Best Bites September: The Top 10 Things I Stuffed My Mouth with This Month

As the start of the Filipino Christmas season came in, more restaurants popped out and joined the thriving dining scene. New concepts, new markets, new names to list down and new spots to watch out for -- some of their offerings forgettable, but some so stellar they deserve to be compiled for the rest of the world to discover. Below, my top 10 eats for September.

1. Longganisa and Scamorza Pizza (P755) from Linguini Fini Manila

There are dishes that, despite being delicious, are forgettable, but there are some which are so remarkable, you continue to chew it and bite into it in your mind even long after you’ve finished it. Linguini Fini’s Longganisa and Scamorza Pizza is such a dish—a simple pie made of local sausage, smoked scamorza cheese, garlic, chili leaves and fresh basil that’s so good, you can’t help but explode into an … are you ready for it? Orgasm!

2. Tagliatelle Porchetta (P395) from Linguini Fini Manila

Introduce me to a person who doesn’t like pasta topped with chunks of delicious fatty pork and I will take him to Linguini Fini to try the Tagliatelle Porchetta—the most interesting Italian dish I’ve had yet. This dish is proof that simple Italian cooking done right can do absolute wonders: after all, it just has olive oil, red onions, basil, and fennel-stuffed porchetta, but it’s the unpretentiousness that makes it divine.

Linguini Fini
Level 3, SM Mega Fashion Hall, Edsa cor. Julia Vargas Ave., Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
Operating Hours: 10:00am - 10:00pm
Facebook: /LinguiniFiniMNL | Twitter: @LinguiniFiniMNL | Instagram: @LinguiniFiniMNL

3. Paella con Setas, Manchego y Trufa Esencia (P960) from Calderon Cocina Tapas y Bebidas

If you’ve had too much of the usual paella—prawns, mussels, meats, and saffron rice—a trip to Calderon is warranted for you to try an exciting variant: the Paella con Setas, Manchego y Trufa Esencia. Fans and non-fans of truffle alike will be blown away by the truffle-infused rice, topped simply with mushrooms, red bell pepper, and manchego cheese. I would totally understand if you’d decide to hog that entire paellera all to yourself!

Calderon Cocina Tapas y Bebidas
#12 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Operating Hours: Sun-Sat 11:30AM - 10:30PM
Facebook: Calderon

4. Seared Scallops with Beet Orzo from Todd English Food Hall’s New Truffle Menu (P1500++, 3-course)

Fans of Hell’s Kitchen and Gordon Ramsay can definitely relate how challenging it is to cook the perfect scallop. Not that I’m an expert cook, but Todd English Food Hall’s version seems close to what Gordon describes as “perfection”: tender, moist, and not rubbery. Butter-seared scallops are nestled atop sweetish beet orzo, with a surprising layer of spinach drenched in truffle balsamic. Hurry up as this dish is only available in their limited Truffle Menu!

5. Steak & Lobster from Todd English Food Hall’s New Truffle Menu (P1500++, 3-course)

If the words “steak” and “lobster” aren’t enough to throw you into a frenzy, how about we add the word “truffle” as well? Todd English Food Hall’s Steak & Lobster is composed of a succulent 12-hour sous vide hanger steak, which comes with a side of creamy truffle potato, bacon and corn succotash, baby lobster tails, fresh black truffle shavings and insanely delicious truffle salt. How many times did I mention “truffle” there? Did you lose count? My point exactly—truffle heaven, right?

6. Nitro Ice Cream from Todd English Food Hall’s New Truffle Menu (P1500++, 3-course)

A great dessert is one that is multi-faceted and one that provides an “experience”. Todd English’s Nitro Ice Cream is a caramel ice cream made in front of you using liquid nitrogen technology—which freezes the ice cream faster, minimizes crystals, and prevents the ice cream from melting quickly, thus resulting in a gelato-like consistency. This ice cream is one of the best salted caramel variants I’ve ever had—the salt being, you guessed it, truffle salt.

Todd English Food Hall
5/F Skypark, SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun, 10:00am-10:00pm
Facebook: /Food Hall.Todd English | Twitter: @tefoodhallmnl | Instagram: @toddenglishfoodhallmnl

7. Crispy Kapal Muks with Black Pepper Rice (P220) from The Perfect Pint

Folks looking for delicious and filling “breakfast” food will be surprised to find out that a craft beer place serves one of the best of such kind. Try the Crispy Kapal Muks with Black Pepper Rice: brined pork mascara that’s very crispy on the outside and pinkish on the middle, which pairs amazingly with the slightly spicy pepper fried rice. This one’s for the big boys as the rice portion is humongous and served with 2 fried eggs!

The Perfect Pint
2/F Crossroads Bldg., 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Operating Hours: 10:00AM – 2:00AM
Facebook: /ThePerfectPintPH | Instagram: @theperfectpint_ph

8. Wet Beef Barbacoa Burrito (P380) from B&T Mexican Kitchen

As if a regular burrito isn’t enough to make one’s tummy burst, B&T Mexican Kitchen spoils you even further by offering a “wet” version: a gigantic burrito on a bed of chili and cheese. Slicing into this monster reveals a generous filling of shredded beef, refried beans, rice, and fajita vegetables. The best part is, the sauce is incredibly rich without being nakaka-umay! More salsa and sour cream please!

9. Chili Choco Lava Cake (P220) from B&T Mexican Kitchen

I’ve always been a fan or weird flavor combinations, so naturally I had to try the Chili Choco Lava Cake, still from B&T Mexican Kitchen. Imagine your warm chocolate cake, filled with gooey dark chocolate with a nice, hot surprise provided by dashes of cayenne pepper. The vanilla ice cream, fudgy filling, moist cake, and spicy hints give this dessert a multi-dimensional deliciousness.

B&T Mexican Kitchen
Tuscany Estates, Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Hill, Taguig City
Operating Hours: 10:30AM-11:30PM

10. Romeo + Juliet Mini-Burger from Slammin’ Mini Burgers + Fries + Dips

A bold move such as putting strawberry jam on a burger can only spell success OR doom—nothing in between—but Slammin’ Mini Burgers + Fries + Dips is pretty confident that they can pull it off with their 100% beef chuck patty. And damn, they did. This Blackbox limited offering is a cross between a bacon cheeseburger and a fruit jelly sandwich—a burger creation with a delightful sweet surprise.

Slammin’ Mini Burgers + Fries + Dips
G/F Promenade 3, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan City
Facebook: /Slamminmb
Instagram: @slamminminiburgers

What were your best eats last September?

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