Restaurants / Bars

Our 8 Best Banyos in Manila

May 27, 2019

We’ll just go ahead and say it: going to the washroom is a key part of the dining experience. Washrooms—a.k.a. restrooms, comfort rooms, the loo—are essential to any restaurant, what with the human body’s need to get rid of whatever it can’t or doesn’t, ahem, use. (And that’s aside from being a general area you can change shirts, reapply your lip gloss, and whatever other ~private~ activities you might inevitably have to carry out.) But just because it’s practical doesn’t mean it can’t be special. Some washrooms stand out more than others, whether due to snazzier interiors or the use of more high-tech contraptions. Here are eight worth taking a trip to, in no particular order:

12/10

This modern izakaya‘s known for their artful approach to plating: visually striking, but never in such a way that’s over-the-top. Their washroom fits the said theme, immediately greeting all guests with their iconic ‘eye’ mural. The space is small and the tones, monochromatic; but the overall feelings evoked are that of coziness and comfort.

Provenciano

Provenciano’s restroom follows the rest of this homegrown restaurant’s traditional Filipino-inspired theme. It’s in the details: the use of wood and Capiz windowpanes to line the cubicle walls; the rattan figures that double as tissue holders placed in front of the bidets. It’s comfy enough that you’d feel at home and not hold back from any, erm, urges—so go ahead, have that second helping of inihaw na baboy.

Grace Park

Tiny as it may be (it’s tucked right under the stairs in the highly coveted farm-to-table restaurant), Grace Park’s restroom stands out with its whimsical touches, including a small patch of vintage mirrors in mismatched shapes and sizes on one of the walls and a most adorable cat tissue holder.

Bank Bar

This is a hardcore bathroom. This is a bathroom where Jordan Belfort and Patrick Bateman would take drugs in, or would take women to. This is an all-black bathroom, with a gold reflective toilet. This is a mighty fine bathroom for people that are rich, into themselves, and have a very important work call to China at 3 am.

Mulberry Door

Within this BGC establishment lies elegant yet homey interiors almost everywhere you look—and that includes their bathroom. Subdued hues, patterned tiles, and a large mirror give it a fashion-forward feel, while large indoor plants—we’re unsure if it’s real, but it does the job visually—help brighten up the cozy space.

Joe’s Brew

Joe’s restroom hides behind a door that’s made to resemble a freezer. The interior has a murkier, more (seemingly intentional?) industrial-looking appearance, but it fits just right with the theme of this Poblacion beerhouse.

Polilya

If you think gross (or generally unkept) washrooms are part and parcel of any bar, think again. Polilya’s washroom area is cool enough to hang out in just for the heck of it, what with vivid red lights amidst the dark backdrop. There’s an almost cyberpunk sensibility to it, but with a surprising, more traditional-looking touch of wooden fixtures and Filipino paintings within and fronting the door of each of the four cubicles.

CDP

CDP goes for muted shades of grey and what look like marble tiles and stone walls in their washroom, but—thanks perhaps to the addition of a wooden shelf by the door—it somehow works out to feel as elegant and snug as the rest of the tiny restaurant. The highlight, for us, are the two sinks: one with a whisk-like spout located right outside the actual cubicle, and another with a unique clear glass surface above a sloped sink that lets the water cascade down diagonally.

Special mENTIONS

We tried to stick to eight for this, but we couldn’t pass a few others up. Yes Please‘s restroom is the best place for pooping, thanks to long texts on the walls that’ll keep you stimulated while you do your business. Yayoi‘s is also worth checking out for the high-tech Japanese toilets that do everything from heat up to splash water via a washlet to clean your arsehole.

Patricia Baes SEE AUTHOR Patricia Baes

Trish thinks too much about everything—truth, existence.....and what’s on her plate. Her ongoing quest for a better relationship with food has led to a passion for cooking, gastronomy, and a newfound interest in its politics. She dreams of perfecting the art of making soufflé with her crappy toaster oven.

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