There is always an air of mystery around Parañaque, the south of the metro, that is novel to those in the north. And for good reason. There is an endless list of hidden gems in the south. Take the trip, and find out for yourself why people are opting for permanent condo living down south. Book a whole weekend at Oak Harbor Residences to make the most out of your trip. You’ve got a lot of exploring to do!
Fat Butchik’s is a must-visit restaurant. Their pork belly is smoked two hours for every pound. They go through the pains to ensure that you get a whole new level of experience with your food. And there’s Chef Butch Adiviso to make sure the smoked meat is used to its full effect. Tucked away in a nondescript building, Fat Butchnik’s not one of those restaurants that are constantly shoved to your face. This restaurant hidden on a roof deck is one gem worth exploring.
Head over to the Don Galo area and indulge yourself with a good meal of tapsilog at Maty’s. The pioneer in the tapsilog business in Parañaque, you can expect nothing but the best. The restaurant has a simple and unpretentious layout — who needs flair when you serve really good barbeque and tapa? Maty’s is a family-owned business and has been around for 50 years now.
A privately-owned contemporary art gallery, Kulay-Diwa has been around since 1987. Their mission is to showcase young artists and strengthen the presence of contemporary art south of the metro. This hidden gem is tucked away in a residential enclave. With both its interiors and exteriors designed to appeal to your senses, the place is worth a visit. The main exhibit area displays the profiles of featured artists alongside their respective pieces. On the opposite wing, you will find the gallery’s vast art collection. Access to this feast for the eyes is free!
The Urban Farm
Located along Presidents Avenue, The Urban Farm is a restaurant that fosters healthy eating through a well-prepared menu that uses fresh ingredients. Situated amidst fast food chains, the restaurant offers a refreshing break for those seeking a boost in wellness and mindful eating. You will be able to choose from a wide variety of offerings, and will be able to shop for some essential home effects.
Nel’s Pastries and Specialties
A favorite among students in the La Huerta area, Nel’s Pastries and Specialties has been around since the 1980s. The restaurant owner, Nelia Dandan, is a true master in keeping the prices of her meals easy on the budget.The place also offers a refreshing break from the shopping malls through its cozy atmosphere. Enjoy indulging in your favorite desserts without burning a hole in your pocket.
A brainchild of husband-and-wife team, Richard and Teta Brojan, Playbook will tickle the child in you. PlayBook is a hobby shop that appeals to both gamers and those who love literature. Richard is an avid gamer and Teta a fan of literature. You will love the video game lounge, with its wide range of games available for rent. Tournaments are also held here. And the book shop boasts a vast collection of titles that will satiate any bookworm.
Test Kitchen Caffe
If you are all about unadulterated comfort food, then Test Kitchen Caffe is for you. The restaurant is known for serving straightforward yet awesome meals. Now you can take a break from the restaurants that tweak your favorite food so much they’re unrecognizable. Here, there are no gimmicks, just the flavors you love.
Now if all that you ever wanna do is just chill and have fun, Kantori Yakitori is your place to be. Situated at the center of the busy food strip along Aguirre Avenue, this restaurant is accessible and is perfect for a Friday night getaway. You would easily find yourself wanting to make this chill restaurant your next favorite hangout with your friends. The amazing cocktails and mouth-watering food on skewers are icing on the cake!
Bread and Botany
Head over to this little shop for your favorite sammies. You will love how they go beyond just your childhood-lunch variety. Their chicken is literally made with love and their gin-based drinks are beyond awesome. Bread and Botany offers a compact but well-prepared menu. Their ingredients are also creatively assembled and freshly prepared.
Drive-by Taco Shop
If you find yourself on Aguirre and you have a thing for tacos, then the Drive-By Taco Shop is definitely your place to be. The place is cramped, but in a charming way. They serve Mexican snacks that you can quickly enjoy. You will love how the home-based tortilla creates a tastier and chewier canvas for their flavorful taco fillings.
Now if you’d like a more unorthodox take on tacos, you should head over to Taqueria 101. Chef Mikel Zaguirre’s take on the Mexican fare leans toward the more Tex-Mex-style hard shell, which he fills up with exciting combinations of fresh ingredients. Any churro lover will go ecstatic in this place.
The Smoking Joint
Formerly the Knuckle Sandwich Station, this place has been converted into a cool place. And it opens at 4:20 pm! If you know what the number is alluding to, this is definitely the place for you. The meats in the resto are smoked meticulously for hours, ensuring a flavorful bite to your meal. Mind you, even the ground meat they use for their burgers is smoked. Truly, this place is smokin’!
Head to this place if you want a burger that’s so good it should make the honor roll. It’s awesome how they cook their burgers. Their technique is so precise, the customers are assured a crusty patty that is succulent and soft on the inside. Everything about Burger Geek definitely deserves an A-plus.
Now if you are to make the most of the south, you need a place that would serve as a base. The Oak Harbor Residences in Asiaworld City is a great option. The only waterfront community located directly by the bay, these mid-rise DMCI condos will give you a refreshing change of pace and lifestyle. Plus, you will love the state-of-the-art amenities provided in a resort-like atmosphere. The place is also centrally located, so you will find most places very accessible. You also get the chance to experience the benefits of condo living in the south.
Go ahead and rent a room for the weekend, and enjoy a dip in the pool after a long day of exploring the south of Manila.