restaurants in Metro Manila

Hyped! New restaurants that opened in Metro Manila in 2022

Steph Arnaldo
Hyped! New restaurants that opened in Metro Manila in 2022
Which ones have you tried – or have yet to try – this year?

MANILA, Philippines – 2022 saw both the struggles and wins of a pandemic-stricken yet recovering food and beverage industry. While many beloved restaurants still had to say goodbye, new beginnings were also in tow last year – many new, hyped restaurants popped up in Metro Manila, much to many foodies’ excitement (and their determination to brave the long lines).

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From world-famous international names to local destination spots heading to the metro, here are a few of the the most-hyped restaurants that made it to the dining scene radar in 2022!

Muji Café

On June 3, Japanese furniture and lifestyle brand MUJI Philippines opened its very first minimalist coffee shop in the Philippines – Tokyo’s famous Muji Coffee café.

MUJI’s 10-year-old Bonifacio High Street branch moved to a space that’s “four times bigger” in Central Square, which houses the café. The local beans and tea leaves used for the cafe’s coffee and tea menu are certified by the Rainforest Alliance, an international nongovernmental organization that concerns itself with climate, forests, human rights, and livelihood. Sweet and savory pastries are also available!

Currently, Cafe&Meal MUJI has other branches in Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Randy’s Donuts

Los Angeles’ world-famous Randy’s Donuts chain made its way to Bonifacio Global City in April for its first Philippine branch at Uptown Parade. The hype was so strong and the lines were so long that in less than a month, Randy’s had to temporarily stop operations in May to replenish fresh ingredients from the US, as it ran out flour.

The brand resumed operations in June, and proceeded to open more branches across the Metro – Randy’s Donuts can now be found in Robinson’s Magnolia, S’Maison Mall, Shangri-La Plaza, Okada Manila, and Bonifacio Highstreet South.

The iconic Los Angeles landmark with the giant rooftop donut opened its very first store along Manchester Boulevard in Inglewood, California in 1952. It currently has branches in Los Angeles, other US locations, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. Randy’s Donuts is also a Hollywood staple, seen on Marvel’s The Avengers, Arrested Development, Masked Rider, Entourage, The Golden Child, Get Shorty, Problem Child 2, Crocodile DundeeThe Kissing Booth and Runaways, among other films.

Café Kitsuné

Oui, please! Japan’s Café Kitsuné opened at The Podium Mall, Mandaluyong City on July 21, retaining its iconic Japanese-Parisian interiors while introducing a new Philippines-exclusive menu. The quaint, modern-urban brunch café serves cakes, pastries, coffee, tea, and a few Japanese-Parisian dishes like Tuna Tartare, Cold Soba, French Onion Soup, and Chicken Confit.

Café Kitsuné was first founded in Tokyo’s Aoyama neighborhood in 2013, and has since expanded to Paris, Seoul, New York, Shanghai, Jakarta, and Bangkok. It is the coffee retailer of the French-Japanese fashion brand and music label Kitsuné, founded by Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki.

Olive Garden

America’s famous Italian-American restaurant chain opened its first branch in Metro Manila on September 12 at SM Mall of Asia’s South Entertainment Mall.

The Philippine franchise of Olive Garden serves the chain’s famous unli breadsticks, soups, and salads, and family-style servings of of lasagna classico, chicken parmigiana, carbonara, and alfredo, as well as never-ending refills of drinks and à la carte craft cocktails.

Olive Garden is one of the largest American restaurant chains that serves its own American take on Italian classics. It has over 880 restaurants globally, with its headquarters located in Florida.

bb.q Chicken

Korea’s world-famous bb.q Chicken chain crash landed onto Philippine shores on November 12 at at the second level of Bonifacio High Street Central, Taguig City!

Just like in K-dramas CLOY, Eternal Monarch, and Goblin, Filipino chingus can now have a taste of the Korean franchise’s signature Golden Fried Chicken, Hot Crispy Chicken, Secret Chicken, and Gangnam-Style Chicken, among many other K-food options.

bb.q Chicken, which stands for “Best of the Best Quality,” was founded in Korea in 1995 and is now a worldwide name with over 3,500 branches in 57 countries. The brand prides itself on its popular use of pure olive oil for deep-frying, which makes the chicken delicately crunchy, juicy, but not overly greasy.

The Matcha Tokyo

Manila’s matcha bes-teas were happy to find that Japan’s The Matcha Tokyo began brewing at the newly-opened Mitsukoshi Mall in Bonifacio Global City on November 18!

The Japanese tea house’s Manila outpost serves its 100% organic, ceremonial-grade matcha within a Zen, minimalist-industrial space. The premium matcha comes in three kinds, and can be enjoyed in different ways and with different kinds of milk and sugar levels. Iced matcha latte with oat milk, FTW!

The Matcha Tokyo, which was founded in 2018 in Tokyo, prides itself in its “highest quality” matcha. The Japanese brand’s farm uses clean water, fertile and pesticide-free soil, and carefully-selected tea leaves picked only once a year. The delicate tea leaves are then steamed, dried, and ground with a stone mill into a fine powder, resulting in the world-famous, ancient Japanese superfood.

Ikinari Steak

Japan’s presence is strong this year! Another world-famous Japanese steak chain, Ikinari Steak, opened in Metro Manila on December 18 at the ground floor of SM Mall of Asia Square. The first Philippine branch of Ikinari Steak, which means “sudden steak” in Japanese, is also the first in Southeast Asia (a second one is coming up in BGC’s Mitsukoshi Mall).

Most of Japan’s meatiest best-sellers are available here in the same DIY experience, with each steak served on a sizzling hot cast iron plate for customers to cook until their desired doneness. There’s the Angus Beef Wild Steak; Hamburg Steak; plus cuts of Ribeye; Striploin; and Tenderloin, with veggies, rice and Japanese condiments on the side.

Antonio’s Manila

Tagaytay City’s popular destination dining spot, Antonio’s, is now also Antonio’s Manila! The restaurant opened its first out-of-town branch in Metro Manila in early December, in partnership with luxury dealership PGA Cars, which is where the branch is located along EDSA.

The new upscale concept is a bar, bistro, and fine dining resto in one modern, contemporary space. It is now accepting lunch and dinner reservations. – Rappler.com

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.