(SPOT.ph) From its red-light district beginnings to its current status as a go-to, see-and-be-seen area of Makati, Poblacion’s come a long way. t’s become a mecca of dining, where you’ll find everything from a beer taphouse to Korean barbecue to neo-Filipino bites. But the list just keeps growing longer and longer; here, we’ve outlined 10 new reasons to head back to Poblacion—preferably with an empty stomach .
Here are 10 new restaurants to try in Poblacion:
Holy Smokes first opened its doors in 2016 and closed down temporarily, but they’ve recently reopened to bring back their signature BBQ meats, including the USDA Beef Ribs with Mustard Herb Butter (P3,200). This time around, they’re adding new kinds of bites to their roster, such as their handmade pies (try the Brisket Empanada with Mango Habanero Jam, P120) and salads (we’re all for the Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Salad, P450) that even carnivores will hanker for. They’ve got new cocktails up their sleeve, too; pair those meaty bites with the tequila-based Rosy Cheeks (P330), which has orange liqueur, watermelon, and spices for a laid-back summer vibe.
Holy Smokes is at 5834 Matilde corner Jacobo Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Mijo offers food that’s reflective of Chef Enrique Moreno’s culinary experiences. Expect to find comfort classic given ingenious twists, like the use of fresh rye spaghettini in the otherwise-homey Mama Lita’s Sunday Pasta (P295), to the eight-spice blend used to flavor the crisp-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside Duck Confit (P695). Complete the experience with one of their classic cocktails, like the Old Fashioned (P295).
Mijo is at 4897 P. Guanzon Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Eksena sa Tagpuan
An offshoot of La Union’s Tagpuan sa San Juan, Eksena sa Tagpuan serves up signature Pinoy favorites like pares, bagnet, lugaw, tokwa’t baboy, and more. They bring the laid-back vibes of the beach to Poblacion, what with rustic walls and wooden chairs playing foil to their homey comfort classics. Leave any pretension at the door; as the rule here goes, “inuman lang, walang inglisan."
Eksena sa Tagpuan is at 5966 Fermina Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
This hip Spanish spot’s got tapas and cocktails inspired by the food of the San Sebastian coast. Think Foie Pintxos (P355) topped with mango jam and pickled green mangoes, the bite-sized Chori Burger (P145) that bursts with flavor, the sweet-savory Miguel’s Sandwich (P385) with apple jam and beer-braised pork belly, and the Paella Negra (P925) with a standout combination of squid ink, cured salmon, and pickled piparra peppers. Of course, the party's not complete without a little libation, and we can’t recommend the Tenerife Sea (P380)—with its layers of clarified milk, tequila, rum, vodka, cointreau, and citrus—enough.
Hola Bombon is at 2/F 5887 Fermina Street corner Enriquez Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Cubao cult-favorite Today x Future has landed in Poblacion as FUTUR:ST, where they maintain a vibe similar to the laid-back artsy feel Today x Future is known for, but given a more space-age makeover (complete with a disco ball!) that nonetheless feels like home. As far as food goes, you’ll find bites that are turn the usual pub grub on its head, like Bourdain’s Balls (P280) a.k.a. meatballs with a mango-habanero-coriander jam, and cocktails like Breath of Khaleesi (P320)—beware of this one, because she goes down like juice but hits with the full force of all three of Dany’s dragons.
FUTUR:ST is at 5062 Guerrero Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
This tea chain from Singapore offers milk tea, brown-sugar milk drinks, cheese cap-topped sips, fruit teas, and even lattes. Take a break from the alcohol with their refreshing Ruby Grapefruit Green Tea (P110/small, P125/large), or go for the creamier brown sugar milk, which can be had with boba (P120/small, P140/large), Oreo (P130/small, P145/large), or konjac jelly (P120/small, P140/large). Their toppings selection features bits and bobs you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, like the Sakura Pearl (P40) and the Passionfruit Popping Boba (P30).
Bober Tea is at G/F Commercial Area, 4740 Salamanca Street corner Eduque Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Part-art space, part-cocktail bar and part-restaurant, KONDWI offers something for everyone—though fans of Asian-style appetizers are especially in for a treat. You’ll find light bites like their standout Tomato Salad (P300) with the fruit in different forms, flavorful skewers patterned after classic Asian dishes like the Pork Sinigang Skewers (P250), all best paired with one of their cocktails, like the whiskey sour-inspired Kondwi Sour (P495).
Kondwi is at 6109 Albert Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Buccaneers Rum & Cocktails
Showcasing interiors inspired by old ship (think wooden accents, an anchor, and rope ladders), Buccaneers is the place to be for all kinds of rum—more than a hundred kinds, in fact. Travel by taste with rums from different parts of the world—Capucana from Brazil, Samai from Cambodia, Clairin from Haiti, and more. Alternatively, you can enjoy your rum in the form of cocktails: try their classic Cuba Libre (P200) or the more playful Rum Corpse Reviver (P400).
Buccaneers is at 5668 Don Pedro Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
The Spirits Library
Passionate about liquors of all sorts? The Spirits Library houses an extensive selection of topnotch bottles. More than playing with your tastebuds, however, this semi-hidden nook is also out to educate, playing host to numerous books on the topic of alcohol. (That’s the “library” half of their name for you.) Come for the cocktails, stay to learn more in-depth knowledge about your favorite drink.
The Spirits Library is at 4963 Guerrero Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Need a break from the heavier fare—or just in the mood for a different kind of dessert? Head over to Mahalo Acai for frozen yogurt that’s vegan (ergo, dairy-free), made with almond milk and infused with acai berry. Health labels notwithstanding, its cold and sweet makeup makes it a treat for everyone—regardless of dietary preference. Enjoy a cup (P220) with one or more of their toppings, which range from fresh fruit to crushed-up cookies and cereals, and drizzle on one of their sauces—it’s hard to go wrong with the Berry Compote.
Mahalo Acai is at 5663 Don Pedro Street, Poblacion, Makati City.