The Perfect Date

“The easiest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” but what about the lovely ladies who need to be lured just to captivate their hearts? Relax, Menagerie gives you choices on where to bring your dates without hurting your pockets.

The Dilemma

Ever gone home after a date with a wallet having only a single bill left? One way or another, every gent has gone through that. The only question in this situation will be “Was the date worth it?”

There are many factors to consider on having the perfect date, such as the partner’s personality, the conversation, the movie, etc. One of the more important factors will be the restaurant.

Most college students survive on a monthly allowance, and wise budgeting is highly detrimental. In this short piece, we, the writers, aim to recommend you, the student readers, restaurants perfect for a date on a student budget.


Say, you are dating a girl from Alabang or Las Piñas, but are totally clueless on where to bring her. You can first ask her what cuisine she prefers.

If she likes Japanese, there is a restaurant called Omakase at the Alabang Town Center. They serve the best sushi and maki in the south. They innovated maki and turned the usual egg, crabmeat and California rolls into sea urchin, salmon, eel and tuna rolls which are unique and give a whole new flavor to maki. They serve sushi and maki platters for only P500-600, fit for you and your date, with 36 uniquely flavored pieces of maki to delight your taste buds.

For the people who live in the north, fear not because Omakase has branches, offering the same menu, in Tomas Morato, Eastwood and Greenhills.

Up north and center, people dine in the busiest restaurants found in malls. Scoring points to your date is easier because of the surplus of affordable menus—Japanese, American and Filipino cuisine. That will surely fit in your P1000 budget.

Is your date yearning for sushi? Then Kimono Ken is the best place to bring her to. With the slogan, “Excitingly Japanese for Less”, you will leave the restaurant with satisfied stomachs and a happy wallet.

Their mouth-watering Kani Salad Maki, rolled sushi with crabstick, mango, and cucumber salad will cost just P150. Their signature Ebi Tempura, a choice between three or five pieces, has a price ranging from P190-300. Surprise your date with their excellent Tofu Steak, fried tofu with minced pork and vegetables in thick sauce, sizzling its way to your table for just P170. Feel free to experiment on their menu in one of their branches, Shangri-La Plaza, The Podium, SM The Block, Tomas Morato and Blue Wave.

Would you like fries with that?

Burger and fries is the best combination since mac and cheese. Take note of the spot at 16 East Kapitolyo Drive, Bo. Kapitolyo, Pasig and bring your date to Charlie’s Grind and Grill.

Prepare for Panko Crusted Deep Fried Cheese Stuffed Portabello Mushroom with Black Angus Burger Patty (P350), their highly recommended scrumptious burger that comes with fries. If your date is diet conscious, don’t panic! Charlie’s menu includes Meat Balls Marinara on Pasta (P250), to satisfy her needs and to save moolah.


The secret to the best Filipino dishes lies on their recipes. There is no doubt that your date will enjoy our traditional food cooked in different styles—a knack Recipes by Café Metro is known for.

Their General Chicken (P200), crispy chicken fillets covered in sweet sauce, will lead you and your date to order an extra bowl of rice. Don’t forget to try their Gising Gising, a spicy way to enjoy vegetables for only P155. Recipes is located at Robinsons Place Manila, Shangri-La Plaza, Greenbelt 3, SM Megamall, and Trinoma.

The date isn’t over yet! The best halo-halo in Manila brought to you by Razon’s of Guagua cannot be left unnoticed. For just P73, you and your date can exchange sweet nothings while you share a bowl of thinly shaved ice, banana, macapuno and leche flan, in delicious goat’s milk. Spearhead your way to Robinsons Place Manila, Greenbelt, Jupiter St., SM Makati, Banawe or Gateway Mall to lay your hands onto this dessert.

Things to remember

One cannot always hope for a perfect date at the get-go. More often than not, it is the experience, not the food, which will make the event memorable. Of course, there are certain things you can do to make things magical.

Always take note of ambiance. You do not have to go all-out with the candlelight dinner treatment; just be aware that your surroundings play a huge part in influencing the mood of your date.

Whether you are eating al fresco or inside a swank establishment, each environment has its own perks—you only have to choose which is more appropriate.

The time of day is also usually considered in dates, especially when curfews are involved. When both parties are amenable to it, evening dates are almost always preferred, but morning and afternoon ones are not so bad as well.

Some restaurants offer a little special something to couples upon request, be it some dessert, flowers or even a serenade or two. If your date would not mind being watched on by other patrons, make the most of these things.

Remember; always be courteous—to both your partner and to the restaurant staff. You are there to enjoy, not to pick a fight.

It’s game time

With these in mind, your choice of restaurant cannot go wrong. All you need to do is get that budget you need and let conversation do its magic. If you really want to impress your date, go to the restaurant beforehand and tip the waiter so the waiter will know your name and greet you. The result? Instant pogi points for you. Bon Appétit!

By Jemille Lim

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