It’s time to put away the sunglasses and say goodbye to the sweltering Manila heat – rainy season is upon us once again! While the Philippines does get a lot of strong storms, there are plenty days when the weather is perfectly calm and relaxing. The cool and cozy weather is perfect for indulging in your favorite comfort food, sans the guilt. Not sure where to get a warm, comforting meal? Or maybe you'd just want to try something new? For whatever type of cuisine you’re craving, here are some great places that you can enjoy with friends and family on a rainy day:
Filipino Food: Manam’s Sinigang na Beef Short Rib & Watermelon
If it’s a hearty soup you’re looking for to warm you up during the cold weather, Manam’s Sinigang na Beef Short Rib & Watermelon (P245/small, P455/medium, P775/large) is a must-try. This restaurant is known for their unique twists on classic Filipino food, and their sinigang is one of the most popular menu items. The fruity sweetness of watermelon is a surprisingly delicious addition to the sour tamarind broth, and the beef short rib just makes it even more savory and filling. This may be different from the sinigang you’re used to, but once you try it, you won’t stop craving it! Manam’s sinigang is definitely one to share with the whole family.
Japanese Food: Mendokoro Ramenba’s Shoyu Ramen
When the rainy season arrives, you’ll typically find a lot of people posting about their ramen cravings on social media. And it makes perfect sense! One of the most popular spots to get your ramen fix in Manila is Mendokoro Ramenba, known for having a small but authentic array of choices on the menu. Try their Shoyu (P410), a rich tonkotsu broth flavored with shoyu (soy sauce), firm ramen noodles, and topped with a thick cut of chashu. Now, you might be worried about the long lines and limited seating at Mendokoro Ramenba. The good news is, they recently opened a second branch in BGC with more seats! If you’re from the south, you can always head over to Ramen Yushoken, their “older sister” restaurant in Alabang, which is just as authentic and delicious.
Chinese Food: Lugang Café’s Pork Xiao Long Bao
Xiao Long Bao has become one of the internet’s favorite Chinese specialties, and Lugang Café claims to have the best in town. Lugang aims to give their customers an authentic Taiwanese dining experience with their quality dishes and professional staff members. Their Steamed Pork Xiao Long Bao (P248) uses high quality ingredients, like flour imported from Taiwan, and is prepared by their certified Xiao Long Bao masters. If you’re curious to see how it’s prepared, check out the glass enclosed kitchen by the front of the restaurant and watch the masters do their thing! Thanks to the warm, soupy goodness that explodes with flavor, this dumpling is the perfect Chinese comfort dish to enjoy with the cool weather.
American Food: Kettle’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken
This restaurant specializes in American Southern comfort food, so think fried, greasy goodness and large portions. Kettle is most known for their amazing Buttermilk Fried Chicken (P539), served with honey glazed cornbread, Cajun honey, and gravy. Two pieces of boneless chicken, marinated in buttermilk and deep fried to golden perfection – doesn’t that sound like the ultimate guilty pleasure? For those who like their fried chicken with a kick, Kettle also serves a Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken (P599) with honey glazed jalapeño cornbread. You might be used to
having your fried chicken Pinoy style with rice, but trust us, this American version is just as satisfying.
Spanish Food: Cazuela’s Callos
When you think Spanish comfort food, what usually comes to mind is paella, gambas, or churros. But once you try the Callos (P389) from multi-cultural Spanish restaurant Cazuela, you may just have a new favorite. This traditional Spanish dish is made with stewed ox tripe in tomato sauce with olives, chickpeas, and other toppings. It’s no surprise that the Callos is one of Cazuela’s most loved dishes. With amazing food and a vibrant atmosphere, Cazuela is a great place to enjoy a Spanish comfort meal with family and friends!
Southeast Asian Food: Wee Nam Kee’s Classic Laksa
If you’re looking for a noodle soup other than ramen, laksa is the best way to go. It combines the best Southeast Asian flavors into one rich, spicy, savory bowl. In Manila, one notable place to get your laksa fix is Wee Nam Kee. The Classic Laksa (P320) is a best-seller in this Singaporean restaurant, and the serving is big enough to share, too. The soup gives just the right amount of heat, and the addition of rice noodles, squid, vegetables, and other toppings makes this dish quite filling. The delicious Asian goodness of a bowl of laksa will surely warm you up on the rainiest of days!
Korean Food: Sibyullee’s Dwaejigogi Cheese BBQ
The craze for Korean barbeque in Manila hasn’t died down at all! Sibyullee Flavors of Seoul’s take on KBBQ is for all the cheese lovers out there: if you haven’t tried dipping your barbeque in melted cheese yet, we highly recommend it. Sibyullee serves different kinds of BBQ sets, like the Dwaejigogi Cheese BBQ (P680). You get tender marinated pork, rice cakes, vegetables, and potatoes served with gooey melted cheese, buttered corn, and egg omelet. One order is good for 2-3 people, so gather your fellow KBBQ loving friends and enjoy this cheesy feast!
Italian Food: Mama Lou’s Risotto Tartufo Funghi
Rice is a staple in Filipino culture, so of course Filipinos love risotto, a pasta-like Italian dish made with rice. This warm, broth-y rice dish makes for perfect comfort food, and is just as versatile as pasta when it comes to flavors. At Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen, customers love the Risotto Tartufo Funghi (P350), made with wild mushrooms, truffle cream, and parmesan cheese. It’s a classic combination of Italian flavors, with the umami earthiness coming from the truffle and mushrooms, richness from the broth, and a hint of saltiness from the cheese. You’ll be downing a whole plate in no time!
Indian Food: Om Indian Kitchen’s Butter Chicken
Indian cuisine uses a ton of spices to bring new levels of heat and flavor to their food, so naturally, it’s a great companion during the rainy season. Om Indian Kitchen serves authentic, home-cooked Indian dishes that are enjoyed by Filipinos and Indians alike. The Butter Chicken (P265) is a best-seller, which is sweet, creamy, and mildly spicy. Some say that Om Indian Kitchen serves some of the best butter chicken in Manila, so don’t miss out on this. To complete the meal, pair it with basmati rice or some warm naan!