We all have our go-to establishments for casual dates, but sometimes when we're out to impress a lady, our trusty favorites just won't cut it. Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary, or just in the mood for something a little more special, these gourmet dining experiences are a cut above the rest. Most people are intimidated with the terms gourmet and fine-dining because they're afraid of the bill post-meal. But we found some places with top-notch cuisine that are still relatively affordable.
P1,500 FOR TWO
Brasserie on 3
This Conrad Hotel restaurant offers an urban escape where you don't even have to leave the city. The relaxing view of its outdoor pool and Manila Bay through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows is a sight to see. There is harmony in their choice of glass and wood interiors. Most of their servings are for sharing, unless you wanna try their tasting menus. Even though most dishes appear as the usual comfort food, they use quality ingredients and their artisanal pizza, pasta, and bread are all made from scratch.
Conrad Manila, Seaside Boulevard, Coral Way, Pasay City
Mateo’s Restaurant Cafe
The interiors may be a little shabby, but the Spanish and Filipino-inspired dishes that Mateo’s serves are simply unforgettable. It’s the type of restaurant where you’d want to try something new on every visit. Order the Spanish Mushroom Quesadilla with some tender and garlicky Spanish Salpicao. End the meal with a slice of the Naked Lemon Olive Cake paired with locally produced coffee.
54 N. Domingo, Quezon City
P3,500 FOR TWO
The Flame, Discovery Primea
The view from this 16th floor restaurant is just as mesmerizing in daylight as it is come nighttime. Right in the heart of the business district, Flame has a panoramic view of Manila’s urban landscape. Considered as “deconstructed fine dining,” the dishes they serve are mostly European with a twist, and we recommend their nutty Chilli Lobster Pasta and some Black Pepper Panna Cotta for dessert.
Discovery Primea, 6749 Ayala Avenue, Makati City
We heard that it’s quite difficult to make a reservation in this quaint restaurant in Makati, but the place is truly made for intimate dates. Blackbird also has a full bar and outdoor dining areas for you to explore after your meal. You can never go wrong with any dish from this restaurant, even though most of them are unfamiliar choices. Just imagine how good these sound: Wagyu steak with mustard fries, Blackbird’s famous fish pie, and some goat cheese pizza.
Nielson Tower, 6752 Makati Ave, Makati
Your girl will fall in love with Manila Hotel’s Champagne Room. Every corner of it screams luxury, from the upholstery, the chandeliers, and the glass doors. Start with some French Onion Soup and Ravioli, and you can’t go wrong with the sous vide beef short ribs.
The Manila Hotel, Manila
P5,000 FOR TWO
Dim setting, candle-lit tables, glasses of fine wine, and the best dry-aged steak in town. The Wolfgang interiors here replicate its New York branch—they want customers to feel, smell, and taste New York. They've perfected the art of a good steak, their meats are exquisitely juicy and come in enormous servings.
2F Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila
If you wanna get away from the city and get some fresh air, then Tagaytay’s Antonio’s is where you should be headed for your romantic (and undisturbed) meal. Regulars of this popular restaurant often go for the Mayura Tomahawk Steak and Roasted Duck Breast.
Purok 138, Barangay Neogan, Luksuhin-Mangas Road, Alfonso, Tagaytay City