Friends & Family: Have you Tried the Best Filipino Restaurant of 2018?!

Update 12/21/2018: As featured in 10 Best New Restaurants in Manila (2019 Homegrown Edition)!

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Friends & Family is a tasty tribute to Filipino comfort food classics that we grew up with and a throwback to our Filipino Eateries by the Raintree group.

It’s very Filipino, comforting to our palate with a focus on Filipino BBQ & Pugon cooking.

This is the latest addition to our favorite Filipino Restaurants in Manila which include Abe, Kanin Club, Cafe Juanita, Aristocrat, Locavore, Sarsa and Manam.

I bet a lot of our balikbayans miss this kind of food. If you love Filipino food like we do, you’ll love this. Here are some tips on what to order…


Friends & Family PH
Bonifacio High Street Central, BGC, Taguig
Telephone: +632 621.3222
Mobile: +63 917 891 7053
Operating Hours: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Facebook: Friends & Family PH
Instagram: @friendsandfamilyph


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The 60-seater Friends & Family restaurant is located in the former Stella location in BGC Central with additional 30 al fresco seating .

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Friends & Family Menu: refreshers, con hielo | sizzling | pic-a-pica small plates | salad | barbecue | roast | crispy | house specials | house specials 2 | all day merienda & breakfast | vegetables | rice, pancit | dessert

The menu is extensive and it pays tribute to Raintree founder Annabel Wisniewski and Filipino food classics from a past era.


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mango sago con hielo (₱195)

We usually don’t start with drinks, but the drinks section was so tempting that the kids just got to have their mango sago.

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lumpia shanghai (friends – ₱230). sweet & sour dip

The skin was so crisp, with the comforting seasoning of the meat and the right sweet & sour dip just like what you’ll enjoy in Chinatown.

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7 kinds barbecue isawan platter (₱575) served with special peanut BBQ & sweet sauce & housemade atchara. (From left to right) bbq pork tenga (₱85), chicken skin inasal (₱45), special pork bbq (₱125),  isaw bilog (₱65), isaw manok (₱55) and bbq betamax (₱55), salmon belly inihaw (₱125) – not in photo.

The BBQ platter was on point. This is probably the only place in BGC where you get a guarantee that the isaw is clean and as yummy as it looks.

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gising gising with taba talangka (friends – ₱250). chili tops, crispy alamang & creamy coconut milk.

My favorite kind of vegetable with actual sliced chili, taba ng talangka and lots of coconut milk.

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birthday spaghetti with hotdog & marshmallow (friends – ₱350). house made beef sauce, topped with grated cheddar cheese.

We grew up with the constant serving of Filipino spaghetti on our birthdays, and this was the best sweet birthday spaghetti ever. I want!

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pancit palabok (friends – ₱450). topped with fried tofu, fried garlic, dried squid, scampi, onion, and a 6-minute boiled egg.

Our favorite Filipino snack of glass noodles topped with palabok sauce and seafood. This was just OK for me.


salo salo

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china town sweet & sour pork (every friday specials)

This was the first thing my sons requested to order and it got their approval.

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Make sure to check out their daily specials on the board because the Chinatown sweet & sour pork is not on the menu but available on the Friday specials.

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bacon wrapped embutido slice & mushroom cream gravy (₱295) stuffed with raisins, Vienna sausage, cheese & a hardboiled egg.

You don’t usually see this in restaurants because this is something you’ll have at home, but their version was wrapped in bacon served with mushroom gravy on the side.

Notice the throwback to oval plates with green lining and the simple garnish.

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china town fried rice (family – ₱350). chinatown fried rice topped with lumpiang shanghai, served with sweet & sour sauce. 

Of course, to complete the Chinatown experience, fried rice with lumpiang shanghai bits and sweet & sour. Kanin pa lang, ulam na!

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garlic U.S. beef tadyang & beef belly (friends – ₱450). atchara, lechon baka sauce.

The tadyang, with lots of garlic, was tender and good by itself. My mouth is watering writing and looking at this.

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dinuguan at puto (friends – ₱250). spring onion, fried green chili, & lemongrass.

The blood stew was as good as the kind we grew up with just the right thickness and generous meat inside. Ang sarap!

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sizzling sisig (friends – ₱225). crispy pork, tenga, face, liver, mayo & butter.

An improved version of the classic sisig with additional umami from mayo, butter and liver sauce.



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ube champorado (friends – ₱195). fried dangit, coconut tres leches ganache.

This was like a sweet rice porridge flavored with ube and three kinds of milk sauce served with crispy salty dangit to contrast the sweetness. A Cha Cha Boracay favorite!

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leche flan turon (₱195)chocnut chocolate dip.

The desserts were more inventive than the classics like this turon with leche flan inside instead of banana with chocnut chocolate dip. Like churros but better.

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cheesy yema cake (₱195). yema cream.

A yema cake with lots of cheese for a super sweet ending.

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jackfruit sansrival (₱250).

We loved this iconic M Cafe dessert of chewy jackfruit sansrival.


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Overall, I like how Friends & Family is not apologetic but pays homage to how we love our sweet spaghetti or how we go for comfort Chinatown-kind-of-food.

We absolutely love the classics of birthday spaghetti, dinuguan, sisig and anything with sweet & sour like the lumpia, chicken and fried rice. The menu is quite extensive so that you can go back 2-3 times and still discover new food to enjoy. The desserts are a bit sweet compared to your usual classics but with a modern twist.

I like how they have 3 serving sizes of solo, friends and a bigger family just like how Filipino food is meant to be shared.

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To end, don’t forget to buy pasalubong to give to your balikbayan friends or to bring home to the province.

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Best to go here when celebrating with a balikbayan or whenever you feel like having a comforting Filipino merienda. Budget about 500/head + drinks.

Congratulations to Chef Kalel and Raintree Group for a winning Filipino Restaurant concept this 2018!

Friends & Family PH
Bonifacio High Street Central, BGC, Taguig
Telephone: +632 621.3222
Mobile: +63 917 891 7053
Operating Hours: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Facebook: Friends & Family PH
Instagram: @friendsandfamilyph

Live an Awesome Life,

Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of Chef Kalel Chan.  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.

P.S. Will Yugi be like Chef Kalel when he grows up? Abangan. 

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