Affordable fine-dining restaurants in Metro Manila


Fine-dining restaurants in Metro Manila and their full-course meals are notoriously pricey, which makes one wonder how couples pose with a different restaurant dish and wine glass on their IG stories every half hour.

But now, the secret’s out. If you want to be that fancy couple on Valentine’s Day, these restaurants serve three- to full-course fine-dining meals for a sulit price. So celebrate your love here without having to take out a small fortune. 


1. Restaurant 101 – P320 course meals served by Alain Ducasse Institute’s students


Dishes made by students of Enderun's Alain Ducasse Institute
Image credit: @restaurant.101

We probably know of a celebrity or ten who studied in the renowned Enderun College, but what most don’t know is that the college runs one of the few fine-dining restaurants in Metro Manila that’s open for all to dine at. Restaurant 101 is operated by the college’s culinary center, Alain Ducasse Institute, which trains future chefs in the philosophies of Michelin star awardee Chef Alain Ducasse. 

For lunch, you can get a prix fixe or set course meal from their A La Carte Menu at P320 (~USD6.34) for 2 courses and P400 (~USD7.93) for 3 courses. As the menu varies daily, you can ask your waiter for their recommendations of what’s new. 

On the other hand, the course meals from their breakfast-inspired Market Menu are available any time of day, and include avocado toast, Spanish omelette, and duck and waffles. These come for P880 (~USD17.44) for 2 courses, P1,080 (~USD21.4) for 3 courses, and P1,280 (~USD25.37) for 4 courses.

Address: Enderun Colleges, 1100 Campus Avenue, McKinley Hill, Taguig City
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 11.30AM-2PM, 6PM-9PM | Closed on Sundays
Telephone: (02) 8246 9069


2. FOO’D by Davide Oldani – affordable Italian-style Michelin star dishes


Michelin star Chef Davide Oldani plating up ravioli in brodo
Chef Oldani’s ravioli in brodo.
Image credit: @davideoldani

For those whose experience with Italian food stops at fast-food spaghetti, venture into Michelin star-rated chef Davide Oldani’s FOO’D, which offers an affordable Italian fine-dining experience in a Metro Manila restaurant. 

While his restaurant in Italy requires you to book 6 months ahead, fortunately, that’s not the case for its BGC counterpart. You’ll get by with reserving days prior, or even walk in, if you’re lucky enough. But on a special day like Valentine’s Day, you might want to reserve ahead to assure a table.

With Italian dishes that look as if they were plated during a Masterchef episode, the lunch prix fixe menu starts at P660 (~USD13.08) for 2 courses, giving you an option between an appetizer or dessert to go with your main, while the P900 (~USD17.84) 3-course meal gives you all three. Dinner course meals start at P1,700 (~USD33.69).

Address: Shangri-La Hotel at the Fort, 30th St cor, 5th Ave, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
Opening hours: 11AM-3PM, 6PM-11PM, Daily
Mobile: 0917 711 4469


3. Mirèio – fine-dining at 5-star Hotel Raffles


A table spread from Mirèio at Hotel Raffles
Image credit: @mireioatraffles

Though this 5-star hotel restaurant is famous for being expensive, Hotel Raffles’ Mirèio still makes this list for their lunch course menus that are a good deal, at P1,100 (~USD21.80) for 2 courses and P1,240 (~USD24.57) for 3 courses.

The 3 courses include a starter, a main course, and a dessert, and the 2 courses let you choose a starter or dessert with your main course. Every course includes drinks, with an option of coffee, tea, and non-alcoholic beverages. With dishes such as gorgonzola croquettes, steak in béarnaise sauce, and desserts such as tarts and poached fruit, you’re sure to have a high-end dining experience.

Address: 9th Level, Hotel Raffles, 1 Raffles Drive, Makati Ave, Makati City
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 6AM-10.30AM, 12PM-2.30PM, 6PM-10.30PM | Sat – Sun 6AM-11AM, 12PM-2.30PM, 6PM-10.30PM
Telephone: (02) 7795 0707
Website


4. Sala Bistro – brunch with unlimited Italian wine


A brunch spread from Sala Bistro
Image credit: @salabistro

Beat the V-Day dinner crowd at Sala Bistro, which can set you up with a brunch course meal instead. On weekdays, they serve a 3-course set meal for P740 (~USD14.67) from 11AM-2.30PM.

Couples celebrating on the weekend instead can try their weekend 2-course set meal for P790 (~USD15.66), or P1,550 (~USD30.72) if you want to add a free flow of Italian wine from 11AM-2PM. 

Aside from those, they have 3-course menu sets available all day long, every day of the week,  starting at P1,380 (~USD27.35), inclusive of an appetizer, main course, and dessert. Set meal dishes vary based on what’s fresh that day, so ask your waiter. Safe to say, it’ll come from the extensive menu of European food, from French quiches to chorizo-crusted lapu-lapu.

Address: Greenbelt 3, Legaspi Street, Makati City
Opening hours: 11AM-11PM, Daily
Phone: (02) 7729 1888


5. Toyo Eatery – part of CNN’s 50 best restaurants in Asia for 2019


Bangsilog from Toyo Eatery
Bangsilog
Image credit: @toyoeatery

Featured on CNN’s Top 50 Asia’s Best Restaurants 2019 list, Toyo Eatery is the only Filipino restaurant that achieved this rank. Couples who are sticklers for quality when it comes to our country’s food will enjoy watching the chefs transform authentic Filipino cuisine with their skillful cooking and plating techniques.

The 5-course meal costs P1,600 (~USD31.71), which includes snacks, a kilaw appetizer of the day, two main dishes, and a dessert. Indulge in your favorite dishes with Filipino ingredients, from grilled bangus to dorado with mangoes and bagoong.

Address: Ground Floor, The Alley at Karrivin, Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Avenue, Magallanes, Makati City
Opening hours: Tue – Sat 6PM-11PM | Closed on Sun – Mon
Telephone: 0991 7720 8630


6. Ninyo Fusion Cuisine & Wine Lounge – dinner dates in gazebos


An assortment of dishes from NINYO Fusion Cuisine & Wine Lounge
Image credit: @businessandleisurestv

Sticking to just one set meal can be daunting if you’re hesitant about any one dish on the menu, but with Ninyo Fusion Cuisine & Wine Lounge and their 4 different prix fixe menus, you’re more likely to find an entire course meal you’ll like.

For couples, this restaurant’s 6-course Paris menu for P3,000 (~USD59.45) serves 2 people, including oysters, soup or salad, grilled tiger prawns, US top blade, raspberry sorbet, panna cotta, and your choice of wine. 

Couples with bigger appetites can pick the Ninyo Classics, a 6-course menu of their bestsellers such as US hanging tender steak, shiitake confit salad, and wasabi fried oyster for P1,200 (~USD23.78) per diner. Vegetarians can also choose the vegetarian menu at P1,250 (~USD24.77) per person, which swaps out the meats for tofu and vegetables such as pumpkin, eggplant, and beet.

Special gazebo seating at NINYO Fusion Cuisine & Wine Lounge
Image credit: NINYO Fusion Cuisine & Wine Lounge

The aesthetic won’t fail you either, as their rustic decor and wooden furniture make a romantic and intimate setting. Plus, you can reserve a gazebo and have it decorated with rose petals to surprise your lover on arrival.

Address: 66 Esteban Abada Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Opening hours: 11AM-2PM, 6PM-10PM, Daily
Telephone: 0993 9921 5881


7. Umu Dusit Thani – course meals for Japanese food lovers


An assortment of sashimi from Umu's Otsukuri Gozen set
An assortment of sashimi, from the Otsukuri Gozen set menu.
Image credit: @felixthebrattt

For couples whose date nights usually involve conveyor-belt sushi, take Valentine’s Day a step up at Dusit Thani Manila’s Umu restaurant. Here, you can spoil yourselves with any of 8 authentic Japanese set menus made with the finest ingredients. Set menus start at P1,350 (~USD26.75) for the Tempura Gozen meal with 7 dishes – an appetizer, 2 types of sashimi, assorted tempura, pickles, miso soup, and your choice of dessert. 

Sushi fanatics can tuck into their Sushi Gozen, with 10 different types of sushi for P1,400 (~USD27.74) plus an appetizer, a salad, hot soba, and your choice of dessert.

Address: Lobby Level, Dusit Thani Manila, Ayala Centre, San Lorenzo, Makati City
Opening hours: 12PM-2.30PM, 6.30PM-9.30PM, Daily
Telephone: (02) 7238 8888


8. Metiz – indulge in your favorite dishes from Filipino cuisine


Elevated ensaladang talong from Metiz's Chef Stephan Duhesme
Starter with grilled eggplant, ubod, pomelo, peanuts, pickles, and coconut dressing.⁣
Image credit: @nolisoli.ph

For those who love Filipino cuisine, you’ll love Metiz. Chef and owner Stephan Duhesme makes his Filipino dishes out of 100% local ingredients, putting an emphasis on vinegar and fermented elements which he believes sets our cuisine apart from others. 

Adding modern cooking techniques and plating to traditional local food, he turns popular dishes such as lumpia, pata, and goto into a new experience even if you’ve had them a hundred times before.

The fine-dining menu consists of 5 courses for P1,500 (~USD29.73), inclusive of a salad, a soup or broth, an appetizer, a main dish, and a dessert. The dishes depend on what’s in season, so you know you’ll be getting the freshest ingredients – simply phone to ask a little ahead of time.

Address: Ground Floor, Building A, Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Magallanes, Makati City
Opening hours: Tue – Sat 6PM-10.30PM
Mobile: 0917 700 4109


9. CRU Steakhouse – for vegans with meat lover friends


Beef dish by Chef John Cruz of CRU Steakhouse
Beef cheeks, egg yolk gnocchi, garlic foam, and consommé.
Image credit: @johndecuisine

If you’re the vegan half of a couple, stuck in a steakhouse because that’s where your partner wanted to eat, no worries. Despite being a steakhouse, CRU Steakhouse has options for you.

Their vegan 4-course meal comes at P1,500 (~USD29.73), with an amuse-bouche, a mushroom consommé, gnocchi for the main course, and coconut mojito ice pops for dessert.

Of course, for the steak-lover who wanted to go here in the first place, they also have course meals starting at P3,200 (~USD63.42) for 3 courses. It’s a little pricier, but for a special day like Valentine’s, it’s worth the slab-of-steak goodness.

Address: Ground Floor, Manila Marriott Hotel, 2 Resorts Drive, Pasay City
Opening hours: Mon – Thu 6PM-10.30PM, Fri – Sat 6PM-11.30PM, Sun 11.30AM-2.30PM, 6PM-10.30PM
Telephone: (02) 8988 9999


10. Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant- Swiss courses from P1,325


Swiss platter of cheese, bread, and smoked ham from Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant
Chalet comes with this Swiss platter composed of homemade cheese, bread, pate, and smoked ham.
Image credit: @vieuxchaletphilippines

People who don’t associate Swiss cuisine with a romantic dinner are missing out, and Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant is a prime example of the country’s love for fresh cheese and food platters. 

They have 5 options under their Prefix Menu, the cheapest one being Marina, a 3-course meal for P1,325 (~USD26.26) which includes a soup or salad, a fish main course of your choice, and a dessert of your choice. You can also choose other menus such as the Chalet and the Swiss Family, which come with additions such as mini Swiss platters and fondue, starting at P1,670 (~USD33.10).

Cozy and intimate ambiance at Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant
Image credit: @vieuxchaletphilippines

With a view overlooking a tropical hill forest and Metro Manila’s skyline, you and your date will feel as if you’re dining on top of the world.

Address: 456 Taktak Road, Sitio Sampaguita, Santa Cruz, Lower Antipolo, Rizal
Opening hours: 9AM-10PM, Daily
Telephone: (02) 697 0396


11. Tahanan Bistro – 5-course meals of favorite local dishes


Kamote from Tahanan Bistro's Halcon menu
This Kamote dish from their Halcon set is made of sweet potato, chickpeas, lucban longganisa, mint salsa verde, and fresh, homemade ricotta.
Image credit: @tahananbistro

If foreign cuisines and fine-dining experiences aren’t your partner’s thing, but you still want to bring them out for something special, Tahanan Bistro’s traditional Filipino cuisine will bring them comfort and familiarity.

Be it rellenong pusit (stuffed squid), danggit (salted, sun-dried rabbitfish), bistek (beef steak) or gising-gising (green bean and pork in coconut milk), they’ve got these local favorites in one of their three 5-course set meals for P1,350 (~USD26.75), inclusive of an appetizer, two mains, and two desserts.

For P1,600 (~USD31.71) and two-day advance notice, this is one of the few fine-dining restaurants in Manila that allows you to trade out the meats in the dishes with shrimp, fruits, and vegetables for their vegetarian and pescatarian diners.

Address: 22 Loresville Drive, Lores Farm Subdivision, San Roque, Upper Antipolo, Rizal
Opening hours: Sat – Sun 11AM-4PM, 6PM-10PM | Closed Weekdays
Telephone: 0925 880 1487      


Fine-dining experiences within budget around Manila


Most of us balk at the mention of fine-dining restaurants and full-course meals in Metro Manila, not just because using a dozen utensils sounds confusing, but also because of how expensive it might be.

But look hard enough in the metro, and you’ll find that having an appetizer, main course, and dessert set course can be cheaper than getting dishes individually for a Valentine’s Day treat nicely within budget.

Also check out:


Cover image adapted from: @onebaletecompound, @ninyofusion and @tahananbistro

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