Fab Finds Friday: My Top 4 Restaurants of 2013

For the first Fab Finds Friday post for the New Year, I have chosen four of the restaurants I loved in my countless lunch outs and dinners last year. A combination of new and old as well as near and far, the selected ones are two from my workplace, McKinley Hill, where most of my daily devouring happens; and two from Cebu, my favorite place on earth to explore for food-tripping! If you haven’t tried these restaurants yet, you have an entire year ahead to visit and sample their tasty dishes. So without further ado, let me present to you my four favorite restaurants of 2013 (click on the restaurant names to read a more detailed review):

The first establishment to bring casual Canadian dining to the Philippines, Main Street opened in Tuscany Estates in McKinley Hill late August of last year. Unlike some of the restaurants lined up along Tuscany, I must say that Main Street is a roaring success. And I’m not surprised! Everything about Main Street says “brilliant” in big block letters: from the expert service to the easygoing ambience and to the mouthwatering dishes. Whether it’s an indulgent lunch you’re craving for or a relaxed night of light meals and cold beer, Main Street will not disappoint. The menu is minimal but I have no doubts they tossed aside the fillers and made every item there excellent. The restaurant is rather small though, and hopefully they begin to expand this year. I’m just happy that they choose a spot near my office—perfect for moments when I’m craving for a really enjoyable meal!

Buttermilk Fried Chicken (P260 3 pcs., P180 2 pcs.)
Grilled Pork Chop (P280)
Recommended Dishes: BBQ Chicken Wings, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Grilled Pork Chop, Wagyu Cheeseburger, Canadian Poutine, Organic Maple and Candied Bacon Ice Cream

Budget: PhP500 for an appetizer to share, an entrée, and dessert

Organic Maple and Candied Bacon Ice Cream (P95)

Main Street
Tuscany, Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Hill, Taguig City
+63917 815 8187
+63927 553 2427
Operating Hours: 11:30am-2:00am
Facebook: Main Street

Pad Thai (photo credit: Black Canyon Coffee)

As if Thai cuisine isn’t seductive enough for me, Black Canyon raises the excitement level a notch higher by throwing in good coffee and fabulous desserts into the equation. Another newcomer in Tuscany, Black Canyon is a multi-awarded restaurant that started in Thailand and specializes in Thai food and coffee concoctions. Choose one from their award-winning dishes and treat yourself to some hearty dessert afterwards—a salted caramel cake perhaps, or a Premium Mocha Chips ice cream? Spend your afternoon catching up with a friend over some delicious coffee while lounging on one of Black Canyon’s comfortable booths. Actually, just head over to McKinley and taste some of their exquisite dishes—I’ve had enough talking!

Stir-Fried Pasta with Bacon
Spicy Tuna and Thai Herbs Salad

Pork Steak with Spaghetti and Esarn Style Spicy Sauce

Recommended Dishes: Spicy Tuna and Thai Herbs Salad, Tom Yum Goong, Pad Thai, Stir-Fried Pasta with Crispy Bacon, Pork Steak with Spaghetti and Esarn Style Spicy Sauce

Budget: PhP500 for a salad to share, an entrée, and dessert or coffee

Salted Caramel Cake
Premium Mocha Chips

Black Canyon Coffee
G/F Tuscany Estates, McKinley Hill, Taguig
(02) 949 2026
+63925 8825255
Facebook page: Black Canyon Coffee

Baked Scallops

Utan Bisaya

Visiting Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant was a sign of devotion for absolutely delicious food; in order to get there, you must make three jeepney transfers and take one tricycle ride. We opted for a faster albeit more expensive way and that was to take a cab (PhP400, an hour of journey, one-way). But you know what? The trip was worth it. Lantaw was home to the freshest and most delectable Filipino food I have ever tasted in my life. Add that to a fantastic service, cheap prices, and a seaside outdoor dining experience, and you will just get crazy! I can’t remember how many times my sister and I almost knocked the table every time a new dish is set in front of us. No exaggeration here, it was enough to make anyone jump into the water out of sheer bliss. Try it and you’d understand why it’s so popular.

Garlic Buttered Shrimps

Grilled Tuna Belly

Dishes I’ve Tried: Baked Scallops, Garlic Buttered Shrimps, Grilled Tuna Belly, Utan Bisaya, Cordova Cooler, Bibingka Cake a la Mode

Budget: PhP350 per head for all the dishes mentioned above

Cordova Cooler
Bibingka a la Mode
Lantaw Floating Restaurant
Day-As, Cordova, Mactan, Cebu
(032) 514 2959
Operating Hours: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

Adobong Talong

Another proof that sumptuous food doesn’t have to be over-the-top expensive, Hukad sa Golden Cowrie is another Cebu restaurant that proves that good old Filipino cuisine can be made absolutely stunning. In fact, I’m ready to declare that so far—in my humble opinion—Hukad serves the best Filipino food around, even better than the ridiculously expensive places in Manila. Hukad exudes a modern yet very Pinoy vibe, and this concept shines not just through its interiors but also through its menu. I loved the unlimited rice option, which is always a YES for me, as well as the impeccable food presentation. We need something as fabulous and reliable as Hukad in Manila, a place that would never fail to make us happy but which won’t burn a hole on our pockets either. Just a thought of their kare-kare makes me … OMG. OK, I’m packing my bags! See you soon Cebu!

Chicken Halang-Halang

Crispy Pork Kare-kare

Kinilaw na Isda

Dishes I’ve Tried: Adobong Talong, Chicken Halang-Halang, Crispy Pork Kare-Kare, Cowrie’s Kinilaw na Isda, Binignit

Budget: PhP350 per head for all the dishes mentioned above


Hukad sa Golden Cowrie
Level 2, The Terraces, Ayala Center Cebu

There you go! My top 4 restaurants of 2013. Have you tried any of these places before? What was your experience? Did you love it or hate it? Rant or rave in the comments section below!

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