New Food Mecca in the Metro | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Sick and tired of Makati and The Fort? There’s a new restaurant hub in the Metro and it’s not as far as the State of Alabang. It’s Shaw Boulevard.

This area was a dead zone for restaurants in years past. But I guess with all the new residential and commercial buildings in the area, it was just a matter of time before restaurateurs staked their claim.

Today, there are restaurants left, right and center of Shaw Boulevard. To the left of Edsa (northbound), near Wack Wack Golf and Country Club, there’s artisanal pizza. To the right, in a compound called Capitol Commons, there’s artisanal ramen. In the middle, in Shangri-La mall, an artisanal food shop. And up and down the boulevard, a couple of other great finds.


515 Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong

(02) 650-0925. No reservations.

Open daily 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Wheelchair accessible.

Major credit cards accepted.

Beside the white Starbucks hut on the Mandaluyong side of Shaw Boulevard, near Wack Wack Golf & Country Club, is a huge sign that screams “Everyday Artisan Pizza Custom Built by You.” Like a moth to a flame, pizza lovers have come in droves.

Mind you, it’s not artisanal pizza in the strictest sense of the word. The oven is not wood-fired nor are there age-old recipes from Naples. But there are artisanal touches such as a crisp, blistered crust and upgraded toppings like gorgonzola cheese and prosciutto. Best of all—and here’s the brilliance of the franchise—the artisan is YOU.

Unlike other pizza places, there are no waiters here who hop from table to table asking for orders. You line up at a counter and either choose from the list of suggested kinds of pizza, with the option to build on these flavors by adding toppings, or you can “make your own.”

If you choose to customize, the pizza “chef” behind the counter will first ask you what kind of cheese topping you want as base. You can choose from a variety ranging from classic mozzarella to feta and blue cheese. Then you can choose from a variety of toppings that include familiar pizza staples like anchovies and pepperoni, to more high-brow ingredients like prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes.

It’s a brilliant concept because, as The Debater noted, if you end up not liking the pizza created, you have no one to blame but yourself! (Mind you, I liked my concoction of mozzarella, gorgonzola and ricotta with anchovies and prosciutto, plus mushrooms and olives. It was margauxlicious!)

They also offer dessert pizzas like a banana nutella pizza and a strawberry mango nutella. It’s really not fair because how can you go wrong with nutella?! The kids would love this.


Capitol Commons, Shaw Boulevard

(02) 542-2558. Reservations recommended.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Mastercard and Visa accepted.

Wheelchair accessible.

SIM noted this “hot, happening ramen,” its original outlet just off Tomas Morato, as far back as March 2012: “Come without expectations because you are not about to have a dish that you are already familiar with—you are here to appreciate something that the chef (Him Uy de Baron, the chef behind Nomama) has created: an expression of his experiences, his thinking, his heart.” Since 2012, the chef’s artistry in Japanese-influenced kitchen concoctions has expanded, grown and matured.

The menu is continuously being developed. For the summer, the chef has created Nomama Mezemen, which the restaurant describes as “hand-rolled noodles and sliced noodles tossed in house tare and chicken essence, pickled shimaji and aji tamago.”

Joining the trendy clamor for kimchi, the chef also presents for the summer Soft Shell Crab Sliders, whose brioche sandwiches tempura on a kimchi mayo topped with a watermelon salsa. Or you can focus on Him’s various interpretations of ramen: one that uses a Bukidnon Wagyu flank, or the house specialty that uses slow-roasted chashu.

Is it artisanal? Arguably. Is it creative? Undoubtedly. Is it worth a visit? Absolutely.


Capitol Commons, Shaw Boulevard

(02) 633-2071, 0917-5073512.

Reservations recommended.

Open daily 11 a.m. to midnight

Major credit cards accepted

Wheelchair accessible

Cerveseria, Black Olive’s mother rest, was likewise reviewed by SIM back in 2011. Today, people from the north won’t have to drive all the way to Makati to get a taste of that restaurant that captured the hearts of Makati resto-goers. You can have their signature dishes now available at Black Olive in Capitol Commons.

I understand this branch has Chef Carlo Miguel responsible for the menu. They have a good Spanish line up of dishes: various tapas, bacalao, and paella. Their paella is not like your usual but very moist, maybe too moist for some albeit meant to be so. Nevertheless, it is truly packed with flavor and quite addictive! Instead of Iberian chicken, the signature in Cerveseria, Black Olive is proud of its Portuguese peri peri chicken, which is packed with flavor as well although on the dry side. A few Italian specialties are served too, among them a really delicious bolognese papardelle (super yum), and porchetta.

There’s a flat screen TV hanging in the corner blasting music videos of acoustic bands and The Corrs. It is easy to imagine how the place converts to a youthful hangout in the evening, catering to a new generation of John Mayer fanatics.


Capitol Commons, Shaw Boulevard

(02) 570-4620

Open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m.

Major credit cards accepted

Wheelchair accessible

The Tipsy Pig, like Black Olive, also caters to the tipsy crowd. It seems these two restaurants may just be the Peps and Cable Car of the new generation.

By word of mouth, some people are hesitant to compliment the food. But I truly enjoyed the beer chicken: a whole roasted chicken made to sit on top of a San Miguel beer can and interestingly stuffed in the oven with the can so flavors rise to the sitting chicken. This chicken is delicious, juicy and a lot of fun, too! The crispy pata is also a delightful indulgence—easier to eat as it is boneless. The pulled pork sliders are also very satisfying and their signature burger, while no Shake Shack, is easy to appreciate with its three kinds of cheese and extra order of bacon and egg.


At the back entrance of Edsa Shangri-La Hotel

(02) 631-4675. Reservations recommended.

Major credit cards accepted.

Wheelchair accessible.

Open daily from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Breakfast menu from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Regular menu available from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Bar chow until 1 a.m.


Finally, there is an elegant restaurant for fine dining just off Shaw. It calls itself a “bistro moderne,” but all the formalities of a fine dining restaurant are present: white linen tablecloth, alert and conversant staff, bread and fancy butter served while diners wait for their first course, wine selections, and an impressive menu by Hylton le Roux and Giovanni Sias.

Right beside the restaurant is its own deli where “homemade” sausages are sold that you can enjoy on the terrace. There are also imported cheeses, mustard, olive oils, etc. that are not available at other delis in the Metro.

Try the Speck for starters—a kind of Italian cured meat served here rolled then filled with goat cheese and highlighted with an apple mustard chutney. For mains, the cod is unique as it is crusted with pistachio bits and served with a carrot pudding.

In the evenings, I’ve noticed some gentlemen enjoying just hors d’oeuvres and single malts. While the ambiance is not dark and smoky like a whiskey and cigar room, a whiskey collection is available for those who want to indulge and can’t make the trip to Kiplings or Masseto in Makati.

With all these new choices, Shaw is no longer the “boulevard of broken dreams” for foodies but a restaurant mecca to explore. •