8 Restaurants in Manila You Probably Didn't Know are Owned by your Favorite Celebrities

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Without question, celebrities take even bigger risks when they take their talents beyond their realm of expertise. Well, many would be quick to say that they don’t belong in the kitchen in the first place. However, to them we send this simple retort: you haven’t been to these eight restaurants that actually have tasty grub that’s worth the visit. So, gather the troupe and make your way to these places, post-haste.

Backyard Kitchen+Brew

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As far as a roster of celebrity restaurateurs go, Backyard Kitchen+Brew has brought together a team that’s as dynamic and diverse as they come. With the likes of radio-television-events host Sam YG, actor Paolo Paraiso, Itchyworms’ Jugs Jugueta and Kelvin Yu, chef Ed Bugia, and sports commentators Boom Gonzales and Aaron Atayde, it may very well seem like this spot was built just for the boys—and in many ways, it is.

Whether a venue for you and your buddies to catch the big game (or fight, whatever the case may be) or just a breezy two-bots nightcap, dudes may have very well found a rustic go-to resto. However, what makes it more than just your run-of-the-mill watering hole is its farm-to-table philosophy and not too many of their ilk share the same approach. For your next must-watch sporting event, you can depend on their Happy Diners Family Bundle (good for up to eight people for P2400)—as it features delicious battered fish fillet, chicken sisig, slow-roasted pork belly, just to name a few.
 

District 8

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This gastropub has definitely over a handful of delectable offerings that can do more than just pique your interest. For starters, their Paella y Callos—a rice dish that elegantly gives props to our Spanish influences—pushes the culinary envelope by maximizing callos broth to inject even more vibrant flavors into the meal. Or if your taste buds crave quality meat, their Hanger Steak is an easy choice as its tender and tasty through and through.

With Chef Kel Zaguirre (the mind behind the popular Locavore), you can expect to have a memorable dining experience as any. Aside from an attention-grabbing menu, the place also boasts of a 400-square-meter open area perfect for holding huge parties, large get-togethers, and other social gatherings. District 8 owners are showbiz A-listers Vice Ganda, Daniel Padilla; hardcourt cagers James Yap, Paul Artadi, Marc Pingris; entrepreneur Charlton Yu, and former Vice Mayor Francis Zamora would all agree and be first to say that bringing a crowd under one roof with exciting food is always a great fit.
 

JT’s Manukan

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If you think you can only get true Bacolod chicken inasal by hopping on an hour-and-a-half plane ride southbound, then you haven’t been to JT’s Manukan. In case you’ve been living in a rock for quite some time now, “JT” stands for Joel Torre—proud Ilonggo and one of the most decorated and esteemed actors our country has seen— who pioneered this chain of no-frills Negrense restaurants. Their concept is very straightforward: you pick from a selection that’s mainly made up of Filipino grilled delicacies, the star being the chicken inasal. Then, you’ll devour some grilled goodness paired with rice drizzled with chicken oil and be on your way.
 

Runner’s Kitchen

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Actress Bianca King and fashion photographer Xander Angeles are health nuts who stay fit, eat right, and do it far better than your average celebrity. And to many of us who are trying to improve our health and fitness, one day at a time, there’s is a restaurant in Runner’s Kitchen that actually supports this goal. They’ve got zero-glutten choco waffles with glazed bananas you can have at the top of the morning, post workout. Or even enjoy a bowl of beef salpicao with quinoa for a protein-packed lunch. They even have guilt-free desserts like the coco sugar cheesecake served with homemade strawberry compote, in case you wanted to cheat a bit. Eating healthy probably never tasted this good.
 

Salu

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Owned by celebrity couple Romnick Sarmenta and Harlene Bautista, Salu is a Filipino restaurant that puts the limelight on various regional dishes that can certainly surprise in more ways than one. A dining experience in Salu can very well be every bit delightful as it is eye-opening. You can try some of Mindanao’s best dishes like the Tiyula Itum (Black Tinola) or even Beef Kulma (Beef Curry) and see how adventurous your palate can get. If you prefer sticking to what’s familiar, going for one of their best sellers, Binagoongang Lechon Kare-Kare, isn’t at all a bad idea. If you’re looking to indulge, why not honor our heritage and do so in an authentically-unique Filipino restaurant, wouldn’t you agree?
 

Slice Café

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Suppressing you sweet tooth can be a task easier said than done. However, if you were to satisfy these urges, a piece from a chocolate—while convenient—might not always cut it. You want something that hits the spot, that’s decadent even—chances are you’d find that something here in Slice Café PH, owned by triathlete and senator Pia Cayetano. From their choco yema, fruity yogurt granola, to their Oreo cheesecake, just to name a few, you definitely have choices on how to enjoyably punctuate your meal with a fine dessert.
 

Wangfu Chinese Bistro

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When it comes to Chinese and Singaporean cuisine here in the country, there’s a debate to be had because, the fact of the matter is, just by the sheer virtue of the hundreds of restaurants that put forth this type of food to the public. That said, there are actually few spots that can have a lasting impression on you and Wangfu Chinese Bistro—spearheaded by actor Richard Yap together with Chef Pung Lu Tin, a true master in the international culinary firmament—is one of them. If you don’t know where to start, Yap would be the first one to suggest the Salted Egg Fried Chicken. You can easily have it with an order of fried rice and you’ll be all set.
 

Victorino’s Restaurant

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Who would have thought the trio of Governor DV Savellano, actress Dina Bonnevie, and Chef Heny Sison would result into a fine Filipino restaurant that offers a variety of lip-smacking viands and treats all at very reasonable prices? Soon as you enter the premises, you enter a scene and feel a wave of reminiscent emotions that suggest something all too familiar: your mother’s (or even grandmother’s) home recipes are about to take you on a gastronomical trip. It’s surely a trip down memory lane of sorts with every bite of Kalderetang Kambing, or a sharing of Pancit Musiko and it’s no long before you find yourself coming back for seconds.

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