Tucked away in the busy streets of Makati’s Central Business District is the quaint neighborhood of Legazpi Village. Though less busy than its more popular brother Poblacion, the area offers the same gastronomic adventure for the foodophile with its vibrant melting pot of restaurants that offer cuisines from different locales and cultures. Read on for the best 12 food haunts to visit in Legaspi Village.
Indonesian food doesn’t enjoy as much exposure as other cuisines here in the Philippines, but Restoran Garuda is a place that can definitely change your mind. The place offers an authentic, well-curated variety of Indonesian favorites like satays, Mee Goreng, and Nasi Goreng which come in hefty servings that will surely leave you satisfied and wanting more. Scared of trying the food because you're not into spicy flavors? You can choose from mild, medium, and spicy depending on your preference. Don’t forget to take a photo on the Instagram-worthy colorful wall on one side of the restaurant when you visit!
This restaurant is as close as you can get if you want a taste of authentic Indian food fare. The moment you enter the restaurant, you will be met with colorful interiors that still somehow manage to give the place a homey feel. You can’t expect any fancy presentations with its food, but for its simplicity, Swagat is able to make the customers focus on the quality of its flavors – which will definitely make you want to come back. Don’t forget to try its biryanis. The restaurant offers options for vegetarians, too.
Balkan’s Yugoslavian dishes are a must-try if you’re the type who loves their dishes rich and flavorful. The restaurant manages to strike the perfect balance between spices so that every plate served to you has its distinct flavors that do not overpower the palate. Yugoslavian cooking is not very much showcased in the country which can make some people feel hesitant in trying it out, but Balkan hits the sweet spot, making its dishes not too “alien” for us Filipinos. Start your meal by ordering a goulash and move on to heavier choices like its chicken batak.
In case you haven’t caught on yet, Lagrima – a Mexican-inspired restaurant – is proof that Legazpi Village is the place to go if you want to try dishes from different corners of the world. Known for its superb tacos, this place elevates your usual Tex-Mex food offerings with its flavorful and well-presented bites. Despite being known for its tacos and nachos, Lagrima also offers a solid menu if you’re a vegetarian. You won’t regret ordering its Avocado Tostado, whether you love meat or not.
Legazpi Village’s restaurants do not only showcase international cuisines. Here, you’ll also find places paying homage to our well-beloved Filipino flavors. One of this is Bugong, a restaurant specializing in roast chicken, that hails from Los Banos, Laguna. The brand, which started as a simple kiosk that only sold roast and fried chicken, has now expanded to include other food items into their menu such as Asian pasta and salads.
Image: Sarsa Kitchen
Another restaurant specializing in traditional Filipino flavors, particularly the Negrense’s way of cooking, is Sarsa Kitchen + Bar. This food spot elevates the usual inasal and other comfort foods like molo with its wonderful presentation and distinct taste. You’ll never miss the coconut milk on its gising-gising – even its garlic rice is made somewhat more special with hefty helpings of garlic flakes. Other must-tries are the pork belly and kare-kare.
There is something romantic about home-cooked meals that a lot of us have already forgotten thanks to our fast-paced lifestyles. Abuela’s heirloom, slow-cooked recipes remind you that there is nothing more beautiful than a dish that has been given time and attention to prepare, whether you’re craving for roast beef or just the humble bagnet. The restaurant definitely delivers on its branding with its choices – no dish is too over or undercooked and every spice and texture will remind you of home.
Image: The Belle + Dragon
What’s an international food street without a restaurant that serves a fusion of cultures? The Belle + Dragon specializes in Western cuisine with an Asian twist that will appeal even to the most loyal of Pinoy foodophiles. The restaurant’s menu matches with its striking, eclectic interiors – one must-try is the wanton nachos which you can easily finish in one sitting alone. If you want a heavier meal, go for the House Dry Aged Ribeye Steak. It’s definitely worth the splurge!
The international village food scene wouldn’t be complete without a friendly Japanese restaurant in the block, right? Nikkei perfectly fits the spot, except that it offers a different twist by adding Peruvian influences to its dishes. The restaurant includes the usual Japanese fares and adds a hint of surprise to them. Case in point: its seared tuna with sea urchin risotto and salmon belly tempura.
This restaurant has quickly become a favorite by people who frequent the place and those who are willing to trek to Makati for some quality food. Besides from the fall-off-the-bone ribs and perfectly flavored chicken roast chicken of Gringo, patrons flock the place for its superb side dishes which, by the way, already come with their menu sets. Don’t forget to try its amazing sauces, too!
Image: Sicilian Roast
Giuseppe Genco makes a case for Italian food with his baby Sicilian Roast. Filipinos have been big on Italian dishes for years now, but what makes this restaurant special is its ability to somehow make the cuisine taste new. The restaurant’s Margherita Pizza is the closest you can get from trying an authentic one from Napoli and its pasta like the Rigatoni all Norma is bursting with authentic flavors thanks to the masterful use of fresh ingredients. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can also order the Antipasto Siculo which is a platter of cheeses and cured hams.
12. Bistro Pamana
Image: Bistro Pamana
Bistro Pamana takes Tagaytay’s beloved flavors in the heart of Makati with its menu bursting with home-cooked goodness. The restaurant boasts itself for offering dishes derived from recipes that have been passed down in the family of its owner. Try the salmon belly sa sampalok na pinya or the humba if you want to treat your taste buds to heavier flavors.
Which of these restaurants are you excited to try? Tell us in the comments section!