Where to Eat

Zero Bias Review of Manna Kitchen in La Union

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If you run out of restaurants to try in La Union, or you’re searching for a serene hangout spot or your next staycation destination, Manna Kitchen is the place to go. It gives you the two most essential things you need when unwinding – great food and exceptional ambiance.

Their carefully curated menu caters to diverse tastes – whether you’re a sweet tooth, coffeeholic, or pasta lover. Manna Kitchen stays true to its word origin – nourishment. 

Discover Culinary Delights at Manna Kitchen

Located in Ili Sur, San Juan La Union, Manna Kitchen is a tranquil retreat 300 meters from the nearest beach and a convenient less than 2-kilometer drive to the vibrant surf town community of Urbiztondo.

This hidden but not-so-secret restaurant is part of Aginana Villas. It is the culinary gem that seamlessly integrates with the spirit of Aginana and complements this haven of repose. Much like the villa, Manna Kitchen is a refuge for the senses, where carefully curated flavors and warm hospitality intertwine to create an unforgettable dining experience.

Dive and Dine at Manna Kitchen

Aginana Villa’s outdoor pool

One of the best things about Manna Kitchen is its various arrangements and menu offerings. You can enjoy their Dive and Dine, which combines two enjoyable activities – eating and swimming. With Dive and Dine, you can occupy their poolside tables to give you easy access to their swimming pool. 

For 350 pesos per person, we enjoyed swimming plus one free drink and made the right choice. Their mango and grape shakes were very refreshing without being overwhelmingly sweet while the lemonade had the right amount of zest coupled with the cool essence of mint. At first glance, 350 might seem like a hefty price for swimming, but it was a good deal for us considering that their refreshers were priced at around 150 pesos each. 

They also have a dedicated coffee bar, albeit with a small space; it’s perfect for freelancers like me who want a change of scenery. We all know how working from home can get a bit lonely sometimes. The compact area is also a benefit since it gives me a cozy feeling while working, especially since it’s airconditioned.

I go here almost every week because this place just ticks all the boxes for me as someone who works remotely. I can do three essential things in my routine: work out, eat out, and be productive. This trifecta of offerings makes Manna Kitchen my go-to destination, providing the perfect balance for my work and leisure needs.

Manna Kitchen’s Menu

The menu options of Manna Kitchen add to its appeal. No matter what kind of sudden cravings you get, they’re ready to serve dishes, snacks, and beverages that will satisfy you fully. 

We had our team get-together here last December 2023. Our afternoon hangout was made perfect by their Strawberry balsamic grilled cheese, black truffle cream pasta, & 4-in-1 pizza. These sumptuous snacks were paired with mango and grape shakes and lemonade.

What We Ordered at Manna Kitchen

Basket of Paper Thin Potatoes

Manna Kitchen’s Basket of Potato Chips

Who doesn’t love potatoes? And as big fans of potato snacks, we unanimously agreed on this for our appetizer. True to their description, it really was paper-thin but they fried to the perfect crispiness. We were impressed because it was the perfect golden color and had no burnt parts.  

But what sealed the deal was their whole-grain aioli dip. The whole-grain aioli presented a multi-dimensional taste profile. Its rich and creamy emulsion base provided a velvety texture that clung to the delicate potato slices. The use of whole-grain mustard in the aioli brought a delightful crunch and a burst of earthy flavors, intertwining with the creaminess to create a harmonious balance.

Strawberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese

Manna Kitchen’s balsamic grilled cheese

For a sandwich that is everything but ordinary, their strawberry balsamic grilled cheese takes you on a flavorful trip. Their buttered sourdough was crispy outside but fluffy inside. The combination of chedarella and parmesan, creamy boursin, and strawberry preserve gave you that endless surprise bite after bite. 

To top it all off, a drizzle of balsamic reduction turns this grilled cheese into a masterpiece of sweet, tangy, and downright delicious flavors. It’s a gourmet experience that made us rethink everything we know about grilled cheese.

Black Truffle Cream Pasta

Manna Kitchen’s black truffle cream pasta

Truffle can be an acquired taste, especially because of its smell. But Manna Kitchen makes magic happen with their black truffle cream pasta. The linguini was perfectly cooked. The shiitake mushrooms, tender and earthy, added a delightful chewiness, further boosted by black truffle salsa with its distinct taste and aroma. 

The warm focaccia bread completed this sharp, savory dish that left us wanting more. 

4-in-1 Pizza

Manna Kitchen’s 4-in-1 pizza

Four pizza flavors are available – white, BBQ Chicken, Cheese P and Beef Taco. But if you’re indecisive when ordering pizza, 4-in-1 Pizza is for you. You can try all the flavors and decide which one is your favorite. White is made of four kinds of cheese, BBQ Chicken features their homemade BBQ sauce, Cheese P has double mozzarella and beef taco is the delicious Mexican taco transformed into a pizza. 

No matter which flavor you choose, one thing is for sure. Your pizza will never be boring again!

How to go to Manna Kitchen

If you’re driving from Manila, it will take 4.5 to 5 hours via private car. However, if you’re traveling from Baguio or Ilocos Sur, it will take around 2.5 hours. If you prefer taking the bus, you can book your tickets online. Here’s their Google Maps location

Good to know:

  • They are open for walk-ins for Manna Kitchen. 
  • Avail of their Dive and Dine for 350/pa. Inclusive of one free drink.
  • Are you a freelancer who wants a new working spot? Their two wifi connections are stable and reliable.
  • The coffee bar can double as a workspace but is not recommended for meetings as it can get noisy sometimes
  • Swimming is one of the best exercises for overall health. Work + Work out here! 
  • Business hours are Monday to Thursday, 8 AM to 6 PM. Friday to Sunday, 8 AM to 9 PM. They are closed on Wednesdays. 
  • Follow on Instagram @mannakitchen.lu
  • Delivery: Inquire through their IG page.

Key Takeaway

We uncovered a hidden gastronomic gem in this private sanctuary, where great food and exceptional ambiance blend seamlessly, creating moments that linger long after our stay.

From the paper-thin perfection of the Potato Basket to the unexpected delight of the Strawberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese and the aromatic magic of Black Truffle Cream Pasta, every dish celebrates taste. 

We highly recommend Manna Kitchen if you’re a local looking for a new hangout spot, a traveler exploring La Union, or a freelancer in need of a refreshing workspace. It is more than just dining and swimming; it’s a leisurely escape into a culinary oasis.


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