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Best of the Best

These restaurants in Poblacion, Makati are perfect for your next dinner date

By NICK GARCIA Published Apr 26, 2022 12:01 pm

Nightlife staple Poblacion in Makati is slowly picking up the pieces as the COVID-19 situation in the country continues to improve. Its hustle and bustle is quite back after two years of lockdown that led to most of its establishments closing up shop.

But aside from its reputable roster of bars and clubs, Poblacion is also known for its gastronomic delights.

PhilSTAR L!fe has teamed up with Best of the Best Manila to curate a list of Poblacion's must-try restaurants for your next family lunch, dinner date, or casual chow with the tropa.

Holy Smokes BBQ

Holy Smokes BBQ serves Texas-style smoked meats like USDA Angus beef belly, pork ribs, chicken thighs, even the Pinoy favorite lapu-lapu. They're smoked anywhere between 6 and 14 hours using santol, sampaloc, and caimito woods.

There are plenty of side dishes to choose from, like mashed potato, creamed corn, green beans, broccoli, coleslaw, and fried rice.

Aside from the Texas classics, Holy Smokes BBQ is also offering pasta and seafood dishes, as well as a reimagination of barbecue-inspired dishes from different countries.

Check out their full menu here.

Hola Bombón

Hola Bombón, as its name suggests, is a Spanish restaurant, but not without its "fun and flirtatious" interpretation of some of the classics.

Dishes include paella, cochinillo, pato, chorizo, gambas, patatas fritas, churros, and charcuteria y quesos, as well as shakes and alcoholic beverages.

Aside from food and drinks, Hola Bombón is also offering an online cooking class series for the average foodie or home cook, as well as corporate cooking classes for budding chefs who wish to venture into Spanish cuisine.

Hola Bombón is closed every Monday, but open on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm; Friday from 5:00 pm to 12:00mn; Saturday from 12:00 nn to 3:00 pm, then 5:00 pm to 12:00mn; and Sunday at 12:00 nn to 3:00pm, then 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

Here are their food menu and drinks menu.


Lampara is a Filipino restaurant that reimagines the typical Pinoy meryenda or hapunan and adds a contemporary twist inspired by other cuisines.

For instance, its ensalada borrows elements from the Middle Eastern baba ghanoush and comes with a Korean pear. Its dinuckdakan, meanwhile, departs from the usual pork and instead utilizes, well, duck.

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Its beef kulma, which hails from Mindanao, also takes inspiration from rendang of Indonesia and korma of India.

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Lampara also has a cocktail menu, with references to Filipino culture such as Gasera (of El Filibusterismo's Simoun), Asiong (Salonga), and Gayuma. 

Business hours are Tuesdays to Sundays, from 5:00 pm to 11:30 pm. Here are their offerings.

Gaja Korean Kitchen

Gaja Korean Kitchen specializes in South Korean dishes—and gives them a fresh take to suit the modern palate.

Its bibimbap, for instance, is reimagined as ribimbap, as it makes use of ribeye beef cubes to replace the already familiar beef strips. Instead of being drowned in the traditional gochujang, ribimbap has gochujang butter instead, providing only a spicy-sour kick while giving it a richness that complements the julienned vegetables and umami-filled beef.

Gaja Korean Kitchen even took inspiration from the iconic Jjapaguri or Ram-Don from the critically-acclaimed film Parasite and turned it into an actual fine dining meal.

The rest of their menu can be accessed here.

Ebi 10

Ebi 10 is a Japanese restaurant considered among the best tempura places in the district.

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Its trusty choices include shrimp, nori, corn, kani, stuffed mushroom, eggplant, sweet potato, adegashi tofu, softboiled egg, hokkaido oyster, and softshell crab.

Aside from the deep-fried crispy goodies, Ebi 10 also offers other Japanese staples like tonkatsu, torikatsu, karaage, ramen, sushi, sashimi, as well as rice meals like chahan, katsudon, and gyudon.

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Take a look at Ebi 10's updated menu.