The ASEAN region isn’t just known for its beautiful beaches, friendly people. Southeast Asian cuisine has also been on everyone’s radar lately, with Thailand’s Massaman Curry topping CNN’s World’s Best Food list and Filipino fare being proclaimed as the next big thing. Here’s where Manileños with no plans for the long weekend can dine out—ASEAN style!
1) Warung Warung PH
83 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Warung Warung PH started as a stall in the Legazpi Sunday Market, but the demand for their Indonesian fare grew big enough that an actual restaurant was deemed necessary. The food is as authentic as it can get—owners Louh and Tess both lived in Jakarta for several years, and even furnished the homey restaurant with unique items they acquired during their stay there.
Try: The Martabak Telur (P395), Beef Rendang (P375), and Nasi Goreng (P185)
2) Tra Vinh
Unit 3, 109 NS Amoranto Corner Cordillera Street, Maharlika, Quezon City
Nothing beats having spring rolls and piping-hot pho in a karinderya in Hanoi, Vietnam, but Tra Vinh’s food comes pretty close. If you want something different from the usual pho, get the Spicy Combination Noodle Soup (Bun Bo Hue), a noodle dish that originated from the old royal capital of Vietnam.
Try: The Spicy Combination Noodle Soup (P230-299), Tra Vinh Special Noodle Soup (P180-299), Fresh Spring Roll (P160-180), Vietnamese Pancake (P250)
3) PappaRam Malaysian Kitchen
45 J.P. Rizal Street, Calumpang, Marikina City
Malaysian cuisine is marked by its spicy flavors, with chili, cumin, and coriander usually taking center stage. PappaRam Malaysian Kitchen, a relative newcomer in the Marikina restaurant scene, has a wide selection of Malaysian fare—they offer almost everything you can find in Jalan Alor, the famous food street in Kuala Lumpur.
Try: Nasi Lemak (P185), Satay Ayam (P155-515), Cereal Butter Tiger Prawns (P255)
4) Bugis Singapore Street Food
78 N. Roxas Street, Santo Domingo, Quezon City
You can’t visit Singapore and not have Laksa—it’s one of the country’s most famous dishes, alongside kaya toast and chicken rice. If you’re craving for the stuff, Bugis Singapore Street Food’s the place to go. The serving size is generous, noodles are firm yet tender, the broth is perfectly spicy (and unlimited!). Perfect for a rainy night.
Try: Singapore Laksa (P230), Bah Kuh Teh (P218), Num Nums on Stick (P35 per stick)
5) Krung Thai
Marikina Public Market, M Cruz Corner WC Paz, Santa Elena, Marikina City
The Marikina Public Market isn’t exactly where you’d expect to find some of the best Thai food in Metro Manila, and yet, here we are. Krung Thai is owned by a Thai national who moved to the area decades ago, so you can expect the fare to be as flavorful as the food you can find in Bangkok. Trust us when we say it’s worth the pilgrimage to Marikina.
Try: Pad Thai Special (P279), Tom Yam Seafood (P389-499), Massaman Chicken Curry (P399)
432 San Andres Street Corner Roxas Boulevard, Malate, Manila
You didn’t think we’d forget the host country, did you? Aristocrat’s Malate branch is an institution: The place still gets filled to the rafters despite having been around for nearly a century, thanks to its consistently good food. Now that’s staying power!
Try: Kare-Kare (P455), Chicken Barbecue (P210), Halo-Halo Special (P150)