Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Blackbird restaurant at the Nielson Tower in Ayala Triangle has been named as one of Monocle’s 50 best restaurants around the world.
Blackbird’s chef Kerwin Go announced the news on Instagram and used the platform to thank their team. Go tells CNN Philippines Life that the Hong Kong bureau chief of Monocle — a London-based publication that has established itself as a preeminent tastemaker since its founding in 2007 — reached out to them a few months ago.
“He said we were long listed to be part of the 50 restaurants. We did a short chat over the phone about the restaurant and we weren’t expecting be included,” he shares. “Some of the restaurants in the list are my inspiration, especially River Cafe in London. So to be included is such an honor.”
The Nielson Tower in Ayala Triangle where Blackbird is located used to be the country’s first commercial airport built by a British man who moved to Manila in the 1930s. However, it was turned into an American military airfield during the outbreak of World War II. After the war, it was refurbished by Philippine Airlines but was also abandoned in 1946 when PAL transferred to Pasay City.
While the runways were turned into roads in Makati, the control tower and the passenger terminal remained intact, which is where Blackbird has mounted itself. The restaurant, led by chef Go and Colin McKay, has kept the layout of the Nielson Tower, with its then-check in corner now turned into a bar and lounge area, its control tower now a private room, its passenger terminal transformed into a grill room, and its tarmac now used as an al fresco dining alternative.
Blackbird offers its guests different sets of menus for daytime, nighttime, afternoon tea, and brunch — from dishes like dry rubbed Wagyu hanger steak to the Blackbird fish pie comprised of salmon, smoked trout, sweet shrimps, creamy leeks, and potato crust. The restaurant also has a wide range of drink and dessert options, such as the pineapple, mint, yoghurt and honey lass; the strawberry, banana and chia seed smoothie; and the green tea and vanilla ice cream milkshake, among many others.
For more information about Blackbird, visit their website.