Awesome Venues for Your Holiday Get-Togethers

No matter how stressful or wallet-draining the Christmas season can be, Filipinos never grow tired of celebrating it and getting excited over it. Apart from the gift-giving and reunions, the holiday feasts are some of the much-awaited aspects of Christmas—these serve as chances to bond with friends and family over delicious, guilt-inducing treats. Traditionally, we cook the same old favorites every year, but if you don’t have time or you’re simply looking to try something new, here are some awesome venues for your Christmas or New Year’s get-togethers:

This list is continuously being updated.

1 | Kabila

Indulge in a sumptuous Christmas Salu-Salo at Kabila and relish a 10- or 12-course set perfect for sharing with family and friends. Start with some of the Melted Quesong Puti served with crostini, then continue with the fresh Ensaladang Kabila: guapples, green and ripe mangoes, turnips, pomelo, tomato salsa, pili nuts, salted egg, bagoong, and calamansi dressing. Whet up your appetite further with the French Beans Gising-Gising, and indulge in the Dinakdakan—the Ilocano sisig.

For mains, the Pork Belly Roll is a stunner; the Bone Marrow Bulalo is, as always, comforting; and the Spicy Chicken Adobo sa Pula is an effortless crowd-pleaser. If you like seafood, there’s a Gindara Mayonessa that presents the baked melt-in-your-mouth fish with mayonnaise, relish, and chilies on top. Dig into the delicious Pancit Kabila loaded with bagnet and served with sinamak vinegar—it’s the restaurant’s rendition of habhab.

Finish off with some luscious desserts: the tikoy-like Bibingka Suman with salted egg and queso de bola; the Asian Fruit Platter; and the Avocado Crush. This Christmas season, Kabila is also offering special baked products like the Lemon Tres Leches Pound Cake (PhP400) and the Holiday Revel Bars (PhP150/box of 3).

*Inquire about the prescribed dishes per set when you order.

Level 1, Greenbelt 4, Ayala Center, Makati City (beside Museum Café)

Christmas Salu-Salo Prices:

Set for 6: PhP550++/head
Set for 10: PhP650++/head

2 Latitude

Relive the highlights of the past year over delectable treats from Hotel Jen’s Christmas and New Year offerings at Latitude. Enjoy the essential holiday ham, or feast on the Roast Turkey, made simply but perfectly—moist, with tasty gravy. Craving for Filipino food? Latitude’s Beef Rib Kare-Kare is a show-stealer; you’ll believe me once you taste it, and this is coming from someone who only eats his Lola’s home-cooked kare-kare. Finally, hoard the addicting churros, and make sure you try both the chocolate and vanilla dips.

Bundle this with a staycation at Hotel Jen, and get to stay in its redesigned rooms for as low as PhP4,400 net. Upgrade to a Club Room and gain access to the exclusive Club Lounge, where you can enjoy unlimited drinks and snacks all day. Sit back and relax with some afternoon tea, or mix your own cocktails while watching the sunset from the lounge’s floor-to-ceiling windows.

Curious to know how New Year’s Eve looks like in Roxas Boulevard? Celebrate New Year’s Countdown at Hotel Jen for only PhP1,800 net and view the stunning fireworks all over Manila Bay—from the Club Lounge, of course!


Latitude @ Hotel Jen Manila
3001 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Manila
+632.795.8888/ Fax: +632.795.8899

3 Heat

Share an exquisite Christmas or New Year’s feast at Heat—Edsa Shangri-La’s all-day dining restaurant. Be awed with the restaurant’s fine selection of international dishes, including their specialties such as roast pork, prime rib, and coffee chicken. Get confused as you wade through the array of sushi, noodles, meats, appetizers, seafood, and desserts—which one to get? You’d want to get them all.

If you find yourself trying to catch up with all the Yuletide shopping and events, gather the family instead and sit down to Heat’s Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet (PhP3,988 net) or Noche Buena Feast (PhP1,800 net). If your family customarily spends Christmas Day outside, Heat also offers a lunch and dinner spread on the 25th (PhP3,200 and PhP3,988 net respectively).

Come New Year’s Eve, find delight in a sumptuous dinner buffet (PhP4,288 net) or welcome 2016 with a Media Noche get-together (PhP1,800 net). On January 1, enjoy your first lunch of the year at one of Manila’s best hotel restaurants, or how about dinner? Both are being offered too at PhP3,200 and PhP2,500 net respectively. Don’t forget to check out Edsa Shangri-La’s winter set-up!

Heat @ Edsa Shangri-La
Lobby Level, Tower Wing, 1 Garden Way Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
+632.633.8888 ext. 2738

4 | Bellini's Italian Restaurant

Bellini's will always be one of my favorite restaurants, and it's not because it was featured in the popular Popoy and Basha movie. The quaint, homey, and charming place in Cubao Shoe Expo serves simple, comforting Italian food perfect for sharing with family and friends. The owner, Mr. Roberto Bellini, will occasionally regale you with amusing stories as you dine, and will even give you complimentary house wine after your meal.

Not only is the food at Bellini's good, the interiors are so beautiful as well. Murals adorn the walls alongside fancy doorways, wine racks, and other interesting knickknacks. Grape vines hang from the ceiling, and tablecloths complete the over-all rustic feel.

An extensive pasta and pizza selection awaits lovers of authentic Italian food, as well as an array of antipasti, steaks, and of course, desserts. Try their Spaghetti al Tartufo con Prosciutto, Bellini’s Special Pizza, Truffle Risotto, and Tornado con Bacon.

Read also: Bellini's: There and Back Again

Bellini’s Italian Restaurant
Stall 68-69 Cubao Expo, Gen. Romulo Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City
(02) 913-2550

5 | Cucina

A fine German feast awaits buffet lovers at Cucina in Marco Polo Hotel, Ortigas. Aside from the regular buffet spread consisting of Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Spanish, and Italian cuisines, Cucina is offering as a pre-holiday treat an array of German specialties like Venison Ragout, Pork Belly with Dark Beer Jus, Wiener Schnitzel, Trout Fillet, Bavarian charcuterie, and Semolina pancakes—to name a few. Guest chefs Mario Paecke and Christian Scheler from the iconic Schloss Elmau hotel were flown in to share their expertise after working extensively in Michelin-starred properties in Germany.

The German food fest is offered from December 8 to 13, and guests can partake of Bavarian creations for as low as PhP1,850, inclusive of German beers. During this period, regular buffet items at Cucina are still availableexquisite Chinese dishes, sushi, fresh seafood, and delicate dessert selections such as cheesecakes, hazelnut opera cakes, chocolate truffles and peach-and-chocolate pies. Don’t forget to try some wines from Marco Polo’s bar list (they have Riesling!), or stay longer for coffee. 

Extend your Marco Polo experience through a holiday staycation. For PhP7,000 net, you and another person can stay overnight and indulge in the hotel’s culinary offerings through a complimentary breakfast for two, a Filipino merienda, and Christmas treats from Café Pronto. Special Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day buffet offerings are also available from PhP1,850 to PhP3,370, featuring special items like Alaskan King Crabs, lobsters, unagi, uni, Jamon Iberico, Catalan Fuet, Pork Siomai in Truffle Sauce, US Prime Rib, and Stuffed Turkey.

24/F, Marco Polo Ortigas, Sapphire St. cor. Meralco Ave., Ortigas, Pasig City

Buffet rates:
Lunch (12:00NN – 2:30PM) – PhP1,500++
Dinner (6:00PM – 10:30PM) – PhP2,200++
Children 6 yrs. old and below – FREE
Children 7 – 12 yrs. old – 50% off

How do you spend your Christmas and New Year?

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