New Restaurant Alert: Skinita Street Foodz at Kapitolyo, Pasig
This restaurant knows how to poke fun, but their flavors are seriously on point.
Unit 1, D'Strip Building, 20 United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.
(SPOT.ph) The first thing you’ll notice when you step inside Skinita is the vandalism that covers nearly every inch of the place—from the mirrors on the walls to the wooden tables and chairs, pockmarked with etched doodles and words (just like your old grade-school desks). The few unmarked spaces are covered in movie posters. At night, '70s, '80s, and '90s hits tirelessly blare from the speakers. Skinita is a place that is refreshingly hip but comfortingly nostalgic all at once.
Peepoy Gaerlan, one of Skinita's owners, explained that their team noticed the recent trend of high-end casual restaurants opening in Manila. They sought to make something a little friendlier for people and their pockets. Taking inspiration from joints in New York like Brooklyn and Queens, and capitalizing on the Filipino love for street food, Skinita was born.
The lure of cheap beer
Nailing that side street effect
If the name is any indication, everything about Skinita is...fun. Patrons are encouraged to doodle to their heart’s delight around the restaurant, and the overall look feels quite like being in an actual eskinita.
The menu features things you grew up eating on the street (from isaw to fishball to bopis) or treats you rushed outside for once the dismissal bell rang. The food is divided into categories: Pinirito for your favorite deep-fried street favorites; Hating Kapatid for big meal bowls for sharing; Kaning Bayan for rice options; Yummy Tori for your grilled stick goodness; Patongs for your rice toppings; and Kabits for your sides. The wit doesn't end there. The beer is cheap and comes with the assurance “LAHAT NG ALAK NAMIN MAS MALAMIG PA SA EX MO.”
Isaw, of course!
It's best to start your meal with street food that's close to the heart. Items like Pishbol (P20), Skwidbol (P28), or Kikyum (P25) are pricier than what you’d have roadside, but they're worth it for the ambiance and, well, the knowledge that your food is smog-free. For a selection of everything, order the Basketbol or basket ng mga bol (P210). Have all these with “Sauce ni Manong,” your classic suka, vinegar, or that classic sweet and sour sauce.
Follow it up with the Yummy Tori, arguably some of the best food on a stick in Manila. (A true claim—check out our Top 10 Great Places to Get Food on A Stick in Manila.) You can choose to have these grilled with salt or with sauce, similar to Japanese yakitori. Skinita’s marketing man, Josh Aquino, swears by the simple salt-then-grilled method, and we’re inclined to agree as this really brings out the flavors of the meat.
Bacon and Quail Eggs
Their isaw (P85) is a dense and hefty squiggle of intestines, similar to what you might have on the streets, while the Magic Mushrooms (P135) pairs juicy, stuffed enoki with fatty bacon. The more premium items May Pork-Ever? (P55); Baka Wala? (P95), which uses Angus beef; and Ako Nalang, Wagyu! (P165), which uses A5 Grade, are all excellent, value-for-money choices. They're all tender, flavorful, and embedded with that charred flavor we all love.
Definitely not your average street meal
For heftier options, the Pares (P210) is beef brisket, sugar, spices, and everything nice. The beef is tender, soaking in a sauce that's so flavorful, you’re going to want to pour it all over rice. The Spicy Stir Fried Sausage (P200) is cooked in onions and sriracha, an adult version for those who grew up eating TJ hotdogs with ketchup. The Pancit Skinita (P150) is a leveled-up pancit canton, with springy noodles, a whole fried egg, pork, and veggies.
Laing ni Tita Mennie
One standout is the spicy, creamy, and crunchy Laing ni Tita Mennie (P210), cooked with chili and topped with chicharon. Yup, we're eating our vegetables. And yes, it's with crunchy pork rinds.
From the cathartic messages on the wall to the comforting nostalgia of the menu, there are too many things to come back to at Skinita. Who knew we would renew our love for street food—off the streets?
Photos by Pia Babao Guballa