In the age when social media plays an important role in diners’ perceptions and decision-making, food presentation has become among the main factors that determine a restaurant’s success. Discerning customers have become very meticulous about the overall dining experience when looking for and recommending great food joints within the metro.
That is why Manifesto: Modern European + Asian Cuisine is stirring the pot full of diverse restaurants in the bustling Makati Central Business District. The modern restaurant boasts an exquisite menu comprising entries that are intricately and meticulously presented. Those are sprinkled with an extraordinary dining experience that will definitely make every natural foodie want to come back for more.
Maureen Laus Gallant, Chief Operating Officer of Manifesto has made it a personal crusade to upgrade the way food is served and appreciated in the country. That is why the 46-year-old restaurateur left her corporate career to focus on her food passion, together with her business partners.
Maureen has not forayed into the dining industry unequipped. Aside from her inherent interest to whip up dishes from scratch (a knack she grew up with being a Kapampangan), she spent almost a year (including actual kitchen time) completing a culinary program at the Alain Ducasse Professional Culinary Arts Program through Enderun College, which offers cutting-edge culinary principles and training developed by the most celebrated and Michelin-starred modern French chef Alain Ducasse.
“I wanted to learn French techniques and apply those to Filipino cuisine,” Maureen shares. “Similar to other well-known Filipino chefs, it is my desire to elevate Filipino food and for it to be recognized internationally.”
A chance meeting with fellow Kapampangan Chef Claude Tayag also inspired her to pursue her crusade. “My family and I were having dinner in one of his restaurants in Pampanga. He served sinigang and inasal in the most impressive way. That moment, I knew I’ve been sharing his passion,” she recalls.
Manifesto is the public declaration of that crusade. Maureen highlights the three E’s that serve as the brand’s distinction—Exquisite dishes, Excellent coffee, and Exceptional service.
Frontlining Manifesto’s delectable menu is the continental breakfast entries, which are served all day. Among the must-try dishes on the list are the appetizing Eggs Benedict, the mouthwatering French Toast, the power-packed Omelet, and its Crepes and Waffles. The restaurant also serves these breakfast entries to guests of Citadines Salcedo Makati, which is adjacent to the site.
Soups, Salads, and Sides are not to be missed. Pumpkin and Mushroom soups can instantly make your day, while Thai Beef, Greek, and Mixed Salads are simply irresistible. Sides like Sweet Potato and Spiced Potato Wedges can easily take the center of one’s appetite.
Popular Filipino comfort dishes headline Manifesto’s Rice and Grilled offerings. Spiced Boneless Bangus, Longganisa, Tapa, and Tocino meals come with garlic rice, scrambled eggs, and vegetable salad. Other favorites also take centerstage—Nasi Goreng, Chicken Satay, Fish and Chips, and Kebab (Chicken, Beef, and Lamb).
Burgers and Sandwiches are also popular all day long. Wagyu Beef Burger and Lamb Burger top-bill the category. Diners easily love Hot and Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Lamb and Beef Meatball Sandwich, and Three-Cheese Sandwich.
Noodles, Pasta, and Pizza are unsurprisingly to die for as well. Chicken Parmesan, Margherita, and Wagyu Pizza are instant crowd-drawers and will make you want to have some more. Pad Thai and Vietnamese Beef Fried Noodles are bursting with rich spices and flavors. Meanwhile, Spaghetti Bolognese, Arrabbiata, and Carbonara are classic staples for everyone’s indulgence.
To complete the gastronomic feast, must-try desserts adorn the menu. The top picks include Hummingbird and Salted Caramel cakes. Manifesto even serves the best brownies and cookies for all-day tea or coffee sessions.
“I am even prouder of Manifesto’s coffee offerings. My personal favorite is Flat White,” says Maureen, who is a coffee lover herself. The restaurant serves 19 coffee variants—including authentic Vietnamese coffee and four cold coffee drinks. Maureen assures that they only use the best beans sourced from the best suppliers, locally and internationally. They also religiously follow even the most stringent procedures to make their best-selling coffees.
For non-coffee drinkers, there are caffeine-free drinks, which include hot or iced chocolate and Babyccino. The tea selection is as interesting. The Green Tea Latte is a hit, and similar to other selections, it can be served hot or iced.
Aside from excellent coffee, Manifesto has developed a very good array of refreshing beverage options. Milkshakes (strawberry, avocado, mango, and banana) are popular selections. The most invigorating fruit juices include fresh orange, apple, mango, watermelon, papaya, and carrot. Want to try healthy beverages? Enjoy the guilt-free PhytoFiber Boost (pineapple, apple, celery, and ginger), Bugs Bunny’s Bias (carrot, apple, ginger, and pear), or C Major (orange, strawberry, and banana).
Cocktails, Beer, Wine, and Spirits are also served. Manifesto now has several popular local and international beer brands. Must-try from this list are concoctions that include Sangria, Espresso Martini, and Mojito, among others.
Manifesto is committed to bringing only the best experience to its customers. That is why aside from serving the best dishes and beverages, the restaurant guarantees the best dining service. “We provide continuous employee development, including product training, customer service excellence, culture building, and upskilling,” says Maureen.
Manifesto promotes and rewards achievements through monthly recognition of best performers and service and special awards. “We’re giving everyone in the team the opportunity to grow with us and to enjoy life while working,” Maureen shares. “All these contribute to high employee engagement which translates to the exceptional service we provide to our customers. We are delighted to regularly receive positive feedback from them.”
To complement that, the restaurant’s interior, on the other hand, is designed to bring a cozy and homey atmosphere, where everyone can just sit back, relax, and enjoy what Manifesto has to offer with family, friends, and business associates.
The restaurant’s strategic location (along Valero Street in Salcedo Village, Makati City), with its al fresco dining option, makes it even more appealing to customers. Parking slots are available nearby (street parking, Paseo Center, and other parking rentals in the area).
To date, Manifesto is embarking on a five-year growth plan, which includes opening a flagship branch in Bonifacio Global City and expanding to other key cities nationwide.
“Excellent coffee, exquisite dishes, and exceptional service are the words we live by at Manifesto. It is our commitment to serving the finest quality coffee and European and Asian dishes to the best of our abilities while providing the community a safe and comfortable space to come together,” Maureen concludes.
Indeed, Manifesto is a true embodiment of everything we expect and hope for an excellent, exquisite, and exceptional dining experience.
Manifesto: European + Asian Cuisine is located at #148 Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City. It is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.