The Social on Ebro
5770 Ebro Street, Poblacion, Makati City
Open daily from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
(SPOT.ph) In a time when the food park game seems to involve fitting the most number of food stalls in one open space, The Social on Ebro stands out for limiting their food choices to two (soon to be three). “We wanted to have a slightly different take on the food park,” says co-owner Andie Ngan. “I mean, to have an advantage in Poblacion—since it’s become kind of like a food destination where you have dinner aside from drinks—we had to get really great food.”
It can be difficult to stand out in what’s shaping up to become one of Makati’s hippest food stops, but it’s hard to miss The Social—for one, it’s one of the few al fresco dining spots in the city. The Social maximizes their limited space, turning what was once a bare parking lot into what Andie describes as an “urban jungle.” Container vans are repurposed into kitchens for the two food stalls, Crosta and Kashmir, and plants line the two-storey structure. But what would surely turn heads is the giant colorful mural of a roaring tiger by artist Eduardo Herrera, who also displays some of his photographs on the walls.
Of course, a food park must be measured for their food, and The Social’s two stalls prove that quality can trump quantity.
“Kashmir is known for fantastic food,” shares Andie, “But usually it’s served banquet-style. So they make it more accessible here by offering Indian street food.” At The Social, Kashmir focuses on keeping it fuss-free, with portions meant to be shared and eaten with beer or a few drinks—but still at the quality you would expect from a fine dining Indian restaurant. A standout is the Fukna (P150) or little crispy pastry shells filled with potato—their tiny sizes hide punchy flavors from a blend of spices, balanced out with the tang of a Greek yogurt-based sauce.
With a menu of cheekily named pizza, it’s hard to ignore Crosta. While they take their name from the Italian word for “crust,” there’s nothing traditional about this pizza stall. “We’re not trying to be authentic Italian pizza. To be honest, we’re not trying to be anything,” says co-owner Ingga Cabangon-Chua. “We’re just making the kind of pizza we want to eat, and the kind we think other people would like to eat as well.”
There’s certainly nothing basic about the Basic B*tch (P200), with mozzarella and basil leaves. Apt for a pizza stall named after crust, their sourdough crust stands out with the right chewiness and a crisp edge with a distinct saltiness that comes from olive oil. But if you like your pizza with more toppings, Shroomed Out (P380) is a sure win. A mix of shiitake, Portobello, and white button on mozzarella, thyme, Taleggio, and Parmesan gives this a rich umami flavor you’ll savor until the last bite.
The Social also serves cocktails from their in-house bar.
Aside from the two food stalls, The Social also hosts retail pop-ups: Right now, they’re hosting hip clothing store Piopio, who showcases bohemian-inspired pieces. With a third food stall also in the works, The Social is shaping up to be a Poblacion standout.
Photos by Vincent Coscolluela