Local With A Twist: Filipino Fusion Restaurants In Manila | Clozette

All Filipinos love the local fare — and there’s no one else who can cook our fave traditional Filipino dishes better than our mums. Still, there are days that you want to try out something different, but not completely so. Luckily, more and more places are now pushing the boundaries of Filipino cuisine, serving dishes bordering between familiarity and newness. If you’re in the mood to try the local dishes with a twist, dine at these Filipino fusion restaurants in Manila. A bite into one of their signatures will surely bring your taste buds for a joyride.

Manam Comfort Filipino

In any of the branches of Manam Comfort Filipino, you’ll experience the comfort of home and modernity combined through its homey interiors and unique offerings. While they serve the traditional fare, the restaurant is not afraid to craft their own spin to the beloved dishes. Their menu is divided into two: the “Classics” and the “Twists”, giving all the chance to taste both old and new. Most Pinoy dishes are usually cooked to be shared between groups, but Manam Comfort Filipino makes it possible for a solo diner to finish their favourites through their sized servings. A must-try is their Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon that gives the local sour stew a tinge of fruity sweetness like no other.

Bench Café

The Filipino fashion brand just opened the doors to their restaurant last year, making Bench Café one of the newest Filipino fusion restaurants in Manila. Still, they’ve quickly become a go-to for those looking to have a bite of something they haven’t tasted before. With their chic and modern interiors, it wouldn’t seem apparent that they’re serving Filipino food — not until you read their menu. They’ve completely reinvented the classics. Perhaps it is only here that you can have a bite of Malunggay pasta, where they’ve incorporated the local vegetable, malunggay, in the pesto sauce. Now with three branches, Bench Café is bringing everyone in a gastronomical adventure.

Sentro 1771

Of course, if we're talking Filipino fusion restaurants in Manila, there’s bound to be a mention of Sentro 1771. Launched way back in 2002, this restaurant is one of the firsts to revolutionise Filipino cuisine. They still remain in the realm of familiar, with their traditionally homey interiors and classic recipes while bringing something modern to the plate by infusing sophisticated flavour into local fares. One of their signature dishes that put them on the map is their Sinigang na Corned Beef,  a once completely unheard of combo. 

Locavore Kitchen & Drinks

Now with five branches around the metro, it’s safe to say that Locavore Kitchen & Drinks has succeeded in reinterpreting Filipino food using French techniques. The restaurant that serves contemporary Pinoy dishes proudly uses ingredients that are all locally and organically produced. Locavore is completely casual and straightforward with servings that are perfect for sharing with friends over drinks. A crowd-favourite from their selection is their Lechon Oyster Sisig featuring French oyster cuts and bite-sized lechon topped with chicken liver and mayo. 

Friends & Family

At Friends & Family, they play around not only with the food we grew up with but also with the Filipino culture in general. The restaurant in Bonifacio Global City keeps it fun and interesting by serving traditional food, as well as the newer dishes that Filipinos have come to love over time. For one, they serve the Pinoy Birthday Spaghetti, complete with the sweet sauce and hotdog-marshmallow skewers that you’d only probably be able to enjoy in children’s birthdays. But, what’s even more worth sampling is their signature Ube Champorado, topped with salty crispy danggit to contrast with the sweet rice porridge.

(Cover photo from: @manamph)

Next, have a taste of Singapore in these foodie spots.



These days, comfortable style is what's hot. The popularity of athleisure fashion, fanny packs and Teva sandals — styles that were all once deemed passé — is a testament to this. Even if you look at what teenagers would consider cool right now, the looks all put a premium on comfort. We're talking about oversized tees, crocs, and sporting a Fjällräven Kanken. And just recently, a new comfortable piece is entering the mainstream scene. Meet the knitted flats! 

It's designed like a ballet flat but the difference is in the material used. What makes it so comfortable is it's made from high-quality yarns that, for most brands such as Rothy's, are made from recycled plastic bottles. According to the brand's website, they have "transformed over 30 million plastic water bottles into stylish flats." As you can see, it's easy to understand the hype and love for this piece because it's stylish, comfy and sustainable.

If you want to snag a pair of knitted flats, here are some options in our region. 

Otto Shoes

Knitted Flats

Otto Shoes Stripe Knitted Flats, PHP1199/~USD23 (zalora.com.ph)

If you live in the Philippines, you can check out Otto Shoes' knitted flats. You can drop by at their branches or browse through ZALORA Philippines to look at their selections. We particularly love the very versatile Stripe Knitted Flats in blush pink. It's made with a custom-engineered knitted soft fabric upper and a lightweight rubber outsole. 

Twenty Eight Shoes

Knitted Flats

Twenty Eight Shoes Knit Flats JD20, SGD84/~USD60 (zalora.com.sg)

A homegrown brand in Hong Kong, Twenty Eight shoes have also released a few pieces featuring knitted material. Unlike most brands selling knit flats, they also have other designs aside from the block colours. However, if you're like us who love classic looks, then you'd like the JD20. This casual pair of knitted flats has a supportive back counter and memory foam socking which makes it comfier than the average shoe.


Knitted Flats

PAZZION, MYR259/~USD61 (zalora.com.my)

Originating from Singapore, PAZZION Shoes has expanded their reach across Asia to countries like China, Japan and Thailand. Over the years, they have released classic designs and on-trend items like knitted flats. Looking for something that can be worn in professional settings? Check out the Blue Knit Effect Pointed Leather Pointy Flats. It will add a pop of colour to your ensemble without going over the top.

Skechers Gowalk Lite

Knitted Flats

Skechers GOwalk Lite in Romance, USD65 (skechers.com)

If you want knitted flats with an athletic touch, look no further than Skechers' GOwalk Lite collection. Out of all the designs, the Romance is the one that caught our fancy with its classy bow detail and nude colourway. We also love how versatile it is. You can wear it to both your next workout session and brunch date with your girlfriends!



Another week has gone, and with it comes a whole new slew of beauty and tech news. Before we say hello to the weekend, let's quickly go through the goings-on in the beauty, tech, and food industries. From restaurant openings to recent developments in e-commerce, we’ve got you covered with this week’s Insider Roundup.

Taobao just opened its very first store in Southeast Asia

Taobao by Virmall, the first Taobao Store in SEA

In partnership with Virmall, the first Taobao Store in Southeast Asia can now be found in Funan in Singapore. The 6,000 sq. ft store houses around 300 Taobao products, ranging from furniture and household items, textiles, fashion, and more. The store also features a Virtual Reality (VR) service for Singaporean shoppers, allowing them to visualise a particular piece of furniture in their own living spaces which are generated based on actual measurements of a room or even the entire house. Purchases can be made in-store via QR code and paid through the Taobao app.

Shopee has a new regional office in Singapore

Shopee's New Regional Office in Singapore

After announcing Cristiano Ronaldo as their newest ambassador in August, leading e-commerce platform Shopee announced last Tuesday that they’re opening their new regional headquarters in Singapore at Kent Ridge. The new office is designed to facilitate a more collaborative and creative working environment, including a marketing studio where Shopee LIVE and Shopee Quiz will be filmed, as well as a gym and fun zone for their employees. This move “reaffirms our long-term commitment to the country and elevates Singapore’s attractiveness as the Silicon Valley of Southeast Asia,” says Zhao Junjie, Shopee’s Chief Commercial Officer.

Yabu just opened a new branch in SM Aura

Yabu: House of Katsu SM Aura Opening
(Photo from: amandamaziiing)

Yabu: House of Katsu just opened its newest branch in SM Aura last Tuesday, 2 September. Their menu filled with signature katsu dishes comes with unlimited servings of rice, fruits, veggies, and soup. 

The new Urban Decay NAKED Honey palette is coming soon

Urban Decay Cosmetics’ new NAKED palette is making its way to Singapore on 13 September. It features warm brown tones and shimmery gold hues, making it the perfect palette for ladies with tan skin. It’s a versatile palette that can take you from day-time glam to night-about-town with its colour selection. It will definitely be a sweet addition to your vanity table. Get it when it drops in Sephora, both online and in-store, next week.

A new Facebook data leak exposes users’ cellphone numbers

Insider Round-Up: Facebook Data Leak

(Source: @zackwhittaker)

Though Facebook has already restricted public access to users’ phone numbers, a server was recently found to contain data from different databases from different countries. According to TechCrunch, the numbers go up to more than 400 million, with US users being affected the most, followed closely by the United Kingdom. Some records also showed pertinent information, such as the user’s name, age, gender, and location by country. This leaves users susceptible to scam calls and hacked accounts, as Facebook passwords can be changed via phone number. This latest data exposure is the most recent occurrence of data stored online, unprotected by a password.

(Cover photo from: Taobao)

Catch up on the news as often as you need to. Stay up-to-date here.