And the 2010 Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Awards Winners are…

MBKRS Awards 2010 winners
(I totally agree with all the awards except for one…)

Check out the 2012 winners: MBKRS Awards 2012: And the Best Restaurants in Manila are…

Related Post: My Votes for Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Awards 2010!

Best Italian Restaurant – L’Incontro
(Wow, congratulations to Tina Pamintuan for winning this award! I haven’t had the chance to eat at L’Incontro ever since she took over… I’m eating there soon. My vote for the Best Italian still goes to C’Italian Dining in Pampanga 🙂
  • Carpaccio
  • C’ Italian
  • L’Incontro
  • Cantinetta (Pasong Tamo Ext)
  • Café Caruso
Best French Restaurant – La Regalade
(I was surprised to not see  Cicou on the list of finalists because this would have been a more meaningful award for La Regalade — by beating their nearest competitor. Also, has Chef Jessie lost her touch already?)
  • L’Entrecote
  • Chef Jessie
  • Cuillere
  • La Regalade
  • Enchante

OAP Related Blog Post: Chef Alain Raye’s La Regalade in Manila!

    Best Spanish Restaurant – Cirkulo
    (There really seems to be a lack of good Spanish restaurants in town, except for Cirkulo and Casa Español in Manila.)
    • La Tienda
    • Casa Armas (Malate)
    • Gaudi (Serendra)
    • Cirkulo
    • Alba’s Restaurante Español

    Best Japanese Restaurant – Tsukiji
    • Kikufuji
    • Seryna
    • Tsumura
    • Tsukiji
    • Nihonbashitei

    OAP Related Blog Post: Tsukiji @ Century Park Hotel

        Best Chinese Restaurant – Peking Garden
        (Yes, Peking Garden is really good, but my vote still goes to Tao Yuan! 🙂 )
        • Tao Yuan
        • Peking Garden
        • Hai Shin Lu
        • Gloria Maris (Greenhills)
        • Choi’s Garden
        Best Continental Cuisine – Antonio’s!
        (Since Lolo Dad’s won last year, no other nominee on the list could really beat Antonio’s. Antonio’s is my favorite restaurant, overall. 🙂 )
        • Aubergine
        • Sala
        • Antonio’s
        • Chateau 1771
        • The Goose Station

        OAP Related Blog Posts:
        Nothing beats an Antonio’s Dinner @ Tagaytay!
        Antonio’s, Tagaytay — Still the Best

          Best Thai Restaurant – Azuthai
          (Admittedly, I’m not a fan of the J. Gamboa group of restaurants. Maybe I should give Azuthai a try one of these days.)
          • Silk
          • Azuthai
          • Som’s Noodle House
          • Chariya’s Thai Kitchen
          • My Thai (Greenbelt)
            Best Filipino Restaurant – Cafe Juanita!
            (This is the BEST Filipino restaurant in Manila — even better than Abe!)
            • Sentro 1771
            • Fely J’s
            • Café Juanita
            • Laudico Bistro Filipino
            • Mesa

            OAP Related Blog Posts
            Cafe Juanita – Eclectically Romantic
            Cafe Juanita at the Fort
            The New Look of Cafe Juanita in Pasig

              Best Middle Eastern Restaurant – Ziggurat
              (Ziggurat feels old already… Most foodies love the Shawarma Snack Center in Malate.)
              • Mana-ish
              • Arya (Podium)
              • Ziggurat
              • Persia Grill
              • Shawarma Snack Center (Malate)

                Best Korean Restaurant – Korean Garden
                (Yes, Korean Garden is one of the best Korean restaurants in Manila.)
                • Mori Mori
                • Korean Garden
                • Kaya
                • Ye Dang
                • Ara
                • Korean Village
                  Best Indian Restaurant – Kashmir
                  (Kashmir is THE authentic Indian restaurant in the metro. It is voted as the BEST Indian restaurant in Manila by Indians.)
                  • New Bombay
                  • Swagat
                  • Queens
                  • Bollywood
                  • Kashmir
                    Best Central European Restaurant – Mickey’s Delicatessen
                    (The judges need to travel to Antipolo and check out Vieux Chalet.)
                    • Magyar
                    • Chesa Bianca
                    • Vieux Chalet
                    • Appenzeller Bar and Restaurant
                    • Mickey’s Delicatessen

                    OAP Related Blog Post: Hey Mickey’s, Octoberfest Na!

                        Best Specialty Cuisine – Cyma Greek Taverna
                        (It was great to meet Chef Rob Goco at the awards. I’m excited about the new restaurant concepts he shared, which will be launched in 2011. Btw, he is no longer a part of the Ristras group.)
                        • Corner Tree Cafe
                        • Ba Noi Vietnamese Restaurant
                        • Ristras Mexican Grill
                        • Cyma Greek Taverna
                        • New Orleans 

                        OAP Related Blog Posts:
                        Cyma in Manila!! Opa!!
                        Opa! Cyma in Greenbelt, Makati!
                        What’s New in Boracay in 2010? (Part 2 of 2)

                            Best Steakhouse – Mamou!
                            (We LOVE the oily steak of Mamou!)
                            • Bistecca
                            • House of Wagyu
                            • Mamou
                            • I Am Angus
                            • Fire Lake Grill
                            • Highlands Steakhouse (MOA)

                            OAP Related Blog Posts:
                            The BEST of Serendra and Bonifacio High Street Food Trip

                              Best Bistro – Apartment 1B
                              (Double congratulations to Marivic Diaz- Lim for a new baby last October 7 and for winning the Best Bistro award!)
                              • Lolo Dad’s Brasserie
                              • Chelsea
                              • Cibo (Greenbelt)
                              • Apartment 1B
                              • Brasserie Boheme by the Gustavian

                              OAP Related Blog Post: Apartment 1B’s Gourmet Comfort Food

                                  Best Restaurant/Bar – The Establishment
                                  (Our favorite restaurant/bar! Congratulations, The Establishment!)
                                  • Handlebar
                                  • Café Havana
                                  • The Establishment
                                  • Murphy’s Irish Pub
                                  • Fiamma

                                  OAP Related Blog Post: The Establishment

                                    Best Enoteca – Galileo Enoteca
                                    (Our all-time Enoteca favorite! Congratulations, Vanessa Vitrano! 🙂 )
                                    • The Wine Club
                                    • Galileo Enoteca
                                    • Cave Werdenberg
                                    • Purple Feet
                                    • Bordeaux

                                    OAP Related Blog Post: Finally, the Galileo Enoteca Experience I was looking for!

                                      Best Fusion Cuisine – Kai
                                      (Kudos to Kai!) 
                                      • Ninyo’s
                                      • Kai
                                      • LU
                                      • Felix
                                      • Katre

                                      OAP Related Blog Post: Kai Revisited

                                          Best Wine List – Masseto
                                          (Masseto was one of our most favorite restaurant discoveries in 2010.)
                                          • Sala
                                          • Masseto
                                          • Aubergine
                                          • Lemuria
                                          • Restaurant 101

                                          OAP Related Blog Post: Tippi Tambunting’s Masseto

                                                Best Burger Joint – Brother’s Burger (High Street)
                                                • Charlie’s Grind & Grill
                                                • Brother’s Burger (High Street)
                                                • Mr. Jones
                                                • Sango Burger Master (Mile Long)
                                                • Murray & D’Vine
                                                Best Dessert, Ice Cream and Cake Shop – Bizu Patisserie
                                                (Congratulations, Bizu! But my heart still belongs to Chocolate Fire. 🙂 )
                                                • Alexandre
                                                • Conti’s
                                                • Bizu Patisserie
                                                • Sonja’s Cupcakes
                                                • Café Mary Grace (High Street)
                                                • Chocolate Fire
                                                  Best Newcomer – The Goose Station
                                                  (Double congratulations to Sunshine and Rob Pengson for winning the Best Newcomer and Best Emerging Talent awards! You deserve it!)
                                                  • Le Bistro Vert
                                                  • Masseto
                                                  • The Goose Station
                                                  • Bistecca
                                                  • Ba Noi

                                                  OAP Related Blog Post: The Goose Station’s Degustation

                                                      Best Hotel Restaurant : International Buffet – Circles (Makati Shangri-La)
                                                      (One of our hotel favorites in the country!)
                                                      • Circles (Makati Shangri-La)
                                                      • Paseo Uno (Mandarin Oriental)
                                                      • Heat (Edsa Shangri La)
                                                      • Crossover Buffet (The Dusit Thani Manila)
                                                      • Escolta (The Peninsula)

                                                       OAP Related Blog Post: Best Buffets in Manila: Circles, Shangri-La

                                                        Best Hotel Restaurant : Fine Dining – Cicou (Hotel Celeste)
                                                        (Congratulations, Cicou!)
                                                        • Cicou (Hotel Celeste)
                                                        • The Fireplace (Hyatt Hotel and Casino)
                                                        • Red (Makati Shangri-La)
                                                        • Old Manila (The Peninsula)
                                                        • 22 Prime (Discovery Suites)

                                                         OAP Related Blog Post: Cicou @ Celeste

                                                          Best Hotel Restaurant : Specialty Cuisine – Inagiku (Makati Shangri-La)
                                                          (Inagiku serves the BEST Authentic Japanese Buffet in the country!)
                                                          • Summer Palace (Edsa Shangri-La)
                                                          • Inagiku (Makati Shangri-La)
                                                          • LiLi (Hyatt Hotel & Casino)
                                                          • UMU (Dusit Thani Manila)
                                                          • Shang Palace (Makati Shangri-La)
                                                            Best Hotel Bar – Martinis (Mandarin Oriental)
                                                            (Of course!)
                                                            • Cinnabar (New World)
                                                            • Icon (Intercontinental)
                                                            • Martinis (Mandarin Oriental)
                                                            • Conway’s (Makati Shangri-La)
                                                            • Kipling’s Cigar Bar (Mandarin Oriental)
                                                            • Le Bar (Sofitel)

                                                              Best Emerging Talent – Sunshine and Rob Pengson (The Goose Station)
                                                              (The chef couple looked fabulous last night. Congratulations again!)
                                                              • Luis de Terry (LU)
                                                              • Tippi Tambunting (Masseto)
                                                              • Adrian Cuenca (Elbert’s Steak Room)
                                                              • Stephanie Zubiri (Modern Epicurean Kitchen)
                                                              • Sunshine and Rob Pengson (The Goose Station)

                                                              OAP Related Blog Posts: 
                                                              Sunshine Puey, Goddess of Degustation and Roberto Pengson, Culinary Kung Fu Master
                                                              The Goose Station’s Degustation

                                                                Best Chef – Antonio Escalante (Antonio’s)
                                                                (No doubt, the BEST Chef for me! 🙂 )
                                                                • J Gamboa (Cirkulo)
                                                                • Sau del Rosario (Le Bistro Vert)
                                                                • Antonio Escalante (Antonio’s)
                                                                • David Pardo de Ayala (The Discovery Group)
                                                                • Jessie Sinsioco (Chef Jessie)

                                                                OAP Related Blog Post: Antonio’s, Tagaytay — Still the Best

                                                                  Lifetime Achievement Award –
                                                                  (Who won ba? I missed this…)
                                                                  • Gene Gonzalez
                                                                  • Juan Carlos de Terry
                                                                  • Margarita Fores
                                                                  • Colin Mackay
                                                                  • Glenda Barreto

                                                                  People’s Choice Award — People’s Palace!
                                                                  (Most foodies were disappointed that People’s Palace was not part of the nominees for Best Thai Restaurant, so the foodies rallied to vote for it as the BEST Restaurant in the People’s Choice Award Category. 🙂

                                                                  Check out the official MBKRS website for more info.

                                                                  Congrats to Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb for the successful 2010 MBKRS Awards!

                                                                    Live an Awesome Life,

                                                                    Call or Text Me: +63917 5683-627 (LOVE-OAP)
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                                                                    Disclosure: I was one of the judges for the awards, but I’m not part of the organizing team. I did help the MBKRS team in marketing the awards online.

                                                                    P.S. More online-related categories (like best restaurant website, best food blogger, best online delivery, etc.) next time, please…

                                                                    58 thoughts on “And the 2010 Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Awards Winners are…

                                                                    1. I can’t believe People’s Palace was not included in the Thai category, too!
                                                                      And I agree with you , Anton. I think Chef Jessie has lost her touch… I was disappointed when we ate at Enchante last month. I was looking for the oomph but alas, it was “out of stock” that night. 🙁 The overall experience was a letdown, especially with the price we had to pay. It’ll take a lot of effort and convincing to make me go back there again… sayang.

                                                                    2. Brothers’ Burgers, seriously? Also I can’t believe C’Italian and Vieux Chalet didn’t win 🙁 I know M in MBKRS stands for Manila, but it goes without saying that neighboring towns/provinces are also included and alas, they sometimes offer the better dining experience. Lastly, your comment on including online categories esp. best food blogger is perfectly apt for today’s foodie generation. Expecting more from next year’s MBKRS Awards! 🙂

                                                                    3. I can’t believe Kikufuji was even nominated. this restaurant had its time but the quality has deteriorated so much.
                                                                      Yes, People’s Palace should have been nominated. L’Entrecote should not be nominated as a French restaurant at all. I think it is in the wrong category. This place does not represent French Cuisine at all.
                                                                      Not to many people know of Menggetsu, a great, small fusion Japanese restaurant in Creek side (beside Sango. The food is excellent. I agree with Kai, definitely Nobu inspired recipes but otherwise very good.
                                                                      As a whole, I agree with most of the choices as taste is relative.

                                                                    4. i didnt agree with most of the winners or even the nominees….but the credibility of this group crashed when brother’s burger won! o well. what was once an award that i thought could have the potential to be taken seriously is now just a joke.

                                                                    5. Thank you Sir Anton and Ms. Giselle Cruz for believing in us!It’s people like you that we enjoy our jobs a.k.a our lives. Vieux Chalet is not just a restaurant…it’s a lifestyle that we wish to share to you guys! Salute! Mabuhay!
                                                                      Vieux Chalet
                                                                      Swiss Restaurant

                                                                    6. Its great that the goose station was the only restaurant to win 2 awards. It was my best dining experience in the country and they truly deserve it.

                                                                    7. What?! So you mean there were some judges who did not eat in the restaurants nominated?
                                                                      **roll eyes* shock** That might be a bit unfair. To judge properly one must eat there.
                                                                      While I agree in most of the nominations, I think that should be part of the criteria – that all judges must have dined in all the restaurants no more than the last 12 months. Also that no judge must own a nominated restaurant.
                                                                      Congrats to the winners!

                                                                    8. I don’t agree with most of the winners. Especially the goose station and rob and sunshine pengson winning. I ate at the goose station and was greatly disappointed. Totally not worth the money we’ve spent and for an expensive restaurant all my requests can’t even be accommodated.
                                                                      Aubergine should have won. Worth every penny spent there!

                                                                    9. brother’s burger? have any of them tried other burger places? brother’s burger? really? what about wham and hotshots? byte club?… i’m surprised benjarong’s not in the list of thai places. tsukiji? i can think of other better japanese places to eat at. i’m surprised carpaccio’s in the list of best italian places. i never liked the food there. i think la nuova, l’opera and bellini’s are better. hmmm… where’d hossein’s go? this is a great place for indian/middle eastern food. maybe more research could’ve been done by the judges… this is a bit disappointing… 🙁

                                                                    10. i don’t know what happened, but mbkrs just lost whatever credibility i placed in it. a lot of the restaurants nominated are subpar, it’s no wonder most of the winners are undeserving (case in point – brother’s burger). these are definitely not the best, and i’m truly disappointed at the results.
                                                                      and i dont agree that cafe juanita is better than abe. cafe juanita isn’t bad, but there’s nothing special about the food. i felt cheated paying that much for kare kare that tasted like something I make at home. sorry.

                                                                    11. thanks anton for your kind words …. new menu out tonight testing and tasting ongoing whole day already ….and once again for all the lovers of true classic italian cuisine …. will share some most of the recipe via my FB page … my kitchen by chef chris’

                                                                    12. to begin with are the founders of these awards, Ines Cabarrus & Elian, themselves credible? oh please. she has a certificate from a wine course from the boonies in australia comes back & calls herself a “sommelier”.
                                                                      this is just a business, a bad one and hopefully it fizzles out as it deservedly will. a total waste of time. what a sham.
                                                                      let’s just go on, eat our way around this great city of ours and fill our stomachs & find our gastronomic bliss. may we all find good eats wherever our noses lead us to. we don’t need nobody’s telling us where that is.
                                                                      nom, nom, nom

                                                                    13. Tsukiji restaurant, referred to as the winner for Best Japanese Restaurant, is the original one on Pasay Road and not the one at Century Park Hotel.
                                                                      Please get your facts right….

                                                                    14. This award-giving body is not very credible.. too many eyebrow-raising citations handed out that it’s actually borderline insulting to the ones who truly deserved their awards.

                                                                    15. MBKRS was a joke last year. It is an even bigger joke this year. To begin with, and most glaringly obvious, none of the restaurants are even secret at all. To think, that’s the name of this whole project.
                                                                      I agree with previous commetns that the people behind it are not qualified nor authoritative. Elian’s a just a deejay and Ines (whose family owns last year’s best Japanese restaurant) is a wine instructor who insults sommeliers around the world by calling herself one. Last year’s event was mostly to recognize all the bars and restaurants that have hosted their commercial parties (like the best Chinese Zong’s). This year’s was simply to boost their egos even more.
                                                                      Many judges (just like the couple who came up with this sham) don’t even eat out a lot (like some bloggers who try restaurants only once, and usually when it’s too early to review).
                                                                      Bottom line, there is no real authoritative food guide (both the Golden Spoon awards and Miele Guide questionably and shamelessly promote a local editor’s husband’s restaurants to the hilt). best to just frequent your favorite food bloggers and just go from there.
                                                                      To me, the one restaurant that singularly defines a BEST KEPT RESTAURANT SECRET is the little ramen bar on Pasay Road. I’m glad it’s not a nominee and I’m not divulging since it should be kept a secret. hehe.
                                                                      BTW, I am not Filipino, so don’t count this post as being pinoy crab mentality.

                                                                    16. cant help but notice that most of the judges for these “awards” are also the nominees and the eventual winners (see judges list from related post). weird…

                                                                    17. here, here! well said Jense.
                                                                      i know that ramen shack you speak of! the owner is the ultimate ramen nazi! surly & always scowling, its a pisser sometimes but he’s got the best bowls of ramen in town so i i just tune him out, dig in & savor the flavor 🙂

                                                                    18. Think the organizers should’ve automatically disqualified their sponsors, even if some of them were deserving of the awards. Just leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Also I agree, the categories seem to be a mish-mash of restaurants that didn’t seem to actually belong in their supposed categories. And why call it ‘secrets’ when most diners know about these restos? I think food bloggers such as yourself Anton, and other legitimate food reviewers, should refrain from further participating in the judging of these joke awards. It ultimately also reflects on your reputation, w/ all due respect.

                                                                    19. congratulations to the winners!
                                                                      Boss anton dapat po nanalo ang charlies! hehehe!
                                                                      Best Burger joint of all times, we compared it nothin comes close.
                                                                      all the best.

                                                                    20. I agree that it is a good Italian restaurant but how does C’Italian Dining in Pampanga get your vote for Best Italian restaurant in Manila?

                                                                    21. Perhaps they should just change the name of this “awards” thing and remove “Secret”.
                                                                      Maybe they are related to the people who own Brothers Burger, really weird. I don’t think they are even a restaurant. Goose Station also does not deserve two awards. I saw that he is a judge so that explains it.
                                                                      I hope the organizers read these comments so they can see how the public has reacted. I don’t even know anyone who has actually bought their book, why do you need books when there are so many much more credible foodie blogs out there.

                                                                    22. Bistecca in Rockwell is my favorite steak restaurant in Manila. It also a great place for a high end burger for lunch.

                                                                    23. I am sorry but people i have tried both C! in Pampanga and L’incontro. Though I think L’incontro had better food when it was still under Chef Gino, the food there now is still much better than C!.
                                                                      Have you tried the Gnocchi of C?? It’s the size of squid balls and has the texture of the gummy thing they put in ginataan. There Panizze is good though.
                                                                      Also, please try Amoroma in Tagaytay, and Mona Lisa Ristorante in Alabang, both are very good.

                                                                    24. Best Filipino resto–Cafe Juanita??? Oh no, no, no. Far from it. Ate here about 10 years ago and wasn’t impressed. Thought I’d try it again since I’ve been hearing good reviews about it. Sad to say, it was completely disappointing. None of the dishes we ordered lived up to expectations. Even the breading of the fried lapu-lapu with tamarind sauce was not good. More like camaron rebosado.. And definitely, I disagree that this is better than Abe. No way..

                                                                    25. Brothers Burger is a joke, maybe they sponsored the event. even mcdonalds is better than their dry burgers! Charlies and Sango are both 10x better than Brothers. and how is brothers a best kept secret? this is pathetic. if they cant even get a simple burger category correct, what more the others?
                                                                      Spiral should at least be nominated in hotel buffets, and they should also have another category for MOST OVERPRICED and OVERRATED – The Goose Station! (so they can win a 3rd award)

                                                                    26. ITS HARD TO KEEP SOMETHING A GOOD A SECRET!
                                                                      most of these places WERE best kept secrets! (in fact i still havent heard most of these places) But thanks to word of mouth these restaurants are getting more and more recognition-which means more customers. You guys should realize that a restaurant has to rely on getting its name out there so people are aware they exist so that people will go and keep them in business or else you little “secret” will always remain a secret to you and a few selfish eaters and they wont be there for long! so think about that.
                                                                      But you are right in the sense of having some of their sponsors join though as well as the credibility of the judges and organizers.
                                                                      perhaps someone more qualified should put something up. if any of you complainers know of any perhaps u can pitch it to them. It would do the food & beverage world a favor.

                                                                    27. are u serious?? the kare-kare of cafe juanita is sooooooooo much 100000000000x better than abe. its like comparing apples and orangres. haha im sorry but im glad u and i are not a judge coz i definitely think cafe juanita is better than abe.
                                                                      i agree with u with brothers burger though. i personally think Charlie’s got robbed!!

                                                                    28. thats true! sir anton, you should lead a bevy of qualified people. there should be a bloggers best awards. now that has more credibility!

                                                                    29. seriously? a little award that conjured up from thin air with no credibility is making noise? …what has the world gotten to? let them have their little contest. its amusing to watch =)

                                                                    30. Is this contest done by rating each restaurant for specific entrees under each category or by just plain voting for favorite restos? Criteria, anyone?

                                                                    31. i see. so it’s a popularity contest, not a food judging/competition. thanks for the clarification! keep up the good work Sir Anton!

                                                                    32. Our dining experience at Ninyo Restaurant(selected as 1 of the 2010 best fusion restaurants) was extremely disappointing. It makes one wonder if the selection criteria for best food industry categories consider not only the back of the house performance but also the front of house experience?
                                                                      The owner, Mrs Laus, works the front of the house for Ninyo’s Restaurant. Our family of 9 adults and 4 kids came for lunch one Sunday afternoon.Each person including the kids ordered an individual appetizer and main course. Our total bill this afternoon was up to PHP14,000.00. In spending this amount in one place, one would think that the restaurant owner would have introduced themselves, or even thank us for our patronage. Yet, Ninyo Restaurant left us a negative taste in each of our palette due to the owner, Mrs. Laus inability to recognize value.
                                                                      It was more important for her (Mrs Laus)to argue that our parents’ shared one of their food dish ordered for tasting with the family members. Therefore, because of this, Mrs Laus insisted that this would not entitle my parents to their senior citizen’s discount. How tacky tacky tacky could one be? This is so petty compared to what we offered in value.
                                                                      Should this represent the Philippines’ selection for 2010’s Best Fusion Restaurant?
                                                                      Absolutely NOT! Perhaps, one could say that Mrs Laus is the detriment to any future growth of this place. Too disappointing.

                                                                    33. I agree.. we just tried Mamou and it was LESS than average, I felt like we were robbed in broad daylight! It was a Php3,000 dinner and I could have been more full and happy going somewhere else.

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