A cut above the rest? These Manila steakhouses raise the stakes | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Manila steakhouses

Manila’s steakhouses may come from different generations but there’s a certain quality that makes them all great in their own right

Manila has no shortage of steakhouses.

But an unsurprising observation about steak dine-out culture here is that it’s more often than not reserved for special occasions. The reason can be generally attributed to the cost of certain cuts of meat (from A5 Kobe beef and wagyu to tenderloin and New York strip). That said, when did price ever stop people from sincerely appreciating a special product if we can truly embrace the value it gives?

After all, the idea of sharing steak is globally synonymous with celebrations—moments that not only enrich experiences but also continue to elevate food culture and experience. And with Father’s Day coming up, there’s no better time to take your old man to any of these steakhouse institutions.

Cru Steakhouse

This Marriott Hotel Manila mainstay is well worth the trek down south as it’s a fitting introduction to anyone who wants to get a glamorous grasp of the Manila steak culture. Its grill menu is extensive—with US-certified Angus beef prime in ribeye (P3,950 for 350g) and tenderloin (P4,000 for 350g) cuts as well as a special Omi wagyu striploin (P12,650 for 500g) and cast iron servings of Australian lamb rack, salmon, and French-cut chicken. If you want a succinct picture, opt for the three- or four-course set menu (set menu starts at P3,980).

Cru Steakhouse
Ground level, Marriott Hotel Manila, Pasay City

Steak and Frice

Making steaks more of a regular habit for Filipinos seems to be the goal of Amado Forés at Steak and Frice. “We like saying ‘See you next week’ with a wink and smile… as a commitment to always aspire to provide an experience so unique and so comforting that you will want to come back again and again,” he said in a previous F&B Report interview.


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And when he says that, it’s easy to believe him, especially when you add fries and rice into the mix. It’s a little unorthodox but it works. The tight menu includes three main meats: a rich and tender US ribeye (P3,650 for 400g), a buttery wagyu striploin (P3,550 for 350g), and the delicate chateaubriand (P3,950 for 290g). Personal touches also abound in the opulent sides (parker house rolls and breaded onion flower), unlimited fries and rice, and the atmospheric Sean Dix-designed space.

Steak and Frice
LGF Central Square, BGC
11 a.m. to 4p.m., 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily

La Cabrera

Rooted in his Argentinian approach to steaks, chef Gaston Riveira’s La Cabrera meticulously planned his menu to the point that his steakhouse has become a beloved institution in Manila.

A notable aspect of Argentinian steakhouses like La Cabrera is the use of a parilla (grill) where the meat is cooked over an open flame to get that distinct smoky flavor. La Cabrera has harnessed this method over the years. Some of their most interesting and signature cuts are the cuadril (a rump steak if you like it lean) and the entraña (a flavorful skirt steak). But don’t sleep on the excellent sides, especially the provoleta (grilled provolone cheese), which speaks to the versatility of the steakhouse’s ability to please any discerning palate.

La Cabrera
6750 Ayala Ave., Makati City
11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

2F, EDSA Shangri-La Hotel
11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Carmelo’s Steakhouse

The newest steakhouse in the metro isn’t really that “new” but Carmelo’s Steakhouse—from the same family that brought Melo’s—is a beautiful and meaningful intersection of the joys of steak and the legacy that a father leaves behind.

Located at The Proscenium Retail Row and drenched in shiny gold and luscious black, chef Cristina Santiago is unwavering in her resolve to craft a new vision for the steakhouse’s illustrious pedigree. A little more upscale than Melo’s, Santiago’s menu delivers a showcase for long-time fans and new steak lovers. Even prominent food writer and F&B Report contributor Chinkee Koppe calls their steaks “solid.”

Across the selection of certified Angus beef dishes—that include a tenderloin salpicao sauteed in garlic and olive oil (P4,550) and their version of a surf and turf pairing a grilled ribeye with prawns (P6,500)—high-quality Australian wagyu (up to Grade 9-10), and even her renowned Sweet Bella desserts, Santiago evokes the pleasurable feeling that comes with sinking your teeth into high-grade meat and immersing yourself in a space where the story behind the brand is just as noteworthy.

If you want more privacy for your celebrations, book the Le Salon that can seat up to 10 people.

Carmelo’s Steakhouse
2/F, The Proscenium Retail Row, Rockwell, Makati
Monday to Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Finestra Italian Steakhouse

Another hotel steakhouse that’s worthy of admiration is Finestra Italian Steakhouse by executive chef Andrea Spagoni who earned his first Michelin star at Ristorante Pier Bussetti in 2010 before moving to Hong Kong.


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Here in Manila, Spagoni brings an Italian touch to the steakhouse experience with authentic Italian dishes such as carpaccio and Mediterranean sea bass and popular sides like grilled Roma tomato and eggplant joining the fold of grill selections—from the US prime tenderloin (P6,400 for 300g) and Japanese A5 wagyu striploin (P8,800 for 180g) to a 1,500-gram Australian tomahawk (P15,000).

Their “Aguri Papa” offer for Father’s Day is a fitting launch pad for Finestra first-timers, thanks to an Italian brunch menu that features approachable favorites like carbonara, beef tartare, roasted leg of lamb, and a flat iron steak.

Finestra Italian Steakhouse
Solaire Resort
Dinner, Monday to Sunday, 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Brunch, Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar

You have to give it to hotel steakhouses. They seem to know how to do steaks well. Or, medium. Or rare. Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar is another fine example.

With taglines like “We mean business when it’s meat” and “Where grit and grace takes center stage” and Father’s Day offers like “Fired Up for Pops,” the Upper West Side-inspired steakhouse takes control of the meat narrative with grain- and grass-fed beef straight from the Josper grill (basically a grill and oven in one). A flurry of tenderloin, ribeye, striploin, and on-the-bone steaks sourced mainly from Australia and the US can send any carnivore into a frenzy.

The 1,600g WX Tomahawk MS5+ (P13,900) from Rangers Valley in Australia is a cut above the rest—and one you can share between three people. Another Rangers Valley recommendation is the 200g grain-fed Black Onyx MS3+, a hearty cattle steak with exceptional marbling and table-smoked for dramatic effect.

And not that it needs it when the servings are extravagant but the restaurant itself exudes the feeling of a private social club with moody interiors that would get fathers to irresistibly sip grand whisky and cocktails.

Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar
3F, Shangri-la at the Fort, 30th St. corner 5th Ave., BGC
Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily
Dinner 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily
Bar 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. daily

Wagyu Studio 

Compared to the rest of the steakhouses on the list, Wagyu Studio prides itself on the prized wagyu. There’s an inventive atmosphere permeating within Wagyu Studio’s space and under the hands of chef Yoji Kitayama whose experience includes Morimoto in Thailand.


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The Japanese-driven joint slides between the traditional and the trendy with takes that can appease diverse tastes—from classic steak with fiery wasabi sauce (P2,500) and an P8,000 chateaubriand to the new menu featuring wagyu yakiniku (choose from short rib, top sirloin, or even tongue) and premium Kobe beef steaks, the brains behind Wagyu studio have calibrated a steak experience that’s uniquely theirs—even if does seem like the studio isn’t the strait-laced steakhouse many are familiar with.

Wagyu Studio
GF, The Finance Center, 26th Street, BGC
Tuesday to Sunday
Lunch 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Dinner 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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