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Jul 16, 2007 08:12 AM

Great chow near Somerset Salcedo, Makati City in Manila

First timer visiting Manila for business. Any advice/tips appreciated! Thank you in advance.

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  1. You'll be very well situated to get some excellent food! I'll try to link some earlier posts, and you can search this board by looking for "Manila" or "Philippines".

    Since you're a first timer, I think you should know several things:

    1. If you visit between June and December, you will be going during the monsoon season--not the best time to visit, but I guess it can't be helped ;-) Be prepared for high humidity and occasional heavy rain. (But I'm sure the Somerset will provide you with a good umbrella.) You can walk very easily to some of the best restaurants in town from your hotel, but you should bring footwear suitable for wet tropical weather. There may be times when rain may cause traffic jams and you might prefer to brave the rain and walk the 2-3 blocks to the Greenbelt restaurant row.

    2. Makati is part of the greater Manila area which is an agglomeration of around 10 cities with a total population of around 10 million people. People scrape by on an annual GDP of just over $1100 per capita, so you will see much poverty. That said, the same personal safety rules apply as for any other big city like New York, Paris, or Jakarta. Makati is the business and shopping district, so it's pretty safe. Taxis are plentiful, but stick to the metered, air-conditioned cabs, or ask the hotel to arrange for a car and driver for you. (Don't bother to try driving yourself if you don't have heaps of time and patience.)

    Check out the post below as a starting point. The restaurant, El Circulo, I mentioned a couple of times is very near your hotel. The same building has 2 very good Japanese restaurants. You will be equally near the Greenbelt complex, which probably has enough restaurants to keep you happily occupied for a month. Try Centro for Filipino food. Bizu for dessert. . . And lots more. (Sorry, I have to run. . .)