Manila’s gastronomic scene is spreading its wings. More restaurants in the city are celebrating local flavours by elevating them in contemporary ways and rethinking dishes into artistic forms. It’s no longer just about sisig, lechon or the ‘exotic’ balut, but a reflective microcosm of the history and biodiversity of the Philippines with a variety of influences — from Chinese to Indonesian to Spanish.

Leading this movement are chefs who contextualise a sense of place in delivering striking culinary experiences. Some turn to the locavore movement while others embrace fusion cuisine. Over the years, these establishments have proven their worth on regional platforms, most notably on the prestigious Asia’s 50 Best List. Just this year, Toyo Eatery was marked Miele’s One to Watch while in 2016, the Italian-trained chef Margarita Forés was named Asia’s Best Female Chef.

Curious yet? Here’s the where and what to eat in Manila.