Dec 12, 2019

Ah, the dreaded holiday potluck lunch season has come. If you are one to cook and is expected by your whole clan to show up each year with your specialty dish, then this time of the year must be your favorite. 

There are non-negotiables at every Pinoy Christmas get-together. The noodles for long life; some kakanin for strong bonds; sweet spaghetti for the kids and young-at-heart; and the barbecue, because who doesn’t love them, right? But by the time your guests come from their nth gathering, they must be already begging for a taste of something new. 

Here’s our tip: go to your favorite restaurant—or much better, to a restaurant you know everyone in the family loves—and see if you can have your favorite picks to-go and in big batches. If you can’t quite determine that one though, we’ve compiled 10 places where you can get party platters for every kind of eater you have in your family or even your workplace.


8 Treasures
EDSA (Petron) Dasma +63977-8390808
Santolan Town Plaza +63917-3005265
Power Plant Mall +63917-8927045

Apart from being a unique contribution to the table, your 8 Treasures platter signals to your relatives that you know good food and where to get it. This platter has pretty much every roasted dish you can think of: char siu pork, lechon Macau, roast duck, Hong Kong chicken, soy chicken. Heck, you can even get a whole duck or a goose. Now that’s something else.

[READ: This restaurant famous for their HK roast goose is now in Power Plant and San Juan]

Khao Khai

5772 Ebro St., Poblacion, Makati
Available through Foodpanda, Grabfood, Lalafood, Zomato
717-1240, 0949-1132942, 0927-2275558 

For the uninitiated few, Thai food may be foreign, so you need to take it upon yourself to introduce them to this wonderful cuisine and let them know what they are missing out on. There’s the chicken, fried and roasted, that comes with various aromatic dips and fried rice. But the real clincher here is Khao Khai’s spaghetti, which is a cross between a pad Thai and the Italian favorite but with dried chilies, cilantro, and basil.

[READ: Khao Khai Thai doesn’t believe in westernized Thai food]

Señor Pollo

For pickup and delivery from their branches
Available through Foodpanda, Grabfood, Lalafood

Bring a little heat to the table with this platter from Senor Pollo that has fried and roasted chicken with different dips, fried rice, quesadillas, and cheesy nachos. Be the best and coolest tita or tito in the eyes of youngsters and start a new tradition.

Guevarra’s by Chef Laudico 

387 P. Guevarra cor. Argonne Sts., Addition Hills, San Juan
705-1811, 705-1874, 0917-3112222

Whoever thought of this was genius. No need to trek up to San Juan to get a homey meal at Guevarra’s. You can instead bring that experience home with the “Handaan Kahit Saan” party platters. Get a load of buffet favorites like the pork bellychon, Angus roast beef, and Angus tapa plus, a few Filipino specialties that will surely have the rest of the titas asking you for the recipe. Joke’s on them, it’s actually chef Laudico Guevarra’s.


For pickup and delivery from their branches

Now, this is what we’re talking about when we said go to the restaurant everybody loves. Who doesn’t like Manam’s sisig? We know, the watermelon sinigang is not for everyone, but give it a chance. Magi-gising (gising) din sila sa katotohanan sooner or later. See what we did there?

But if you insist on cooking despite the existence of this option, you can always refer to this recipe for their addicting caramelized patis wings: [READ: How to make Manam’s caramelized patis wings]

Half Saints

GF The Ignacia Place, 62 Sgt. Esguerra Ave., Quezon City

There’s more to this QC favorite besides the bestselling 64% Dark Chocolate Tart, but feel free to bring that one, too. They have pastas, pizzas, and other specials like the soy-glazed salmon and chicharron teriyaki that could beat the hell out of someone’s dry-ass barbecue. 

Izakaya Sensu

GF Net Park Buiding 5th Ave. Fort BGC, Taguig
8282-0442, 8283-2979

For the record, we will be the last people to complain about an abundance of sushi rolls and sashimi at a party. But please, please make sure it’s fresh and not just something you get from a grocery store, which will ultimately have you blacklisted next year for food poisoning. Raintree Restaurant’s Japanese concept in collaboration with Piglet Tokyo has platters of fresh vegetable roll, California roll, assorted nigiri, tamago, and even yakitori.

Hainan Chicken Rice

Again, for the culture, bring something out-of-the-box—no, we don’t mean no disrespect to takeouts ( just make sure the container is reusable and there is no plastic cutlery). Hainan chicken isn’t something people can readily have anywhere, chances are they can but it wouldn’t be as good as this one from online-based Hainan Chicken Rice, which is basically poached chicken with flavorful rice, soy glaze, ginger garlic sauce, and chili.

Flour Girl

Okay, you may skip this one if you have a truly great cookie recipe that not only the kids adore but also the discerning adults. If otherwise, here’s our top pick amid the many so-called “best” chocolate cookies out there: Flour Girl’s hundred-gram cookies that are as close as you can get to the famous NYC Levain Bakery cookies. This big box of 100 pieces mini hundred-gram cookies (approx. 25 g each), costs P3,500. 

[READ: The Flour Girl’s Hundred Gram Cookies are not made for sharing]

Mama Lou’s

For pickup and delivery from their branches
Also available through Foodpanda, Grabfood, Zomato
(02) 519 1977

Italian restaurants are everywhere right now, and even at any budget. Truth is, the chances of you getting a table this season at the “hottest” new restaurant in town is pretty slim. We suggest you go to tried-and-tested places like Mama Lou’s, which have been in the business for almost a decade now. What’s more, they have branches in many locations where you can order platters of bestsellers like risotto, chicken marsala, and ribeye salpicao. They have three sizes for platters: regular (8-10 pax), family (11-15 pax), and party (16-10 pax).

Special mention:
The Grid

R2 Level Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati

We might as well set new traditions this year and instead of bringing wasteful takeaways and aluminum tin trays, eat indoors and have a meal at the mall. Yes, at the mall. And no, mall food courts aren’t as bad as you think they are. The Grid at Power Plant Mall in Rockwell, an upscale food market, with its expanded space houses a variety of stalls that offer different dishes and even some holiday specials.

From Thai, Mexican, Korean, and Filipino entrées to desserts, you are sure to find something for everyone here. Just mind their mall holiday hours. 

[READ: LOOK: Holiday hours for Metro Manila and nearby malls]


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Read more:

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Noche buena sans the putok batok

TAGS: 8 treasures Flour Girl Guevarra’s by Chef Laudico Hainan chicken rice half saints Izakaya Sensu khao khai Mama Lou’s manam party platters senor pollo the grid