6 Sta. Clara Street, East Capitol Drive, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Monday to Thursday), 12 p.m. to 1 a.m. (Friday and Saturday), and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) Despite playing second fiddle to its more popular contemporaries (see Maginhawa and Aguirre street), Kapitolyo maintains its good-natured charm. The gastro-street is a melting pot of various concept diners that will keep you holed up for hours. Thing is, you’ll never run out of options here. But fix your eyes off the main road and look a little bit sideways, and onto its nearer outskirts. Do that and you’ll come across an eatery on the fringes of East Capitol Drive. The eatery is known by a pretty funky name—Bokaps to be exact.
The cozy unassuming nook on the fringes of East Capitol Drive is the pet project of husband and wife duo, Kat and Nands Muñiz. It’s their first dine-in venture as a couple. Believe it or not, everything was spur of the moment. They just happened to pass by the defunct establishment, the remnants of a laundry shop, by chance on their way to a wedding. For some reason, the space resonated and called to them. It was a lightbulb moment, and they thought the space was perfect for business.
Bokaps is actually shorthand lingo for “Barrio Kapitolyo”, a measure of direction that Kat and Nands used around the area. Specializing in Wagyu, the eatery is the first of its kind in Kapitolyo. It’s not the usual Wagyu fare of steaks or shabu-shabu. Theirs is a concept that effortlessly fuses Japanese and Pinoy, and utilizes the premium beef in the homiest of ways.
Not feeling Wagyu or beef? Have two of their Chicken Shio Yaki Sticks with teriyaki sauce (P120).
We recommend that you start things off with their Wagyu Gyoza (P150), and re-introduce your palate to their special take on the Japanese favorite. Their version utilizes the revered meat, thus adding another dimension to the potsticker. Reminiscent of siomai but more fleshed out and fuller in flavor, the bite-sized concoction is succulent and addictive.
The Wagyu Teppanyaki is a new addition to the menu.
The Bokaps Original Wagsilog is perfect for any time of the day.
The Bokaps Original Wagsilog (P220) is a bang-for-your-buck meal. You’ve got six hefty pieces of Wagyu cut in cube form. The mini slabs of meat are winning in flavor—rich, juicy, savory, and to top it off, has a gorgeous mouth feel while still maintaining its home-cooked vibe. Then, you have plenty of garlic rice to go with it. Their garlic rice is something else, too. It’s not just garlic cloves splattered onto white rice, it’s got a character of its own. Topped with egg cooked sunny-side-up, the dish is indeed the epitome of comfort food in Bokaps’ list of mains.
Bokaps’ Kare-Kare comes in a size that can easily be finished by one.
Bokaps Original Sisigyu
If you want something a bit more familiar to your taste buds, the kind your grandma makes on Sundays, then have your fill of their Kare-Kare (P175). Theirs is a crowd-favorite and for good reason. The well-loved Pinoy dish gets a bit of a makeover here. Instead of the usual ox tail, they utilize beef kalitiran and ox tripe, resulting into that of crispy liempo—less fat and more meat. The revision is a pleasing change of pace to the staple. It helps that the kare-kare’s essentials: the sauce, alongside their homemade bagoong are both on point, too.
The Bokaps Original Sisigyu (P220) is a dish that in theory, will have you scratch your head in confusion. It’s a Japinoy fusion that seems unlikely. But cast your doubts and fears away, blend the egg into the Wagyu sisig mix, grab a spoonful of the sizzling meat, and throw all caution to the wind. Let its creamy flavorful goodness take you to another place where everything is right with the world. It’s hard to move on after you’ve had a taste—one of pleasant surprises that leaves you wanting more. Pair it with hot plain rice and experience heaven on earth. We just can’t stop thinking about it.
Their Special Blend Iced Tea (P40/glass, P90/pitcher) and Raspberry Iced Tea (P45/glass, P100/pitcher) are perfect thirst quenchers.
Make it a point to pair their scrumptious meals with their iced teas. It’s the icing on the cake after each delectable spoonful.
Bokaps has practically just opened its doors, but the future is bright. If anything, it’s evident that the humble diner prepares comfort food with heart. The innovations are quirky but not alienating. It’s the kind of place you go to when you need to seek refuge after a long day or if you’re looking for a dining experience that’s close to home.
Photos by Majoy Siason