PHOTO BY WEBSITE/ RICO'S LECHON & VIKING'S FACEBOOK PAGE
No present under the Christmas tree will ever compare to quality time (or QT, as the kids say) with your loved ones, more so if it’s spent while indulging in good food! If you’re looking for the perfect spots for your holiday get-togethers, look no further: We’ve picked out 10 of the best-est restaurants within the SM Mall of Asia complex—a mix of new and familiar—all offering genuinely good eats and comfortable spaces for all your yuletide catch-ups.
Ready to start planning your holiday eat-inerary? Scroll our list below.
(1) Rico’s Lechon (L1 South Entertainment Mall)
Images from fb.com/RicosLechonOfficial
A Pinoy feast isn’t truly complete without the ultimate centerpiece: the lechon. For your carnivorous cravings, head on over to Rico’s Lechon, a Cebuano restaurant famous for their crispy-skinned, melt-in-your-mouth roast pork.
Choose between their Regular or Spicy Lechon, starting at ¼ kg servings (₱250 to ₱290). A whole lechon starts at ₱6,900 for the Family Size (good for 15 to 20 people), while their Bilao Lechon Platter starts at ₱2,850/3 kgs. Other Pinoy favorites to try include the Sinigang na Baka at Baboy (₱390), Sizzling Tanigue (₱320), and Chopsuey (₱280).
Contact Rico’s Lechon SM MOA at (+63) 977-809-2143 or (+632) 7940-2191, or message via Facebook.
(2) Vikings Luxury Buffet (SM By the Bay, Seaside Boulevard)
Images from Vikings.ph
Party it up with the best cuisines of the world at Vikings Luxury Buffet at SM By the Bay. There’s something for everyone at this bayside restaurant known for its comprehensive and lavish banquets. Their selection includes popular dishes and favorites from Korea, Japan, India, Germany, and so much more—they are the Philippines’ largest buffet restaurant, after all.
Get access to Vikings’ full dish catalog for just ₱988 a head on weekdays and ₱1,188 a head on weekends and holidays. The shop accepts large group reservations and offers exciting promos and perks, like the Free Birthday Buffet, which entitles birthday celebrants to eat all they can at no cost when they bring a specific number of guests.
Contact Vikings at (+63) 845-4647 (VIK-INGS) and (+63) 917-565-3888 or via Facebook.
(3) Mendokoro Ramenba (G/F MOA Square, Marina Way, MOA Complex)
Images from fb.com/mendokororamen
Here’s a Japanese resto that hardly needs an introduction. The famed ramen joint’s shop at the MOA Square (a.k.a. the IKEA building) is its fourth location in Metro Manila and is patterned after its earlier locations in Makati and BGC: The space is largely made up of one U-shaped table surrounding a central cooking area. It’s a relatively small space that’s known to draw lines and get packed during peak hours, but trust us when we say their ramen is worth lining up for. That said, it’s ideal for smaller get-togethers—like a lunch date with your BFFs or dinner with your closest colleagues.
Try their crowd-favorite noodles, including the salt-based Shio (₱370), the rich Shoyu (₱400), and the nutty and spicy Tantanmen (₱420). Their Gyoza (₱120-₱200) is also not-to-be-missed.
Contact Mendokoro Ramenba at (+632) 8478-9625 or via Facebook.
(4) Gilligan's (SM By the Bay, Seaside Boulevard)
Images from fb.com/GiligansRestaurant
For the full bayside dining experience, grab a table at Gilligan’s. This popular casual Filipino restaurant serves a breadth of Pinoy favorites like their famous Sizzling Pork Sisig (₱257), but it's their seafood and inihaw selection that turn many into regulars.
Group dining is encouraged; besides its popular dishes, the restaurant is known for its reasonable price range. Not only that, there’s ample space for large parties care of long tables in and outside the shop. Grilled Pusit (₱362) and Grilled Bangus (₱268) under the breezy bayside sky, anyone?
(5) GEN Korean BBQ House (SM By the Bay, Seaside Boulevard)
Images from fb.com/GenKBBQPH
Meeting up with your K-pop/K-drama besties? GEN Korean BBQ House offers plenty of fuel for your holiday chikahan. Come hungry as this K-BBQ spot serves over 30 premium meat and seafood options across three eat-all-you-can packages. Their weekday-only set costs P798 per person and comes with 18 dishes, including Cajun Samgyeopsal and Woo Baesal (beef belly).
Their top package costs ₱1,448 per person and includes over 30 dishes, including GEN Premium Steak, Premium Chadol (premium, thinly-sliced angus brisket), Red Wine Samgyeopsal, and unlimited iced tea.
Contact GEN Korean BBQ House at (+63) 917-621-8249 or via Facebook.
(6) BLVCK Cafe (SM By the Bay, Seaside Boulevard)
Images from fb.com/blvckcafe
BLVCK Cafe is an open-air coffee and dessert shop overlooking the Manila Bay. We love it for its location and versatility; it’s the perfect spot for casual hangouts with the crew, merienda, pre-dinner coffee, or dessert. It’s pretty Instagrammable, too. Besides its sweet drinks and sweeping views, the shop’s industrial aesthetic is quite inviting.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy their brews, frappes, and teas (prices start at ₱105) from the rooftop, which has ample seating for small to medium sized groups. If you prefer to walk around the bay area, you can also take your orders to go via a counter conveniently located at the cafe’s front.
Contact BLVCK Cafe via Facebook.
(7) Olive Garden (L2 South Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia)
Images by Majoy Siason (left); from fb.com/OliveGardenPhilippines
Pasta and pizza lovers of all ages will find their new go-to spot at Olive Garden, which opened just last September. The famed Italian-American chain’s first Philippine branch offers plenty of dining space for groups of all sizes, from intimate booths and large round tables to wide sofa and bar seating. Most of the items on Olive Garden’s menu come in a solo or family size, although almost everything is best shared—they don’t scrimp on the cheese and cream!
Must-try dishes include the Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara (₱795-₱995), Margherita pizza (₱795), and Chicken Parmigiana (₱695-P895). Each entrée comes with a choice between the Never-Ending Soup or Never-Ending House Salad and Breadsticks as appetizers. Fancy some celebratory drinks? They also offer a variety of cocktails, wines, beer, and sangrias.
Contact Olive Garden SM MOA at (+632) 8637-9634 or via Facebook.
(8) Tian Mansion Hot Pot (L1 South Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia)
Images from Tian Mansion Hot Pot MOA
Tian Mansion serves Szechuan-style hot pot, with sets ranging between ₱1,600 for two to three persons to roughly ₱3,000 for four to six. Their menu is a hot pot fan’s dream, featuring fresh beef and seafood balls to various slices of meat, vegetables, and vermicelli noodles. They even have a condiment station where you can concoct any sauce you want from a range of seasonings like chili oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, and tahini.
Besides the filling grub, Tian Mansion promises a unique dining experience through its striking interiors. It’s hard to miss this dining destination with its imperial facade flanked by stone lions and dragons. The main dining hall is something out of a history book, featuring wooden railings and wall carvings. Private dining spaces are also available and separated from the rest of the dining area by flowing red drapes.
Contact Tian Mansion Hot Pot via (+63) 966-716-1666.
(9) Basil (G/F North Wing, SM Mall of Asia)
Images from fb.com/BASILphilippines
If you prefer a more laid-back atmosphere, check out Basil at MOA’s North Wing. This authentic Thai spot serves all of the country’s beloved dishes, from Fresh Spring Rolls (₱305) to Tom Yum (₱415), Red Beef Curry (₱550), and of course, Pad Thai (₱425). Beyond the delicious Siamese fare, you’ll love the shop’s relaxed garden-inspired interiors, decked with understated furniture and woodwork. It’s comforting and bright, the perfect place to escape with your friends and family for a few hours or so.
Contact Basil SM MOA at (+63) 906-467-6267 or via Facebook.
(10) Vizco’s Restaurant and Cake Shop Pop-Up (Holiday Market, L1 Central Atrium)
Images from fb.com/VizcosRestaurantandCakeShop and fb.com/smmallofasia
Looking for the perfect dessert to cap off your holiday meal? You can now get your fix of Baguio’s beloved strawberry cakes without leaving the South—at Vizco’s pop-up at the Central Atrium of SM MOA. While there’s no dine-in option, this grab-and-go setup lets you easily score your favorite sweet treats to bring home for extended indulgence (or as pasalubong!).
Aside from the famous Strawberry Shortcake (₱695 to ₱3,840) and other cake offerings, you can also shop their pastries like their Strawberry Tart (₱110) and Cheese Ensaymada (₱95). Catch the pop-up only until January 8, 2023.
Have a #HappyChristmasAtSM! Drop by your nearest SM Supermall for more dining and shopping discoveries today. Malls are open daily but you can check the updated entry guidelines and mall hours and the complete SM directory to plan your visit and avoid the holiday rush. Prefer to shop or order from home? Download the SM Malls Online app or have your orders picked-up or delivered through the SM Customer Care hotlines: 8876-1111, 0917-876-1111, and 0908-876-1111.
Prices are subject to change without prior notice.