Balikbayans coming home this Christmas will surely want to indulge in all the yummy, delicious Filipino food they haven't been able to enjoy all those years away.
While lutong bahay will probably sound good to them, bringing them to restaurants where Filipino food is remains familiar but somewhat made special. These restaurants also boast beautiful ambience and showcase how progressive Filipino cuisine has gotten.
1. Bamba Bistro
Located in BF Homes, Parañaque, Bamba Bistro is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for some place playful yet precise.
You'll find familiar Pinoy favorites but each comes with a fresh twist. For instance, the Crispy Tinapa, served with squid ink sinangag, mango aioli, coriander, and tomato salsa.
Another? Inasal that comes in the form of fried rice, complete with pork belly, crispy chicken skin, and pickles mustasa for that extra freshness. We can go on and on and on with their menu but we won't bore you with details.
Bamba Bistro is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 11am to 10pm. Know more on their Facebook page.
2. Grace Park
Conceptualized by Chef Margarita Forés, Grace Park is a collection of dishes inspired by meals at her ancestral home. It promises flavors that are familiar from childhood but presented in new, inventive ways.
Among the most unique in their menu are fresh local figs served with Negros burrata and ‘nduja. They also have chicharon curls, pork rinds made dainty, that's great as an appetizer when you take balikbayan tita out for lunch.
Grace Park is located in One Rockwell, Rockwell, Makati. For reservations, contact 0939 9347223. Facebook.
This Neo-Filipino bistro is a must-try if you're looking for something good and fresh. It's not only fresh or aesthetic, the menu is quite top-notch.
Served in visually pleasing plates, Lampara offers a variety of mains including beef belly that's cooked to perfection, doused with kaldereta sauce, and served with shishito and carrot powder.
Oh and their inasal? It’s octopus served with atchara and some greens for that perfect balance.
Lampara is open from 5pm to 11pm everyday. Contact 0917 173 5883 for inquiries or reservations.
4. Balay Dako
Balay Dako in Tagaytay proudly serves Filipino food that will instantly strengthen your bond with your loved ones. Their dishes are prepared with love and comfort.
Their Pinoy plates are delicious but their breakfast buffet is on another level yum. All those breads, the kakanin, silogs, kape and tsokolate! Are we smelling a road trip post-Simbang Gabi? We think so.
Balay Dako is located in Tagaytay. They don’t accept reservations, but are open all days of the week. Website.
Housed in the country’s Walled City, Ilustrado is the place to be if you’re feeling that "Maria, Clara at Ibarra" vibe.
Apart from the Pinoy favorites such as palabok topped with chicharon and bagnet, they also have a variety of new dishes to choose from like adobo with a twist. As in, it comes with crab fat and a ton of spices.
Want something more, well, historic? The Sinuwam na Mais, a classic corn chowder using local white corn and squash flowers, is an original from Malolos.
For reservations and inquiries, you may contact 0939 920 6822.
Welcome back to our beloved OFWs and an advanced Merry Christmas to you! — LA, GMA Integrated News