Manila’s “Greenbelt”:https://www.ayalamalls.com/main/malls/ayala-greenbelt, a huge shopping complex with restaurants, cinema, gardens and chapel, is located in Makati, the business district. It was only a 10-minute walk from our “hotel,”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation/183341-review-hotel-celeste which had no bar or restaurant, so it became our second home. It was divided into five areas, with the main eating outlets in Greenbelt 3, so we were able to pick what suited us at the time.
CERVESERIA – served Spanish tapas and became a firm favourite for drinks, lunch and dinner. There was an air-conditioned restaurant which we preferred in the evening, but the informal outdoor area was perfect for people watching, as the small close tables resulted in a convivial atmosphere where it was easy for people to get chatting/chatted up. In addition, their sangria, both white and red, was excellent and at 375 Peso/£6.25 for a carafe it was also good value.
The menu had all our usual favourites: pan con tomate, boquerones frito, croquettas de queso, chorizo and patatas bravas. But we also tried dishes we’d not had before: beef salpicao (cubes of tender beef cooked in a spicy, garlicy oil) and christorra (chorizo wrapped in a home-made crisp).
MOTORINO – was a casual, Italian restaurant with marble-topped tables. Having seen huge 13” pizzas, we shared a very good red pepper and chorizo pizza and huge Cesar salad. I was going to have a pudding, but our waitress finished her shift and we were neglected by others, so we paid the bill and I had a scoop of ice cream from a nearby takeaway. However, this didn’t put us off, and on the night before our flight home, thought it was a safe option for travelling. Once again, we shared a pizza, this time with meatballs, and were going to have the apple, walnut and gorgonzola salad but it wasn’t available – ironically their wifi password was applewalnut.
QUEENS OF BOLLYWOOD – There’s always a moment on holiday when I need an Indian. At the QofB, we had the choice of two poppadoms; roasted and fried and we chose one of each. The latter came in a bowl shape and was scattered with diced red onion, tomato and chilli. Our mains were swiftly followed by excellent lamb Rogan josh and chicken vindaloo with a single portion of steamed rice and garlic naan. It was just the right amount and the bill, with two San Miguel, and the obligatory 10% service charge, came to 1,581P/£26.
GILAK KEBAB RESTAURANT – As with Cerveseria, we sat inside and ordered humus to share, this arrived with two large warm pitta breads, and lamb and chicken kebabs. There was an extensive menu of Eastern and Indian dishes. The kebabs came with dishes of garlic yoghurt and a small salad of chopped cucumber, onion and tomato. It was excellent and not too big. However, the service was a little surly as the young highly made-up girls were a little hoity toity.
CAFÉ HAVANA – One afternoon we’d just finished shopping when the heavens opened so we thought it was a good opportunity for coffee and cake at Café Havana. However, having seen the menu, we were soon tucking into beer with black bean hummus with platanos (fried plantain discs) and sweet potato chips with ketchup.
Greenbelt is highly recommended both for shopping, eating or even a prayer. The Filipinos appeared to love walking round the very upmarket shops, but we saw little purchasing being done. ‘They’re all just in to cool down’, advised our guide.