New Restaurant Alert: Tipsy Tvrtle at Aguirre Avenue, Paranaque
These grilled skewers take you through your childhood and all over Asia.
287 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City
Contact: 777-1922, 0917-595-5756
Open from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. (Sunday to Thursday) and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. (Friday to Saturday)
(SPOT.ph) So what is a Tipsy Tvrtle? Good friend and business partners Roby Camagong, Frocks Roque, Anton Valencia, Johann Diaz, and Bea San Pedro who jokingly pronounce it "Tuh-vur-tle," exchange mischievous, knowing glances. "For now, I think we'd like to keep it a secret," Roby says, while the rest of the group laughs.
As low-key as possible
But Bea promises that they’ll reveal it eventually. “We told [our customers] to return when we’re fully open,” she adds. Anton, who helped conceptualize the space’s simple street-style décor, is thinking of placing an explanatory mural on one of their grey walls. “[Maybe] a funny quote about where the turtle came from.”
Wherever the term and creative spelling came from, however, this is all you need to know: Tipsy Tvrtle is a restaurant inspired by the group's travels in Asia. “We want to bring Asian street food into the streets of Aguirre,” Roby explains.
The menu, which mainly features grilled skewers, takes its cue from the gastronomy of Indonesia, Thailand, and Japan. To set themselves apart from other restaurants offering food on a stick, Bea says they wanted to embrace more diversity in their selection.
Tipsy Tvrtle also serves Filipino favorites with a twist. The Isaw Inasal (P25), for instance, is a mix of the squiggly street staple and Bacolod inasal—the delicious flavor of chicken oil permeates through the stick. The Grilled Liver (P35) is an adobo-fied treat: the meat is marinated in vinegar, garlic, and soy sauce for 12 hours.
The restaurant opened only on May 12, but several items are already proving to be early standouts. It's hard to turn away from the Sate Lilit (P45), spicy ground pork mixed with coconut milk; the Chicken Curry Sate (P40), tender chicken meat and skin marinated in Thai curry; and the Grilled Squid (P60), which is stuffed with a savory sauce and a bit of coriander.
Chicken Curry Sate
Customers can choose to eat the sticks à la carte or with a side of rice, which you can get in plain (P30), Star (P40)—yes, as in the margarine—or kimchi (P50). Though obviously designed as a watering hole, Tipsy Tvrtle offers a full meal for its guests. Each stick is quite filling, and the rice easily complements any of the items on the menu.
The drinks are no slouch, either. Aside from Asian beer, the place serves cocktails with options as varied as the mains. Sweet lovers can opt for the popular Poor Man’s Baileys (P90), a rich, frothy mixture of Milo, milk and rum, while those looking for brighter bliss might enjoy the Yakult (P90), which combines everyone’s childhood favorite with soju and Sprite. Tipsy Tvrtle also offers Calamansi Gin & Tonic (P90), which can work overtime as a palate cleanser.
Poor Man's Baileys
Calamansi Gin & Tonic
The group plans to expand the menu and offer a new dish every month. Currently, they are also considering adding more Filipino faves, such as Cheese Sticks (stuffed with bell peppers and onions) and Turon (stuffed with ube and served with vanilla ice cream). The plan is to have Tipsy Tvrtle fully open by the second week of June.
For a concept that was just conceived in January, Tipsy Tvrtle is well on its way to becoming an Aguirre mainstay. The simple concept and trendy vibe cater to the village’s young foodie crowd, but it’s the diverse flavors that will make them stay. In an industry that's bent out of proportion with "innovation," it's always nice to have something simple to look forward to.
Photo by Majoy Siason