Philippine Lifestyle: Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Awards Night
Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb shared their passion for good food through a coffee-table book called Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets. The book, of course, was a hit among food-lovers all over. But then the question that most readers kept asking was – “So, what is your favorite restaurant?”
Elian Habayeb and Ines Cabarrus had a difficult time answering the question, and eventually they left the decision to around 80 capable judges that consisted of restaurant owners, top chefs, educators in the hospitality industry, columnists, food critics, magazine editors and food lovers to hand out points on whom they believed were the best restaurants in Manila.
There were 22 award categories all in all with around 4 top restaurants in each category, and all the winners were presented and awarded just recently at the Enderun College campus in Fort Bonifacio with an event aptly titled – the First Annual Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secretes Awards. The MBKRS Awards was billed by Ines Cabarrus as “the Oscars” of Manila’s restaurant industry in terms of the prestige a restaurant would gain from the votes cast by the 80 very capable judges.
Of course, the award itself is a boost to Manila’s restaurant industry, but I personally wouldn’t go so far as calling it “the Oscars.” While it may have been a star-studded cast among the restaurant industry’s finest, there could have been a lot of improvements with the presentation of the awards, which could’ve used a healthy adrenalin boost in the visual area, maybe showing pictures of the restaurants and the concoctions that have made them famous.
Nevertheless, the event had a glorious red carpet that led to a buffet tent that was catered by 10 awesome restaurants, covering every imaginable taste for your palate from Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Asian Fusion, Persian, Filipino and Thai food. There was also an overflow of awesome wines from 3 major wine distributors, and even an after party at the very trendy NUVO right after.
But, of course, the MKBRS Awards are all about the nominees and the awards, and the winners include the following:
- Best Italian Restaurant – L’Opera
- Best French Restaurant – Je Suis Gourmand
- Best Spanish Restaurant – Terry’s Selection
- Best Continental Cuisine – Lolo Dad’s
- Best Steak House – Elbert’s Steak Room
- Best Japanese Restaurant – Sugi
- Best Filipino Restaurant – Abe
- Best Thai Restaurant – People’s Palace
- Best Chinese Restaurant – Zong
- Best Central European Restaurant – Old Swiss Inn
- Best Specialty Restaurant – Hussein’s Persian Kebab
- Best Bistro – Sala Bistro
- Best Enoteca – Barcino Gourmet
- Best Fusion Cuisine – M Cafe
- Best Newcomer – Aubergine
- Best Restaurant/Bar – NUVO
- Best Wine List – Cav
- Best Hotel Restaurant (International Buffet) – Spirals (Sofitel)
- Best Hotel Restaurant (Fine Dining) – (will update once Ines reminds me who won)
- Best Hotel Restaurant (Specialty) – (will update once Ines reminds me who won)
- Best Chef – Ariel Manuel
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Larry Cruz (posthumous)
Philippines Fun Wall will have an exclusive interview with Ines Cabarrus in the very very near future, and we will talk more about the book Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets and other things, so keep a watch for that.
In the meantime, of course you are more than welcome to try out the restaurants that were awarded and see for yourself if these restos do live up to their reputation as being the best. You can also view the other nominees of each category at the Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Multiply site.