Let me tell you about this Gastropub in Poblacion. YES! In Poblacion. NO, I am not going to rave about another “artsy”, “cute”, and “IG worthy”. Let the other platforms do that for you. I want to share a worthwhile gastronomic experience I had with Hops & Brews. Located at the Ground Floor in the chic and new I’M Hotel along Makati Avenue, Hops & Brews brings its own inimitable and inventive take of global familiar flavors. Their food is modern and progressive, but the element that we fell in love with is that they’re able to keep the taste of comfort with each dish that we had.
The Gastropub Coining in Manila
The term “gastropub” was coined back in 1991 in London when two English men took over the Eagele Pub in Clerkenwell. Traditionally, pubs were just merely watering hole establishments and with typically little to no emphasis placed on the taste of food. The integration of this concept of a balanced approach to marrying a full kitchen restaurant and pubs rocketed and became a sub pop culture in British dining. Fast forward to 2013, we see entrants in the local restaurant business adapting to this concept. Gastropub became a familiar flank of a name in your typical BGC and Makati neighborhood. As saturated as the concept is, so does the quality and taste of the food that most joints are serving. Which is fairly sad. Beers on tap are on point, but the usual suspect of their pitfall is the food that they’re serving. Instagram-worthy: YES, but Taste and Quality: Mediocre. Amongst the moshpit of concepts, there will always be these establishments who do stay true to their vision and have executed their ideas into a proper output.
Hops & Brews is one of those restaurants that can give you that “Aha!” moment. Finally, meal selections with proper flavors, serving size, and thoughtful execution of the owners and their roster of brilliant young chefs.
They carefully look into what the global street food is doing, pop-ups, and what fine dining to classical is doing and they’ve used bits and pieces that are relevant.
Hops & Brews offer great drinks from morning ’til late at night. From single origin coffee, curated cocktails and then some. Global medleys of comfort grubs and all-day brunch selections. Their menu is that extensive that it can cater to any demographic.
Nacho chips draped in cheese, fresh salsa and herbs topped with the smokey homemade longganisa.
Freshly baked flatbread topped with five kinds of cheese.
Simple yet bold with flavors. Briny notes of the sardines took the front seat with the proper amount of hint of spice and capers to play with your palate
Al Dente Rigatoni pasta tossed in Parmigiano, Mozzarella, Kefalotiri, and Cheddar. Applewood smoked bacon complimented the dish giving it a more dynamic flavor profile.
This tempura overwhelmed us. We didn’t expect that a gastropub would be able to pull off a proper prawn tempura. Their tempura can challenge those Little Tokyo Japanese restaurants at any day. Should the Fat Girls Day Out Curated Top 10 list for Ebi Tempura Hops & Brew’s will definitely be in the top 5. The batter didn’t overwhelm the succulent shrimp retaining its fresh, clean, and sweet flavor.
One of Hops & Brew’s signature mains that highlights their progressive thinking yet still copping that element of comfort. Imagine Sous-vide chicken using gastro-science to create the moistest and juiciest chicken then deep fried until crispy.
Sweets & Desserts
Pilmico Research & Training Bakery cakes were presented during our visit. Pilmico is the food and agri-business subsidiary of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Pilmico Foods Corporation is one of the largest flour milling companies in the country. The Fat Girls Day Out crew absolutely love the Blackout Cake and the Pastillas de Leche Cheese Cake.
Sprouted from Makati’s hidden gem and sexy neighborhood Poblacion. Traditionally, it was known for years as a red-light district, Poblacion is trading its spunky reputation for seediness and skewing itself to be a place where cool is redefined. Heavily wheeled by white-collar Filipinos and expats, they infiltrate the mushrooming dining and drinking scene. Hops & Brew’s beautiful space and excellent menu roster is a great addition to the Poblacion scene where you can actually sit down and enjoy your meal or perhaps a glass or two of your drink of choice.
You have the very traditional elements on their menu which are then totally modernized, which is the way a lot of gastropubs operate – But Hops & Brews takes traditional and build on it, creating what we have which is a mixture of fine dining, pub food, and ultimately still retaining the emotional connection that we have with food which is; COMFORT.
Hops & Brews
Address: Ground Floor, I’M Hotel, Makati
Photos by Paula Ferrer/Co-Founder and Content Creator (IG: @paulamariz)
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