Chairman Wang's
It starts with the authentic Chinese cuisine whiff in the air and end with flavor bombs in your mouth. Noodles and steamed dumpling (not in photo) are equally scrumptious. I don't remember the names of the dishes but in the addition to the chicken, tofu, and beans, I had the lamb noodle soup which tasted liked pulled noodles done right and steamed pork dumplings that tasted better than its fatty (fried) sibling which says a lot. The caveat, if you like your food on the bland side, this may not be the place for you.
The rich cuisine (but balanced) extends to the interiors which is ample, meticulous and detailed.
Give it a go at Molito, Alabang.

Ceiling detail with elaborate lighting. The elongated space includes a mezzanine dining (phone photo).

Izakaya Kikufuji
Izakaya is the equivalent of a restaurant bar/pub in Japan. This is a very busy Izakaya restaurant in Little Tokyo, Makati and for good reason. For years this place has consistently drawn diners who are willing to wait to get a table. Their secret: good food and value. 
The restaurant isn't small by any standard. They have at least 30 tables and a long u-shaped bar (that can maybe sit 30 pax) area in two rooms. There is an open kitchen within the u-shaped bar where a good number of chefs are fervently going about their business. 
The food is a mix of traditional and modern Japanese. Plating can be straightforward and can be fanciful too. The highlight however, is the quality of ingredients and balanced flavors. I had the special California maki with spicy tuna (raw) and mango (signature dish), udon, kani and miso soup. 
The plates can photograph well enough as many food bloggers visit for some food photography.
Of course it wouldn't be an Izakaya without the extensive selection of Japanese wines, beer, whiskey and sake.

Special California Maki P450

Udon about P200+

Kani Salad P250 

Mama Lou's Kitchen
Are you craving for paper thin pizza's? Rissoto or homemade pasta? Mama Lou's Kitchen may be the place for you. Their pizza's remind me of the original Bravo and Gotti's Pizzeria. Bravo is still around located at HV de la Costa, Makati. Oh yes, the award-winning Balducci at Greenbelt back in the day. No more comparisons... don't want to take flak for doing so. 
Interestingly enough, Ive eaten in 4 of their locations but the one BF, the original one was the one I least enjoyed. Either my mood was wrong or the chef's that evening. This time I dined at Evia Lifestyle Center at Vista City (mouthful I know), Daang Hair Road, Las Pinas. The mall (yes its a mall) looked interesting and so is the 2-story Mama Lou branch.  The atmosphere was great, rustic but contemporary and clean. If you're in Resto design it's a must see. The food was on point! Pizza's divine. I had a few dishes but its the familiar thin crust pizza's that keeps me coming back. 

Tabarnes P325/425

Quattro Formaggi P325/ 425

Vesuvio (stuffed rigatoni pasta) P495

Risotto Pesto P325

Bacolod Chicken Inasal
Only a few local local fare comes close to the popularity of this grilled dish. I think it is the ultimate comfort food for hungry diners. The popularity and longevity of the restaurant chains with this offering is testament to its broad appeal. The distinctive flavor comes from lemon grass, clamansi, annatto (achiote) seeds, ginger, garlic and bay leaves marinade. 
My recommended options to get a bite of awesome Inasal are:
Aida's in Makati Cinema Square (award-winning and claims more secret ingredients to their recipe) 

Bacolod Chicken House (Original) and affiliated branches (Best tasting at Pablo Ocampo Sr. Ext., 

Makati)Bacolod Chicken Inasal
Mang Inasal
Best paired with garlic fried rice and sofdrinks (sorry if you have sugar issues). Dipping sauce is a must too, usually a combination of seasoned and spiced palm vinegar, calamansi, siling labuyo and dark soy sauce. Now I’m having a second helping. 
Hukad at McKinnley Hill, Taguig City​​​​​​​
Hukad restaurant is a popular Cebuano Restaurant chain now with a good number of locations in Metro Manila. I was there on a weeknight and the place was full of large groups of families. The space is somewhat eclectic: contemporary with filipino accents. Interestingly, tables have a sliding/ removable divider (mini fence) so 2 groups can share a table with relative privacy. 
Food is on point... no complaints. Flavors of Paksiw na Lechon and Bicol Express reminded me of home-cooking which is a good thing. The Ngohiong which apparently is a relative of the Kikiam is more of a fried lumpia with a battered wrap. The filling is made of some minced veggies and singkamas (native turnip). It goes with a killer chill sauce.
And then there's the you can't go wrong Crispy Prichon. Salivating yet?
Prichon, Hukad Restaurant- Food Photography Food Blog


Paksiw na Lechon and Bicok Express, Hukad -Food Photography Food Blog

Paksiw na Lechon and Bicok Express

Nhohiong, Hukad Food Photography Food Blog Manila


San Guo La Mien at Lucky China Town Mall in Binondo, Manila​​​​​​​
Hand-made Chinese noodles made of heavy dough is known as Lamian or commonly called Lamien here in Manila. Restaurants offering this dish is popular in this area. Since the dough is pulled/ stretched by hand into strands they're served perhaps twice as long as your usual spaghetti strands. They're heavier too. Taste and seasoning is well-balanced for both the soup and stir-fry noodles. The beef variety for both are the top-sellers. I just love the blend of tomatoes, peanuts roasted with the skin and tender and fatty beef on the stir-fried lamien!
The restaurant is usually full of diners from the morning all the way at night. Ive eaten here for brunch, lunch and late dinner. One order can be good for two if you want a light meal. No service charge so leave a tip for the attentive service staff.

Beef Lamien Guisado (no Name in the menu) P260

Seafood Lamien Soup P230

The Cook (BGC, Festival Mall)​​​​​​​
Fusion concepts are still going strong in Manila's food scene and maybe this time foreign entreprenuers are leading the way.  When I saw the "The Cook by Hongleepark, it's hard not to get intrigued because it's so out there.  They have fused Korean cuisine and Italian and pulled out all the stops to get noticed. From their giant electronic signs to their fake food displays, they give every reason to stop and look.
As advertised the food looks great on my camera and in person. The food like any other fusion concepts is perhaps more subjective. Don't get me wrong, I love both cuisines combining the two may be as tricky as I expect. The good thing though some combinations are more aesthetic than actual taste so the food is not only almost familiar but interesting to say the least. Food titles/ names are generic so I'll be more specific when I can with my captions. Enjoy!
The format/ servings are interesting all the dishes by category are priced the same and serves 2-3 persons.

Seafood Marinara on a Korean metal pan.

Bulgogi Pizza

Rice Pilaf with Shrimp

Bahay Dako, Tagaytay​​​​​​​
As soon as you arrive you already get a sense it's a special place... peachy is maybe the word to describe it.  The structure looks like an early era filipino home from the outside but once you step inside the interiors is a mix of contemporary and western design. They have a receiving area that looks almost like a small hotel lobby with plenty of white leather seating and a reception desk that oddly did not receive us; we just walked straight to the well-presented bakery/ deli to the left which had plenty of heavenly goodies and then to the dining area on the second floor. The reason perhaps is we were there for early dinner in anticipation of a crowd since waiting time is at least 45 minutes for lunch and dinner from what I was told.
As impressive as it is, the interiors was off since the restaurant is a filipino themed one.  Perhaps this is by design to be eclectic. The below-level dining tables were a mix of English looking, leather-bound,  half room length sofas, leather benches, baluster type wooden chairs and varnished tables while you get bar height wooden tables on the second level, white picnic style wooden tables, wrought iron pieces and loungy nooks. Customers dined there on this level too but the space is really a bar at night. Both spaces are lit mostly with chandeliers and spot lights. 
The food to cut to the chase was ok but not quite exemplary at least at the day and time we were there.  Food arrived very promptly but on some dishes were honestly a bit sloppy.  The paksiw na lechon became lechon soup because it was swimming in oil... Servers were already quite blank (forgot to bring the drinks and condiments) perhaps due to a very heavy lunch crowd earlier. We ordered Kare-kare (vegetable), inihaw na liempo, barbecue, paksiw na lechon and starters... a hearty meal in the end.
What made a lasting impression in my mouth is their piyaya. We brought maybe 4 bags of them home! As a matter of fact it’s a specialty at Bahay Dako. They are preprepared fresh from an open island kitchen/ bakery in the center of the dining area and trust me they are a must try!

Main Dining Area

Outdoor spaces at the second floor. The indoor dining has an incredible view of Tagaytay lake from the large French windows.

Fresh Lumpiang ubod

Pusit Sisig


Kare Kare

Piyaya station (Must-try)

Yushoken, Molito, Alabang, Muntinlupa City​​​​​​​
After opening its doors for years, Yushoken still attracts a very good crowd. They have seemed to get the formula right when it comes to quality and price.  You pay nearly Tokyo prices for their ramen (Php 400-500) but you do get a Tokyo ramen experience in every spoon.  The Shoyu Ramen, a popular bowl, is a flavor bomb! You'll get some creaminess, sweetness and salt fused with many other complex flavors all from a bowl of noodle soup! I recommend ice cold beer, coke or even tea to wash all the flavors down. A bowl can be good for two since some I observe can't finish one. We like paring dishes with other orders and sides anyway so unless you're a teen and/ or have a tri-athlete's appetite, one for two maybe just fine. 
Speaking of sides, the Karaage, Japanese for fried chicken and Gyoza, pork dumplings steamed then seared are seemingly on every table. They're properly prepared and decent. I only say that because these simple dishes are quite charateristically nuanced and my standard are still from Japanese kitchens like some Little Tokyo offerings in Makati which I'll also be writing about later.
Mean time hope the photos give you an appetite...

Shoyu Ramen at Yushoken

Seafood Ramen, Yushoken- Food Blog Food Photography

Seafood Ramen (off-menu)

Gypza Serving at Yushokem

Gyoza- Yushoken

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