10 Restaurants Where You Can Treat Yourself Before Restarting Your 2020 Diet

We're almost through with the first month of the year, so we'd like to ask: How are your 2020 resolutions going? If it's been a slow start for you, don't worry, you're not alone! I mean, we all want to start eating healthy and getting fit, right? But it's just too hard to say no to the best comfort food from your favorite restaurants! So maybe you're looking to treat yourself before you really start working towards that 2020 healthy diet. Here are some restaurants you can check out to have that last meal before you get back on track. Don't worry, we won't tell!


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Image: am.pm Philippines

Hong Kong's fluffiest food trend has reached Manila! am.pm, known for their souffle pancakes, opened shop at Ayala Malls Manila Bay in late 2019. It would be a shame to let the year pass without giving this sweet newcomer a try at least once, wouldn't it? Don't miss out on their signature Creme Brulee pancake (P210), topped with torched caramel to give it an added crunch to complement the pancake's soft insides. Plus, they have a flavor exclusive to the Philippines: the Ube pancakes (P180)! 


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Image: Wildflour Restaurant

Have you been to Wildflour lately? Their branch over at Rockwell has become one of the places to be on weekends. You can still have your usual Wildflour lunch or dinner in the restaurants, but once night comes, the space gets filled with big groups of friends ready to dance the night away to old school tunes. If you're going to have a "last hurrah" meal, why not have it somewhere you can party a little bit afterwards? Grab some Squid Ink Mafaldine (P630) or Kimchi Fried Rice and Steak (P1095) for dinner, then enjoy the rest of the night!  

Sweet Ecstasy

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Image: Sweet Ecstasy

The name of this next spot says it all! For some good old diner-style cheat meals, Sweet Ecstasy is one of the most loved in the metro. People rave about their burgers and wings; the Grilled Cheese Burger (P330) is an extra special treat made a patty sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches and even more cheese! But if it makes you feel any less guilty, Sweet X also offers a purely vegan burger called Beyond X (P500), using a plant-based patty, dairy-free cheese, and a tofu-based sauce. 

Elephant Grounds

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Image: Elephant Grounds Manila

Maybe one of your new year resolutions was to spend a little less on your daily coffee fix— if that's the case, this cafe in BGC might make you want to put that on hold for just a little longer. Another one of 2019's newest spots is Elephant Grounds from Hong Kong. Though the cafe is relatively new in Metro Manila, they've already gained a following for their great coffee, food, and ice cream! Try one of their signature lattes like the Salted Caramel (P185), or have an indulgent breakfast with the crowd favorite Waffle ala Mode (P295) with an ice cream scoop of your choice. 

Gino's Brick Oven Pizza

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Image: Gino's Brick Oven Pizza

As Julia Roberts' character, Liz said in the movie Eat Pray Love, "I’m going to finish this pizza, and tomorrow we’re going to go on a little date and buy ourselves some bigger jeans." So when it comes to pizza, don't hesitate to go for that second slice! Treat yourself to Gino's Brick Oven Pizza because it's worth it, and so are you. Bestsellers include the S.M.EGG (P425) - that's sausage, mushroom, and egg - and the Five Cheese (P425). Drizzle some of their famous spicy honey on top to bring it to the next level!

Kko Kko

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Image: Kko Kko

Fuse your love for all things Korean and all things cheesy at Kko Kko, with their fun, modern take on Korean cuisine. They became popular for the  Chi-Z Pondang (P598/half, P998/whole), a melty cheese fondue in a bread bowl, served with fries, onion rings, and boneless chicken bites in the flavor of your choice. Who can deny the satisfaction of a good cheese pull? It's one of life's ultimate guilty pleasures! Other cheesy dishes you can get at Kko Kko include the spicy Rabokki soup (P398) with cheddar, cheesy Volcano kimchi rice (P388), and the fiery Mayak Buldak (P558) stir-fried chicken with vegetables and melted mozzarella. 

The Mess Hall

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Image: The Moment Group

Want to have all your favorite Moment Group dishes without having to order from several different places? Mess Hall is the place for you. Here, they serve food from their different restaurants, so you can get your Manam House Cripsy Sisig, 8Cuts Onion Rings, Mo Cookies, and special dishes exclusive to the Mess Hall! Plus, they serve their own specialty cocktails you've got to try during their monthly Happy Hour. 

Va Bene Pasta Deli

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Image: Va Bene Pasta Deli

Cutting down on carbs seems like a good idea... but enjoying a big plate of your favorite pasta sounds even better! Va Bene Pasta Deli serves authentic Italian cuisine, most popular for their fresh pasta dishes. No matter what your go-to pasta dish is, you can count on Va Bene to do it right! Truffle lovers will enjoy the best-selling Organic Eggs Tagliatelle (P480) with mushroom, cream, and truffle oil. If you enjoy stuffed pasta, the Ravioli (P580) with veal, spinach, and mushroom sauce is a good one to share. 

Din Tai Fung

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Image: Din Tai Fung Philippines

Dimsum is one of those dishes that sometimes you end up eating too many of. They're just so delicious and small, tricking you into thinking you can handle more before you realize how many pieces of xiao long bao you've actually devoured. Another one of life's guilty food pleasures! But before you put a limit to your daily siomai fix, don't go without treating yourself to some of the world's finest dim sum. Din Tai Fung is famous for xiao long bao, with many different types to choose from. Aside from the classic Pork (P160/5pcs, P315/10 pcs), you can also get Crab Roe and Pork (P285/5pcs, P565/10pcs), Foie Gras and Chicken (P135/pc), and many more! Aside from potstickers, wontons, and other dumplings, Din Tai Fung also serves delicious vegetables — so maybe it's not cheating on your healthy diet after all? 

Mad Mark's Creamery

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Image: Mad Mark's Creamery and Good Eats

For some people, eating less meat is a goal for the year, whether it's for health or environmental reasons. But for people who have spent their entire life eating meat, giving it up can be quite the challenge. If you want that one last steak before you go for more plant-based food, Mad Mark's is a great place to get that at an affordable price. The Signature Steak (P305) comes with 150g premium USDA, two sides, and a sauce. If ribs are more your thing, they have the Johnnie Double Black Ribs (P265) cooked for 8 hours and served with two sides. Of course, you'll want to leave room for a scoop or two of their famous ice cream afterwards!  

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