Tucked in a quiet section of Bonifacio Global City along McKinley Parkway is The Plaza at Arya Residences, which has been described by Manila foodies as an outdoor dining hotspot.
More popularly known as Arya Plaza, this architectural masterpiece is the Philippines’ first LEED-registered residential condominium and the benchmark vertical residential project for the country’s national green building rating system. Imagine this: at 3:00 p.m., standing in the middle of the building’s al fresco area, you can forget the scorching mid-afternoon sun and enjoy a cool breeze instead.
“We have created a microclimate to ensure that Arya is one of the best places to enjoy outdoor dining in the city. Our master-planned layout harnesses the wind, and our imposing canopy is made of the same corrosion- and heat-resistant material used in Singapore’s Clark Quay and Beijing’s Water Cube to provide light and eliminate heat—all with minimal energy use,” said Chris Narciso, executive vice president of ArthaLand Corporation.
But the real stars of this remarkable destination are its carefully curated dining establishments.
The brainchild of Chef Josh Boutwood, Savage is all about stripped-down cooking. It prides itself as a “pre-industrial cuisine restaurant” where everything at some point touches the grill which uses imported oakwood to lend a distinct aroma and smokiness. Its signature dishes include Barramundi with arugula and lemon, deviled eggs, potato crab salad, and pork belly with crushed grilled pineapple.
Fukudaya Japanese Dining
A modern-traditional Japanese restaurant with authentic specialties based on the freshest ingredients available flown in from Japan, Fukudaya has an open kitchen that is displayed prominently for its guests to enjoy. Its specialties include the eponymous Fukudaya Roll, a dish composed of eight traditional maki with a selection of diverse toppings—sea urchin, roast beef, duck, spicy tuna, spicy salmon, crab stick salad, shrimp, and negitoro—as well as ebi roll and Australian wagyu steak.
Lemuria Restaurant and Wine Bar
This is the second and only branch of this highly popular upscale restaurant originating from Quezon City’s Horseshoe Village. “I want Lemuria to be the restaurant you have in mind when you want to go to somewhere special and would like to dress up,” said restaurateur and wine expert Marina Schroeder. Dress code still applies: no slippers and shorts are allowed. So if you are hankering for Lemuria’s signature dishes, such as the duck leg confit, foie gras trio, and prawn with feta cheese, prepare to dress to eat and enjoy the most sumptuous French Mediterranean cuisine in the metro.
The Red Piano
At this point of the food crawl, I was already prepared to throw the towel after eating through three wonderful restaurants. But then the owner, Chef Carlo Llave, started talking about his dishes and his passion for good food. “I try to go back to where the dish began, to use the original ingredients. This means preparing stock for 48 hours, importing pearl onions and guanciale (cured pork jowl) for the carbonara, and using three-fourth kilo of clams to make one serving of San Francisco clam chowder,” he said. His words were enough to make me stay, and I did not regret that choice as I enjoyed Llave’s other signature dishes—osso bucco and beef bourguignon.
So next time you want to enjoy good ambience and even better food, minus the madding crowd, head off to Arya. This is one secret that is just raring to be shared with friends and loved ones.
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