Here’s where you can enjoy a romantic meal for under P1,500
MANILA, Philippines – For those still looking for a romantic place to dine and wine in for Valentine's, great news: we can help out! (For those still looking for an actual date this Valentine's, though... there are dating apps for that.) And if Valentine's is over – no problem. Romance never dies!
Intimate ambiance? Check. An upscale, delicious menu? Check. A splurge-worthy price that still won't break the bank? Check. Book a table at any of these 5 romantic restos around the Metro, and we guarantee a delish dinner for two under P1,500 that'll have those butterflies in your tummy perfectly satisfied.
Blackbird at the Nielson Tower
It's got a premium reputation for good reason – Blackbird at the Nielson Tower is the perfect "fancy" date destination for couples willing to play dress-up for the night.
Previously an air control center, Blackbird at Ayala Triangle Gardens whispers classy in all the right ways – from the warm, candelight set-up, its gorgeous cocktail bar and foyer, the A+ service, and their attention to detail, both in their dishes and their presentation.
What to expect: an extensive menu of signature cocktails, spirits, and wines, a brunch, lunch, and dinner menu of starters, soups, pizzas, mains, grill entrée, pastas, and dessert – all created to merge different cuisines (Asian, continental, Italian, you name it) into one cohesive dish.
Suggested dish combos for a P1,500 budget:
Combo A (P1,300)
- Buffalo Mozzarella, Tomato, and Oregano Pizza with Shaved Prosciutto (P620) - A freshly-baked brick oven pizza that's crispy-thin and bursting with fresh flavors, thanks to its tart tomato sauce and herbs. Plus points for the salty prosciutto!
- The Blackbird Burger (P680) - A juicy Mayura Station wagyu beef burger topped with scamorza (Italian cow's cheese), pickles, tomatoes, chili jam, and twice-cooked potato chips on the side.
Combo B (1,400)
- Branzino Fillet and Roast Fennel (P980) - This signature Blackbird entree is a pescetarian's dream come true (a.k.a. mine) – the fish is seared perfectly (crispy skin, moist interior), and is served with roast fennel, tomato, potatoes, and rocket, dressed in lemon. A refreshing, light dish.
- Bang Bang Chicken (P420) - This Asian-inspired bowl features sweet-spicy bang bang chicken atop green tea noodles, veggies, and a sesame-peanut sauce.
Combo C (P1,470)
- Dry Rubbed Wagyu Hanger Steak (P980) - This glorious, melt-in-your-mouth slab of beef is served with mustard butter and twice-cooked potato chips – a carnivore's delight.
- Roast Pumpkin Agnolotti Pasta (P490) - A pumpkin sauce is mixed with creamy mascarpone and a sweet onion-sage soubise (an onion Bechamel sauce).
Dessert recos: If your wallet and your appetite can afford it, try the Sticky Date Pudding (P360) with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream, or the Dark Chocolate and Almond Torte (P420) with espresso fudge sauce and burnt butter ice cream (an amazing flavor).
Note: For a Valentine’s Day lunch, you can still get the full ala carte Blackbird menu, but for the night of February 14, Blackbird has a special Valentine’s set menu available for couples.
Ninyo Fusion Cuisine & Wine Lounge
Ninyo is a literal hidden gem tucked along Esteban Abada street in Katipunan. It's a lovely respite from the busy, noisy streets surrounding this romantic restaurant.
Step inside and it suddenly feels like you're out of town – the warmly-lit, cool, al fresco dining area is framed by trees, fountains, and plants, featuring mini gazebos (and even a small treehouse), perfect for a private dinner for two. (Rose petals are even scattered on the ground!)
An ala carte menu is available (mains range from P520 to P1,400), but we suggest their curated, 6-course degustation experience that's worth an added few hundred pesos.
- Vegetarian Farmers Table Degustation (P1,250) - Pumpkin flowers, roasted beet salad, burnt onion couscous, raspberry sorbet, adlai eggplant croquette, mango pavlova/belgian chocolate cake.
- Ninyo Classics Best-Sellers Degustation (P1,200) - Wasabi fried oyster, nori pumpkin soup/shitake confit salad, honey-glazed grilled salmon, yuzu sorbet, U.S. hanging tender steak, mango pavlova/belgian chocolate cake.
Mijo Comfort Food
The delicate line between comfort food and creative fusion is where you can find Mijo – a relatively new Poblacion dining joint that merges comfort Filipino with the rich flavors of Spanish cuisine, finished off with a touch of class.
With comfortable seating, inviting, cozy interiors, soft lighting, and a prime location, Mijo isn't hard to like, with flavorful food that easily evokes love at first bite. Plus, their serving sizes are fit for sharing!
Suggested dish combos for under P1,500:
Combo A (P1,375)
- Soft Shell Crab Paella (P1,100) - This paella pan can easily feed 3-4 people, so this could be the only thing you order, if crispy soft shell crab, aligue, tinta, aioli, and squid ink paella negra rice is your thing (It definitely should be!)
- Grilled Oysters (P275) - Fresh oysters are grilled with white wine and a dill hollandaise.
Combo B (P1,415)
- Aligue Gambas (P420) - This sinful starter hits all the right, indulgent notes – prawns, crab fat, crispy garlic, aioli, and a hint of calamansi to cut through the richness.
- Wagyu Picanha (P995) - Love steak? Then spare yourself the mistake of not ordering Mijo's wagyu strips that cut like butter and are served with fatty bone marrow, roast veggies, and a sweet kamote mash.
Combo C (P1,265)
- Gindara (P595) - This perfectly-cooked, miso-glazed fish is set atop veggies and a lemon risotto, making for a savory-tangy dish of 100% flavor but 0% guilt.
- Truffle Jamon (P420) - Recommended for fans of truffle: parma ham, truffle cream, low temp egg, parmesan, and fresh rye fettucine.
- Chorizo Fries (P250) - Paprika fries, salty Spanish chorizo, crispy fried egg, and aioli. A filling appetizer!
If you've still got room for dessert (please, do make room), don't miss out on Mijo's Bread Pudding (P295), served with a chocolate ganache, honeycomb, and vanilla ice cream.
Don't underestimate the small space of this modern izakaya Japanese resto located along Guijo Street, Makati City – 12/10 is a shining contender among the "fine dining" world of restaurants.
Sophistication is what you'll get from 12/10 – both in their interiors, their staff, and the exquisite dishes and cocktail creations your adventurous palate will def thank you for.
An 8-course degustation menu is available at P3,550 for two, but if it's ala carte you're searching for, P1,500 for two can easily hit the spot.
Suggested dishes (all for P1,460):
- Uni Toast (P270) - Atop fluffy, crisp bread slices is a spoonful of fresh uni, chicken liver, pineapple, and shiso – a fatty, flavorful dream I still think about to this day.
- Wagyu Tartare (P410) - Raw, tender cubes of wagyu are mixed in a creamy dressing of avocado and pistachio bits, served on a crunchy strip of nori. Delicious.
- Katsu Sando (P350) - Fluffy milk bread sandwiches a hefty fried slab of menchi katsu, cheddar, and tare. Probably one of the most flavorful katsu sandwiches I've had.
- Spicy Tuna Onigiri (P430) - Spicy tuna, buttery foie gras, and a sweet-sour balsamic maple sauce all come together atop moist sushi rice, wrapped in crunchy nori. So good.