It’s been a tough twelve months for the local food and beverage industry, as restaurants around the country struggled to keep themselves afloat. But on March 25, more than a year since the pandemic first began, the local F&B industry has finally landed a win: three Philippine bets have made it onto Asia’s Best Restaurants List for 2021.
For the first time this year, an extended list was released, rounding up the region’s Best 100 restaurants. The voting panel for the awards list comprises over 300 experts—foodies, restaurant critics, chefs, and restaurateurs—who each get to cast ten votes for the “best restaurant experience” they had during the last 18 months before the voting deadline.
Until the day comes that we can dine out the way we used to, here are three restaurants that will keep us looking forward:
In top-left photo: Jordy Navarra, Mae Navarra, and JP Cruz. Photos by Miguel Nacianceno.
49th Best Restaurant in Asia
This is Toyo Eatery’s third consecutive time on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, and we aren’t surprised. Opened in 2016 and helmed by Chef Jordy Navarra, Toyo Eatery prides itself in reconnecting to local traditions and culture through innovative Filipino fare.
In the early months of the pandemic, Toyo Eatery owners Jordy and May Navarra kept themselves busy with a feeding program for Covid-19 relief. We also got to speak with Jordy himself about his thoughts on Filipino food—give him a listen:
Toyo Eatery is located along Magallanes, Makati City, in Metro Manila. Get more information on their Instagram.
Portrait of Tonyboy Escalante courtesy of Antonio's Group. Photos by Sonny Thakur.
84th Best Restaurant in Asia
This isn’t the first time Antonio’s by Chef Tonyboy Escalante made the cut. In 2015, Antonio’s became the first Filipino restaurant to break into the acclaimed Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Antonio’s is best-known for bringing a slice of European cuisine with a dash of Philippine influence, often with ingredients coming from their own farms. With its colonial-style interiors and lush greenery, Antonio’s it is definitely much more than a restaurant; it is an experience.
Antonio’s is nestled in the heart of Tagaytay City. Visit their website for more details.
In top-left photo: Chele Gonzales and Carlo Villaflor. Photos by Sonny Thakur.
Gallery by Chele
90th Best Restaurant in Asia
Also not a first-timer, Gallery by Chele has had its share of international accolades. Previously known as Gallery VASK, the restaurant made a back-to-back appearance on the list in 2016 and 2017. Chef Chele Gonzales, together with Chef Carlo Villaflor, celebrates local flavors by applying Spanish culinary techniques, pushing the borders of Southeast Asia cuisine.
Gallery by Chele offers tasting menus—including vegetarian—that have alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink pairing options available. They also offer a la carte meals and drinks.
Gallery by Chele is situated on the 5th floor of Clipp Center, Bonifacio Global City. For reservations, visit their website.