Opening Hours: 11:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M., 6:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M. (Monday – Saturday), 10:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M. (Sunday)
Telephone: +632 8236206
Mobile: +63917 6543355
When you think of "fine dining in Makati City," the last place you'd look is Esteban Street in Makati's Legaspi Village. After all, Esteban is a couple of blocks short of Ayala Avenue, the thoroughfare to high-end establishments like Glorietta and Greenbelt.
And yet, Esteban is the place where Your Local, a deceptively tiny restaurant, is nestled. Debuting in 2014, Your Local promises "a new take on familiar flavors"; specifically, Western foods with an Asian twist. If you're working anywhere near V.A. Rufino (landmark: PBCom Tower), read this review and decide for yourself whether you'd like to eat lunch here once in a while.
To be fair, it's a bit difficult to find the physical location of Your Local. Even if you manage to look up the restaurant's hard-to-search name online, the only thing Google Maps will tell you is that it's somewhere between Murphy's Makati and Synergygroup Operations Inc. It'll certainly not tell you that Your Local doesn't have a large, visible sign advertising its location.
Once you find it, however, you'll find yourself inside a quirky, hip place. Though a keen eye can tell that there's only a limited amount of space allotted to the restaurant, Your Local was able to make the most of it with strategic lighting, large windows and an open kitchen.
Looking at the menu, the first thing you'll notice is the wide assortment of cocktails and beers. Since it was the middle of the afternoon when we dined out, though, we regret to say that we didn't get to try out their alcoholic beverages.
However, we more than made up for it with the famed Torched Salmon Donburi, priced at Php540 (roughly USD15). The menu advertises it as a combination of "torched Norwegian salmon (cooked medium), mentaiko, oboro, ebiko and salmon skin on roast corn and shitake black rice." According to our server, this dish is one of their bestsellers — along with the Steak Fried Rice — so that's what we tried out.
At first glance (see picture above), the donburi doesn't look like much. It's served on a flat-ish bowl, which makes the servings look smaller than they actually are. But make no mistake: This is a dish that will leave you more than 80 percent full (hara hachi bu).
Granted, the rice may be a little too salty for some people's tastes, but the whole package is just so filling. If you don't eat this slowly but surely, you'll find yourself sheepishly asking the servers whether you can take part of it home. (Fortunately, you can.) Also, the flavors bring out the best in each other, and health buffs will appreciate the wholesome combination of fish, vegetables and Japanese goodness.
The only issue you'll probably have with this restaurant is the price. To some, Php540 may be too steep for a single dish. Same goes for softdrinks, which are priced at Php90 per can. If you're tightening your belt at the moment, this isn't the dining place for you.
But if you're an adventurous foodie, and you want to try out a "fusion dish" that won't be an experimental failure, then Your Local is a place worth checking out.
We were lucky enough to have an attentive server. As soon as we stepped into the place, she ushered us to the most comfortable, open seats. She was all smiles all the time, from the moment she took our orders, to answering our questions, and even following up on more orders. For example, when we requested for chopsticks to make it easier to consume the donburi in small portions, she tactfully informed us that they didn't have the same. However, she made up for it by offering teaspoons, which was the next best alternative available.
At the end of it, she gave us a tiny business card, telling us to use that contact information to reserve seats, in case we decide to visit the restaurant again in the future. (Tip: If your server doesn't offer you a business card, be sure to ask for one!) Considering her above-average service, we didn't think the 10 percent service charge was a problem at all.
Your Local is definitely one of Makati's hidden gems. If you're not queasy about trying new food, and don't mind forking out a few hundred pesos for a single meal, Your Local doesn't disappoint. For our part, we will surely come back to this restaurant sometime in the future to try out their other dishes, and experience a different side of Filipino cuisine.