

ALTA by Relik is located at Santolan Town Plaza, Col. Bonny Serrano Avenue, Little Baguio, San Juan City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 8am to 12 midnight and Fridays to Saturdays from 8am to 2am. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 917 3172582.

Read more about ALTA here.

390 Degrees, Entertainment City

Newly-opened 390 Degrees brings hearty servings and imaginative takes on comfort food in an elegantly well-appointed setting.

390 Degrees, Entertainment City

Its charcoal brick oven (maintained at a temperature of 390 degrees) takes center stage in the kitchen, influencing all of its dishes.

You absolutely have to try its Pepper Crusted Steak, a juicy steak seasoned with pepper and charcoal- grilled to medium doneness. Every bite is a bit of beefy goodness on the tongue.

390 Degrees, Entertainment City

Until February 29, enjoy a special meal for two which includes the Pepper Crusted Steak together with Tomato Soup with Ravioli, Chicken Ceasar Salad, Mini Salted Caramel Puffs and Shiraz Wine, all for just Php2,000 (+10% service charge).

390 Degrees is located at Ground Floor, Sequioa Hotel Manila, Aseana City Business Park, Entertainment City, Paranaque, open daily from 6.30am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 921 2446502 or +63 945 639 0724.

Read more on 390 Degrees here.

Well, what are you waiting for, dearie? Book your Valentine date now!

Photo Credit: Header image by Jasmine Waheed on Unsplash

Check out my other adventures compiled into Jelly Lists:

Comfort food elevated at ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Weekend brunches have grown popular lately, with many establishments offering hearty comfort dishes that can be leisurely enjoyed by diners.

At ALTA by Relik at Santolan Town Plaza, families can enjoy the flavorful comfort food amidst vibrant and colorful surroundings.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

The restaurant is an offshoot of the popular BGC restaurant Relik. Restaurant owner Gen Mortel and Chef Jam Laboriente collaborated on a Filipino-Spanish menu to provide an elevated dining experience to San Juan’s foodies.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Last weekend I had brunch together with my fellow foodies from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH at ALTA by Relik where we had a taste of its comfort food elevated with fresh twists such as:

Relik’s Nachos (Php350). Homemade tortilla chips topped with meat sauce, crisp lettuce, tomato and cucumber relish, cheddar cheese and sour cream.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Chilean Mussels Croquettes (Php495). Chilean mussels topped with thick bechamel sauce and bread crumbs and served a with a lemon judge.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Pulled Pork Quesadilla (Php235). Tender pulled pork, cheddar, mozzarella, corn kernels, lettuce and source cream encased in homemade flour tortillas.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Watermelon and Kesong Puti Salad (Php265). Mixed greens, arugula, watermelon cubes, bits of kesong puti and candied walnuts tossed with balsamic reduction.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Longanisa Flatbread with Salted Egg Cream (Php375). Crisp flatbread topped with sweet pork longganisa, tomato salsa and salted egg dressing.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Seafood Chowder (Php295). Shrimp, squid and herbs incorporated in a flavorful cream soup and garnished with croutons and parsley.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Bagnet Sinigang (Php395). The classic sinigang dish deconstructed into pieces of bagnet and vegetables served with a broth made of fresh sampaloc dialed up to its asim-est level.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Lamb Pares (Php355). Slow-cooked shoulders of grass-fed New Zealand lambs in garlic soy sauce served with garlic rice.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Sizzling Bulalo Steak (Php489). Tender beef shank with its decadent bone marrow served sizzling in a garlic bulalo gravy together with fried potatoes, green beans and garlic bits.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Seafood Paella (Php995). Rich saffron-infused medium-grain rice with white shrimp, squid, Chilean mussels and roasted bell peppers served in a special paellera pan that helps it develop a nice toasty crust at the bottom. (Fun fact: that flavorful toasty crust is called socarrat in Catalan. Paella connoisseurs consider this the key to paella’s fabulous flavor).

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Mango Tapioca Trifle (Php215). Fresh sliced mangoes, caramel,sauce and tapioca pearls top a layer of lady fingers.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Milo Dinosaur Cheesecake (Php195). A chocolatey frozen cheesecake flavored with Milo and garnished with sprinkled with Milo powder.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

So if you feel like enjoying an elevated brunch experience or dine on an excellent selection of Filipino-Spanish fusion dishes, drop by at Santolan Town Plaza to experience ALTA by Relik!

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Many thanks to Gen, Jam and the staff of ALTA by Relik for the warm welcome and the fabulous food!

ALTA by Relik is located at Santolan Town Plaza, Col. Bonny Serrano Avenue, Little Baguio, San Juan City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 8am to 12 midnight and Fridays to Saturdays from 8am to 2am. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 917 3172582.

Here are more reasons to head to ALTA by Relik:

  • DJ Nights every Thursday night at 8pm.
  • Live music every Friday and Saturday at 8pm.
  • All-You-Can-Eat buffet breakfast every Sunday from 8am to 11.30am.

ALTA by Relik Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with my fellow foodies, I attended a foodie meetup held here. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my blog posts on breakfast joints around the metro: