MANILA, Philippines—Everyone of us may know or recommend one or two favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants that serve delicious food and are not part of mainstream dining.
For those who prefer or are ready to explore this kind of eateries, Hinge Inquirer Publications has come out with “Southern Eats 2013,” a restaurant guide. Released last October 26, the guidebook compiles 50 of the best places to eat in the southern part of Metro Manila that have earned their reputation mostly through word of mouth.
Anton Diaz, the well-known blogger of OurAwesomePlanet, is the man behind the guide. His compilation is a product of eight years of eating out, looking for the best eateries.
“Filipinos really love to eat. For us, the really delicious foods are those at home or those in hole-in-the-wall restaurants,” Diaz told the INQUIRER.net.
He said he chose the restaurants based on three criteria: they are not commercialized, they have a unique concept, and they have an inspiring story.
“There is magic in knowing that what you are enjoying is not mainstream,” Diaz said in the intro of the guidebook.
He added that the recommended restaurants do not advertise and are not part of a chain or foreign franchise, relying instead on the recommendations of satisfied customers who would spread the word to workmates, friends or relatives.
Diaz also said that he chose restaurants that have a unique concept. “It may be a hole-in-the-wall, a garden restaurant, a home converted into private dining, or just a simple place to eat and yet they end up being the destination restaurants that foodies can’t stop talking about.”
Most of the restaurants chosen each have their own interesting story that adds to their allure, Diaz said. “In our dining adventures, we found out that the personality [and] the story and passion of the owners are sometimes big factors on how their food comes out,” he said.
“Indulging yourself not only on the food offering, but the ‘why’ of these restaurants can spell the difference on why people take that long trip or the long wait,” Diaz added.
The guide covers cities in the southern part of Metro Manila: Pasay, Makati, Bonifacio Global City, Muntinlupa and Parañaque, and the nearby provinces of Laguna and Cavite.
The book contains recommendations of delicious dishes in every restaurant. Details such as the address, contact numbers, website, payment modes, operating hours, as well as Twitter and Facebook accounts, are all listed.
“This book is dedicated to the passionate owners, unsung cooks, and hospitable servers who devoted their work to providing the best service to all of us,” Diaz said.
Southern Eats 2013 is available in major bookstores throughout Metro Manila for P150.