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Good Manila restaurants serving adobo and other Philippine dishes?

Hi, Asia Hopping! My husband and I will be in Manila on business for a couple of nights next month. Can you recommend good adobo restaurants in the city? We've heard so much about this dish and want to try it. Authenticity is important as well as ambiance. So I guess what I'm looking for is an elegant place serving authentic Philippine food, not just adobo but other dishes as well. Maybe even good, traditional Philippine desserts. We cannot go too far from Makati where we are staying because of time limitations. Thanks! - Reese M. (Guest)

restaurant serving adobo
I would recommend Chef Tatung in Taguig, a ten-minute taxi ride from the Makati business district. It's a bit out of the way but worth the trip if you're looking for elegant Filipino food. Try their adobo sampler to experience how adobo is cooked in four distinct (regional) ways.  This huge adobo platter feeds 3 to 4 people and costs around  $30, if I am not mistaken. They also serve many other Philippine dishes cooked traditionally but plated more elegantly than usual. The dessert selection is quite good. Try the brulee.

Tell the taxi driver to take you to Acacia Estate in Taguig where the restaurant is located. He will probably know where that is. The ride might cost around PhP300 ($8) from Makati CBD. From EDSA, take Mckinley Road, then Lawton Avenue, then turn left to Bayani (Heritage Park) Road. Take the C-5 tunnel to reach the C-5 North-bound lane. Turn right to Levi Mariano Street and make another right to enter Acacia Estate.


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Chef Tatung is fantastic but out of the way. If you don't have much time, you can try the Philippine restaurants serving adobo in Greenbelt 5, which are likely to be within walking distance of your hotel in Makati. 

I recommend Mesa on the ground level of Greenbelt 5. It's a family bistro serving chicken adobo and other interesting Philippine dishes. Fely J's adobo is also good. This restaurant is also in Greenbelt 5.  Both Mesa and Fely J's are smart-casual bistros; not too down-home but not white-tablecloth either.

If you want a more authentic experience, try adobo the way locals eat it -- basic, stripped-down, and oh-so-delicious. Go where the office workers go for lunch. Here's a list of cheap restaurants serving adobo.  The ambiance is super casual (shorts and flipflops perfectly acceptable).  They're all over Makati.

Sebastian F.

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