restaurants in Metro Manila

Siargao’s Big Belly brings wagyu beef burgers to Metro Manila

Steph Arnaldo

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Siargao’s Big Belly brings wagyu beef burgers to Metro Manila
The beefier, the better! Siargao's famous burger joint Big Belly is now open at Burgos Circle, BGC

MANILA, Philippines – What makes a good burger? More than the toppings and the bun, it’s really the beef – that perfect high-quality, freshly-ground blend of beef and fat to make the best and juiciest burger patty.

At Siargao’s Big Belly, that is their secret: well-made, medium-rare wagyu beef patties that melt in your mouth – juicy, thick, soft, litid-free, and oozing with all the right juices.

Big Belly first opened in Siargao Island in 2020, founded by two Spanish friends from Barcelona, Marc Alberich and Chef Miguel “Mingu” Marcelino. Only meeting on the island by chance through a mutual friend, they discovered a shared love for really good burgers and agreed to put up Big Belly together. With Marc as operations manager and Mingu the culinary head, the duo grew Big Belly’s name on the bustling island for three years, until they decided to share their passion to burger lovers in Metro Manila.

WAGYU PATTY. Beef patties are made with wagyu, resulting in a juicy and rich burger. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Big Belly Manila opened in Forbeswood Heights, Bonifacio Global City in October 2023, with The Nikkei Group bringing Big Belly’s Siargao’s signature recipes to the city and its key ingredients.

SIARGAO-BORN. Tropical elements and the island life are evident in Big Belly Manila’s interiors. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

“With a commitment to producing all components from scratch, the restaurant ensures that every burger is executed with precision and emphasizes good technique to create a great dining experience,” The Nikkei Group said.

Big burgers, big appetite

It’s a small, intimate space that takes you right to the tropical paradise, adorned with tropical decor, native elements, and a relaxed, casual vibe that imbibes the island life.

SECOND FLOOR. On the second level there are large group booth seatings. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The menu is simple but streamlined, featuring a handful of wagyu burgers, smash burgers, chicken burgers, sides, and craft cocktails. The hefty B.B. King (P580) is one of the best-sellers, if you’re looking for something on the BBQ side and more topping-heavy. The incredibly juicy wagyu patty still stands out, and is accentuated by melted cheddar, browned onion, crispy bacon, mustard pickles, and barbecue sauce, all in a fluffy brioche bun.

B.B. KING. Crispy bacon strips and barbecue sauce are the key additions to this burger. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Going down the more classic route, the Cheeseburger (P550) boasts all the good ‘ol burger works, with the burger patty still the star of the show. There’s melted cheddar, browned onion, mustard pickles, and a special burger sauce (that I didn’t really taste enough of); however, the caramelized onions and mustard pickles brought the tang I like in a cheeseburger.

CHEESEBURGER. A simpler option, still served with tangy mustard pickles and caramelized onions. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Since the patty was so meaty and rich, I found myself craving for a contrast of freshness, so I requested for a side of fresh tomato and lettuce to add in my burger. Personally, it made my cheeseburger experience better.

NY FRIES. Freshly-cut potato fries come with sauces and toppings. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

For sides, I had the NY Fries (P340), hand-cut fries (my favorite kind) with a melted cheddar sauce, crispy bacon bits, and a “big marc sauce” on top. Although I was happy with the freshly-cut quality of the fries, I was looking for more umami in the cheese or big marc sauce, and wished there was more of it doused on the fries.

CHICKEN TENDERS. The breaded chicken thighs are crispy and just the right size for snacking. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The Chicken Tenders (280) is a side dish that deserves more spotlight – crispy deep-fried chicken nuggets (which were real pieces of chicken and not the mushy kind) are dipped in flavorful barbecue and ranch dips. The breading to chicken ratio was just right.

DRINKS. Aside from milkshakes and iced teas, craft cocktails are available too. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The Passion Berry Iced Tea (P150) was a fruity and refreshingly light beverage to pair the heavy burgers with. If you want a sweeter, more indulgent option, the Vanilla Milkshake (P350) tastes just like melted vanilla ice cream, blended until creamy and thick.

Within the saturated burger market of Metro Manila, Big Belly Burgers can stand as a worthy contender, owning modest prices for the high-quality wagyu beef burgers used, served in a relaxed ambiance reminiscent of the exciting Siargao island life.

Big Belly Manila is located at Forbestown Road, Burgos Circle, BGC, Taguig City.  It’s open daily from 12 pm to 12 am. For more information, you can check out Big Belly Manila’s Instagram. –

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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.