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:

Fine dining at Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

I’ve never had the pleasure of dining at Lolo Dad’s Cafe in Malate which closed its doors a few years back.

From what I hear from veteran (ehrrm!) foodies and what I’ve gathered online, Lolo Dad’s is known for its fine dining, culinary masterpieces and the awards they merited.

Too bad I didn’t get to experience Lolo Dad’s but there is a silver lining to this predicament: in 2016, Chefs Ariel and Mia Manuel of Lolo Dad’s opened a new restaurant in Poblacion called Bistro Manuel.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

It is a quiet establishment, almost hidden being situated away from Poblacion’s more casual (and noisier) bars and restaurants. The place is well-suited for workday lunchouts, intimate dinners for two or elegant family celebrations.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Diners are even given a sneak peek into the kitchen to see Chef Ariel Manuel and his team in action.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Together with my fellow foodies, I recently visited Bistro Manuel where we were welcomed by Chef Ariel himself. We also sampled the resto’s signature dishes which feature many of the old favorites from Lolo Dad’s as well as new creations that showcase the chefs’ mastery of their craft.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Starters. Tasty dishes to kickstart the meal.

Amuse bouche and freshly baked bread and butter (compliments of the chef).

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Double Espresso Soup (Php295). Tomato and mushroom cream-based soups served in separate espresso shot glasses. Definitely a new way to enjoy soup!

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Romaine Ceasar Salad (Php380). Crispy pancetta and six-minute boiled egg tossed in romaine lettuce with anchovies, lemon and parmesan cheese dressing.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Spinach and Warm Mushroom Salad (Php380). Mushrooms sauteed in smoked bacon on top of spinach leaves and doused with roasted garlic vinaigrette.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Lolo Dad’s Cafe Baked Oysters (Php230 per piece). A real treat to the taste buds, each oyster is accompanied by angel hair pasta under a layer of melted cheese, and accompanied with a cube of foie gras.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Sorbet (compliments of the chef). A citrus sherbet to cleanse the palate.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Mains. Hearty and flavorful viands showcase Chef Ariel’s mastery of European cooking techniques.

Mild Spice Arabbiata (Php550). Penne tossed in tomato base sauce seasoned with basil, garlic and chili flakes. A light dish that portended of great things to come!

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Lamb Shawarma Grilled Pizza (Php700). In this pizza with a Mediterranean feel, lamb belly, tomato and onions are placed on a charcoal-grilled thin crust and served with yoghurt and chili dip.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

“Only for the Rich” Pizza (Php1,290). One of the resto’s more playful dishes, this dish features many luxurious ingredients that led to its name. Lobster, duck liver, scallops, prosciutto and smoked salmon with carabao’s milk cheese and truffled tomato sauce on top of charcoal-grilled thin crust garnished with edible flowers.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Pan-fried Fillet of Salmon (Php695). A hefty piece of well-seasoned salmon, seared and served caramelized onion, potatoes and bacon butter sauce.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Roasted Duck Breast (Php860). Breast of moulard duck on compressed potatoes.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Seared Scallops and Scampi (Php990). Bechamel-stuffed rigatoni pasta accompany seared scallops and plump shrimp.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Lamb & Lamb with Lamb (Php860). Three ways to enjoy various parts of lamb: roast lamb rump, stewed lamb breast and fried lamb sweetbread with sieved potatoes.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

US Rib-Eye Prime Steak (Php2,200). 300 grams of premium steak grilled to medium doneness and served in rendered fat with truffled mashed potatoes and chilled Hollandaise. A carnivore’s dream come true!

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Desserts. A delectable selection of decadent confections whipped up by pastry chef Mia Manuel that capped a wonderful meal:

Freshly Baked Apple Tart with Rock Salt and Olive Oil Ice Cream (Php295)

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Lemon Meringue Pie with Chocolate Ice Cream (Php295)

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Baked Cheesecake with Orange in Spiced Syrup (Php275)

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

White Chocolate Creme Brulee with Berry Tartlet (Php240)

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Tiramisu Souffle with Vanilla Sauce (Php350)

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Declension of Mango and Mascarpone Cheese with Vanilla Frozen Cream and Dulce de Leche Sauce (Php285)

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Every dish was exquisitely crafted and a feast for the senses. Bistro Manuel is definitely a welcome addition to my list of favorite restos in Poblacion.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Many thanks to Chef Ariel and the staff of Bistro Manuel for the warm welcome and fabulous food and the Jen of Sand Under My Feet for extending the invitation!

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

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.

Bistro Manuel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with fellow foodies, I attended a good tasting held in this establishment wherein the items mentioned above were served to enable us to sample the fare to facilitate an honest review and were not paid for by the participants including myself.

Check out my posts on other fine dining establishments: