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:

A home of gastronomic delights at Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

As a foodie, I live for those food adventures that just take my breath away.

And my visit to Tahanan Bistro did just that.

Having earned the distinction of being one of Zomato’s Top Foodies Choice in Antipolo in 2019, Tahanan Bistro hosted a food tasting event attended by East-based foodies.

Tahanan Bistro opened in July 2016, the brainchild of Keesha Reyes and husband Kevin Tuason. They turned part of her family’s ancestral home made entirely from reclaimed wood from old houses and bridges into a casual fine dining 45-seat bistro.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

The restaurant showcases creative takes on local ingredients, the masterpieces of her father, sculptor Benji Reyes, and a stunning view of Laguna de Bay beyond the surrounding verdant forest to provide diners with a relaxing and inviting haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

This place, though impressive in style, is still a home. In fact, guests are asked to remove their shoes upon entering, partly as a form of respect to the homeowners, and partly to help preserve the beautiful wood floors.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

The kitchen is helmed by Kevin who brings his considerable culinary training gained during his stay in Melbourne, Australia. Tahanan Bistro offers set meals at Php1,350 (+10% service charge) per person. Named after famous mountains in the Philippines (Halcon in Mindoro, Iraya in Batanes and Mayon in Albay), each set consists of five courses with dishes hinged on the produce and flavors found in country, some of which my fellow foodies and I were able to sample.

Gising Gising (included in the Iraya set). An appetizer of prawns and winged bean dumplings, leeks, coconut cream, herb oil, chili oil and house-made crispy pork floss.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Danggit (included in all three sets). A light and refreshing salad made with quinoa, cherry tomatoes, mixed greens and roasted zucchini in lime vinaigrette.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Pininyahang Manok (included in the Halcon set). Smoked pan-seared chicken thighs, grilled pineapple, coconut, hasselback potatoes, carrot puree and capsicum.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Bistek Tagalog (included in the Iraya set). Braised beef shank, adlai, onion puree, charred white onions, parsley oil and fried enoki.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Binagoongan (included in the Mayon set). Crispy pork belly in a sauce made with tomato and shrimp paste puree, Greek yoghurt and Baba Ghanoush in a house-made flat bread.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Fruit Salad (included in the Iraya set). A dessert made chia pudding, bits of seasonal fruits in a campange sabayon topped with a cashew biscuit.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Ube (included in the Halcon set). Purple yam and white chocolate lava cake with cheese ice cream topped with an Edam crisp.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

The dishes served combine the familiar and the new: the ingredients are home-grown but made novel with the addition of a few elements and foreign influences. They are also well-complemented by a refreshing glass of Lemongrass Iced Tea (Php95).

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Given that access to this awesome place (and these delectable dishes) are possible only during weekends, and only by reservation, there is a definitely an air of exclusivity and specialness in the dining experience.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

If you’re planning an cozy dinner for two or an intimate gathering for close family and friends where you can enjoy a well-curated and crafted menu as well as breathtaking views, Tahanan Bistro is your best bet.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro also offers ready-made products you can bring home to enjoy with your family such as ground coffee beans and butter spreads, among others.

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Many thanks to Kim and the staff of Tahanan Bistro for the warm welcome and the delicious meal, and to Trisha and Donna of Zomato for extending the invitation!

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

Tahanan Bistro, Antipolo

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. Walk-ins are not entertained.

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

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I was invited to attend a food tasting held in this restaurant. 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 posts on other places for your romantic date in the metro: