(SPOT.ph) Poblacion has quickly transformed from a quiet residential neighborhood to one of the hottest nightspots in the Metro. Not only is this district famous for bars and pubs, but it has also become a bustling food hub, with restaurants serving everything from Asian fare to European cuisine.
10 New Restaurants to Try in Poblacion
Here are 10 new places to check out in Poblacion:
At first glance, Loco Manuk may seem like any other Instagram-friendly restaurant. Their interiors, after all, are decked out in vibrant posters, funky décor, and bold patterned tiles. But we’re glad to say that their food is just as vibrant and impressive as their interiors. The menu takes cues from Peruvian, Thai, and even Filipino styles of cooking. Their famous Wood Roasted Chicken is the perfect mixture of the three, using the spicy, citrusy flavors of Peruvian and Thai cuisine, but combining it with local produce like kaimito. The chicken is juicy and flavorful enough on its own, but you can also choose to dip it in five different kinds of sauces.
Loco Manuk is at 5072 SGC Building, P. Burgos Street corner B. Valdez Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Poblacion and New York City have one thing in common: They’re both places that never sleep. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that someone decided to open up a New York-inspired place in the area. Each of NoKal’s three floors is inspired by a different aspect of the city; the first is reminiscent of a neighborhood diner, complete with fluorescent lights and linoleum flooring. The second floor is more of a sophisticated speakeasy-inspired area, with dim lights and dark wood furniture. The third floor, meanwhile, has been transformed into a beer garden—similar to Manhattan’s High Line Park. NoKal’s menu is also inspired by New York, with their Cheeseburger taking inspiration from two of America’s most famous burger joints.
NoKal is at 8464 Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City.
Finding Futur:st (pronounced "futurist") won’t be too difficult: Just look for their eye-catching neon sign. This cozy bar can be best described as eclectic, with quirky, mismatched furniture and cool art pieces on display. Even their menu is fun, featuring dishes like Bourdain’s Balls (yes, named after that Bourdain), which are meatballs with a mango-habanero-coriander jam, and drinks like the Breath of Khaleesi, a mysterious juice-and-whiskey concoction.
Futur:st is at 5062 Guerrero Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Pedro Tap House
Even if you’re not much of a beer lover, Pedro Tap House’s quality craft beer may just change your mind. If you’re more into cocktails, check out their Orange Creamsicle Ale, a sweet and citrusy mix of beer, cream ale, fresh orange zest, and homemade vanilla bean extract. Pair it with their delicious bar chow, like their spicy Korean Mini Corn Dogs or their Bar Junk, a medley of popcorn, candied bacon, nuts, chili, and orange zest.
Pedro Tap House is at 5910 Matilde Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Walking into Lampara feels like walking into a friend’s home. There’s a relaxed feel to this restaurant, with spacious seating areas, warm wooden floors, and charming décor. The menu can be described as comfort food, even though their dishes take a more experimental approach. The Rice Cups, their version of lumpia, are crunchy morsels filled with either longganisa, taba ng talangka, and ubod, or tofu, beansprouts, and peanuts. And it’s not a Poblacion restaurant without any drinks. Lampara’s cocktails are all Filipino-inspired, like the Gayuma ni Albano, a tequila-based drink topped with guyabano foam.
Lampara is at 5883 Enriquez Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
With its wooden furniture, rattan lighting fixtures, and lots of greenery, La Collina very much distinguishes itself from the usual neon-lit bars that line Poblacion’s streets. They also employ the Slow Food philosophy when it comes to their menu, meaning you can expect local ingredients sourced nearby for low carbon footprint. The ingredients used are always fresh, resulting in dishes like the Blue Crab with Picant Cherry Tomato Ravioli, or pasta dumplings stuffed with briny, sweet, shredded locally sourced crab.
La Collina is at 4558 Molina Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
These two places are actually part of one restaurant conceptualized by Chef Rob Pengson. Esquinita dubs itself as a modern Filipino carinderia, and they try to keep their dishes 100% sugarfree. Meanwhile, Beso Beso is a tapas place that uses French and Italian styles, resulting in unique fusion dishes that feature ingredients like truffle, foie gras, and crispy pork belly.
Esqinita/Beso Beso is at P. Guanzon Street, Poblacion, Makati City (beside Crying Tiger).
The former Katipunan haunt has found a new home, and along with it, a grown-up makeover. They’ve kept their island-inspired décor, but made it more polished with mood lighting and accent walls. Tortuga has also expanded its menu, adding new dishes like spring rolls, which comes in both vegetarian and pork options, and new drinks like the Espaniola, a sweet aloe vera and tequila cocktail.
Tortuga is at 2/F Lokal Hostel, Ebro Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
This former BGC favorite has quickly found a home in Poblacion. Although they’ve traded their bright interiors for a neon sign and dark wood furnishings, the menu at Chuck’s Deli is still more or less the same. Their hefty Slabwiches are still around, with the Buffy, or their crispy buffalo chicken sandwich, still very much being a crowd favorite. Their famous garlic sauces, available in regular and spicy variants, also now come in squeeze bottles, allowing you to have as much as you want.
Chuck’s Deli is at 4636 J. Molina Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Gaja proves that there’s more to Korean cuisine than samgyupsal and bibimbap. They take traditional Korean dishes and transform them into completely new dishes by using modern cooking techniques like sous-vide. Check out their house special, the Galbi-Jiim, or a beef rib, potato, and carrot stew, made extra special with fall-off-the-bone Wagyu short ribs.
Gaja is at 8445 Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City.