Aside from our buffet at Manila Peninsula, the day Dane proposed, Dane and I don’t really date a lot in fancy places primarily because we’re pretty simple people.
When I had the chance to plan our anniversary date and pinned down Manila Ocean Park as our main activity for the celebration, I wanted to choose restaurants that we haven’t tried yet for our lunch and dinner. We ended up in Nobunaga Izakaya Robatayaki for lunch, and I booked Raffaele Woodfired Pizza located at The Bayleaf Intramuros for dinner.
About a month before, I first contacted Raffaele through The Bayleaf Hotel Intramuros Facebook Page to ask if they take in reservations. They replied within the next day, asked for details, and booked our date. Then I reconfirmed our reservation the night before.
It was actually our first time entering The Bayleaf Intramuros. Since Raffaele is located at the third floor of the hotel, passing through the hotel entrance was inevitable. We were greeted by the security personnel who asked us which restaurant we were going to, looked at his list and checked our reservation. Then we were guided to take the elevator to the third floor.
The restaurant looked elegant. Even though we didn’t go for the Sky Deck Bar, another restaurant of Bayleaf Hotel overlooking Manila skyline, Raffaele still had a great ambience and a welcoming staff. They asked us for our reservation name and then had an option to sit in one of the three booths in the restaurant.
It took a bit of time before we were given a menu though. But you know the place is fancy if the menu cover is leather lol.
They didn’t have a lot of options, but there were a lot of choices we were keen on trying. We ended up going for what we thought were interesting options—Tomato and Roasted Garlic Pizza, US Striploin, the Local Crab & Sea Urchin pasta, and the in-house Raffaele Bayleaf Signature Iced Tea.
Anddddd, remember my feelings towards service water being served? Well that’s definitely one of the things I appreciated in Raffaele’s. We were immediately asked if we wanted hot or cold drinking water, and our glasses were never empty throughout our stay.
The first thing that arrived were these tall glasses of iced tea. Now, drinks aren’t usually the reason why you would visit a restaurant, but this drink is definitely a must try when you visit Raffaele! Compared to signature drinks in other restaurants, this in-house ice tea has a unique and distinctive flavor.
It’s the best iced tea I’ve ever had, and Dane even ordered two glasses for take-out, so he can share it with his parents for appreciation.
Raffaele Bayleaf Signature Iced Tea Price: P150 per glass
Dane and I’s Rating: 5/5
Of course if a restaurant has Pizza on its name, you gotta try it. So what became our appetizer is their Tomato & Roasted Garlic Pizza.
It tastes heavenly. And despite how seemingly simple the pizza is, you can definitely taste the quality ingredients that were carefully chosen. The pizza crust tastes a bit earthy, very different from your usual pizza anywhere else because it’s cooked using wood in a brick oven, compared to those operated by gas or electricity.
Tomato & Roasted Garlic Pizza Price: P520 (about 9 inches)
Dane and I’s Rating: 4.5/5
Raffaele’s Local Crab & Sea Urchin pasta is definitely something else. I’ve tried sea urchin already a number of times but didn’t really taste it in this dish (or my tongue needs some fine-tuning). It was predominantly crab. Personally, I think it could use a bit more salt or maybe cheese, but it’s definitely packed with a lot of flavor. You can also see the actual crab in the dish so you know it’s not just some flavoring. Spaghetti is cooked to a perfect al dente as well.
Local Crab & Sea Urchin Pasta Price: P530 (1-2 people)
Dane and I’s Rating: 4/5
The last one from our order is their US Striploin. It’s not as appetizing as I expected my steak to be, but it was perfectly cooked and seasoned very well.
The mashed potato served with the steak was good, though I still prefer Chili’s mashed potato. I’m also not very fond of mashed potatoes that is too smooth.
While I know steak is expensive, being able to cook something similar at home for a fraction of the price makes me unable to fully love it. I wouldn’t order it again, but it definitely validated my steak-cooking abilities.
US Striploin Price: P1600
Dane and I’s Rating: 4/5
It was definitely a great anniversary date for us. And we’re glad that Raffaele Woodfired Pizza was our choice of dinner to cap of a milestone in our life.
- Taste: 4/5
- Bang for Buck: 4.5/5
- Ambiance: 5/5
- Service: 5/5
- Would we eat here again? Yes! and we might even go out of the way to do so!
I do think Raffaele is a great date location for couples, and it’s sure to impress. If you’re feeling a bit fancy, then I suggest going hereto celebrate your anniversary, just like we did! The only downside is they open late at 3pm, but I think the mood during dinner is a better experience despite not having the advantage of a skyline view of their rooftop restaurant.
Raffaele Woodfired Pizza is open Tuesdays to Sundays, 3pm to 11pm. Raffaele is located at the third floor of The Bayleaf Hotel Intramuros, 1002 Muralla St, Intramuros, Manila.