Photography by Karlo Cadang
We’re on the second half of 2018 and so far, the year has been full of surprises—the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. Despite the lows, we like to keep things positive and celebrate even the littlest of victories. And victory it was indeed when we stumbled upon a surprise dining destination gem in BGC that’s been hiding under our noses this entire time. Enter Arya Plaza, quietly tucked away in one of the busy district’s calmer sections.
Sitting pretty several meters above street level and surrounded by verdant greens, scenic landscapes, and designed to funnel in cool breezes, this hideout is one secret that we’re thankful to have come out of hiding. What’s more is the carefully curated diners it comes along with. The best part? You get the best of not one, not two, but five culinary worlds perfect for any occasion. Here, we’re giving you a sneak peek.
1. For catching up with friends: Savage
Upon entering, you’ll find artworks of various tribal men and their way of life strategically placed on your way up the stairs of the diner. These little nuances pay tribute to the concept of Savage, another brilliant brainchild of The Bistro Group’s Chef Josh Boutwood. The pre-industrial cuisine restaurant prides of primal stripped-down cooking where the hearth is the focus. Most everything here is charred and grilled excellently, and we’re told that they’ve done away with the thermometers with the chefs just really relying on their instincts. From the ambiance to the dishes, everything here is an experience. Really, we can see it as the new ideal hotspot to round up the amigas to talk about anything under the sun.
2. For family bondings: Fukudaya Japanese Dining
When it comes to fambam bonding sessions, we couldn’t think of a better way to culminate it than with some great Japanese grub. Indeed, there’s no denying how these fares have found a permanent place in our hearts (and stomachs). And Fukudaya has got the answers to all our cravings. The modern-traditional Japanese eatery has got the freshest ingredients flown in from Japan, so you know you’re getting the best eats. Be it timeless favorites like sushi and maki or even authentic specialty dishes your palate might not have been introduced to yet, this diner has it all. Perhaps the best part is watching the sushi chefs go a-la Chef’s Kitchen mode preparing your meals in that signature meticulous fashion they’re known for.
3. For after-work shenanigans: Martin Place Social
Martin Place Social is the place to be when you and your colleagues want to seek refuge after a long day at the office. This diner is actually named after a popular Sydney spot and carries the laid-back vibes the Land Down Under is known for. Here is where you’ll meet elevated comfort food like ribs and tacos, all good for sharing. This concept restaurant helmed by Filipino-Aussie Rachelle Banta-Yilmaz features meats imported from an organic farm in Australia and fresh ingredients sourced locally, all day everyday. Of course, not to be forgotten are their medley of drinks perfect for that night cap.Come for their super fun game nights while you’re at it too!
4. For date night: Lemuria Restaurant and Wine Bar
French Mediterranean cuisine and a remarkable selection of wines are the telltale stars of Lemuria. Originating from Quezon City’s exclusive Horseshoe Village, its second branch lands in Arya Plaza. Their BGC branch may have been far removed from their original branch’s vast lush gardens, but it is indeed nothing short of elegant. Heading inside immediately teleports you to a beautiful countryside chalet South of France, where classic meets contemporary. Now would be the perfect time to whip out the coat and tie for the duds and the dress and heels for the ladies, as it is the Lemuria standard. Take this special opportunity to do so for a night to remember for the ages.
5. For celebratory dinners: Red Piano RestoLounge
We can’t believe we haven’t discovered this eclectic gastropub-slash-piano bar earlier, and we’re so glad to have this under our radar now. An open kitchen allows patrons to see the action firsthand in the kitchen. There’s even this secret door disguised as a wall that leads to a whole new world in the upstairs room, where you’ll find their signature red piano in action. Played live, beautiful piano symphonies grace the space which also features delectable fares inspired by the travels of its chef, Carlo Llave. Start the evening off with their signature chicharon—all skin, no fat, and quite frankly, the largest one we’ve ever seen. Then gather up the courage to sing your heart out with their open mic nights. We’re calling it, Red Piano is a space where celebrations are best celebrated.
Which diner are you heading to first? Let us know in the comments below!
Arya Plaza is located at McKinley Parkway, Taguig City. Want to go back to the 80’s, then this next diner is for you!