The Fringe Manila Festival enters the second half of its first decade, returning to fill some holes and bridge gaps in Metro Manila!
The very first Art-centric Hotel, U Hotels experience review and so much more. Find out why this should be on your next boutique hotel destination.
Step into the culinary backdoor playground of Makati City that is Poblacion. Where new restaurant and bar concepts keep on mushrooming offering unparalleled options.
Walk along P. Burgos and you’ll see a towering 4-floor building- Long Time Ago’s décor peeks aggressively calling out your attention to look. When we say décor, this restaurant makes sure that they’d get your attention.
A huge dinosaur bone as the centerpiece of it all plastered on pre-historic designed stone walls. Random flags and Tiki Gods among the quirks that give this restaurant such a strong interesting character. Some might find the decor tacky, but we find Long Time Ago‘s set up pretty fun.
Szechuan Dishes and Then Some
Sichuan region is known to have high humidity and lots of rainy days, which is why red pepper is used in most of their dishes. Red pepper helps reduce dampness, and so a lot was centered around it. The humid climate also drives many to carry out a variety of food preservation techniques including pickling, salting, drying, and smoking food.
If you’re into spicy food and intense food, this spot will not disappoint you. They stay true to Southwestern cooking lineage.
More than being spicy Szechuan cuisine is very distinct as it bombs sweet and sour flavors as well. The most commonly used spices are “The Five Fragrances” which consist of fennel, pepper, aniseed, cinnamon, and clove; chili and Sichuan pepper.
Never miss experiencing their Chinese BBQ experience. There’s something about the collective way of sharing food with our loved ones by which makes the overall dining experience more wonderful.
Skewer price ranges from 30php-100php/stick. They have marinated chicken, lamb, pork, beef, and other assortments. The meat itself is already flavorful but if you want to add more they have packets of chili powder and peanut sauces.
- Taiwan Sausage
- Chicken Wings (2pcs)/ 80php
- Gizzard (2pcs)/ 70php
- Beef (2pcs)/ 80php
One of a kind on the table grille set up. An automated small rotisserie is set up in front of you. No need to manually man your BBQ sticks by which makes the overall dining experience seamless. BBQ are evenly grilled.
Their exhaust system is pretty good as you won’t smell like grilled meat after.
Aside from their tabletop charcoal barbecue options, they have a wide array of meat, poultry, and even vegetarian-friendly items.
Fresh Juice/Shakes Available
These dishes are best paired with LTA Rice (Long Time Ago) and Yang Chao Fried Rice.
All the food are good for sharing and are expected to be spicy. We recommend that you don’t tamper the standard spiciness level so you can pretty much experience what Szechuan cuisine is all about.
If you want a unique dining experience and the restaurant’s character itself is a conversation topic. Their price for their hot dishes (to share) is a little steep, but the serving portions are huge which is perfect for large groups. Long Time Ago stays true to the Szechuan lineage of crafting each dish by using authentic core ingredients.
We also have to point out that, parking is available! Burgos is known to have one to none parking spaces and thank heavens for establishments with dedicated parking spots.
Stay for hours enjoying their good food while chugging an ice-cold beer.
- Address: P. Burgos Corner Gen. Luna Street, Poblacion, Makati City
- Contact #: 02 8246404 and 02 8096258
- Average Spend: 1,000php/2 pax
- Operating Hours: Lunch (11:30am-2:30pm)/ Dinner (5:00pm-2:30am)
- Official Facebook Page
- Official Instagram Page
- Official YouTube Page
- Official Spotify Page- Curated MixTapes/Playlist
- Zomato Reviewer Profile
- TripAdvisor Top 2% Contributor
El Chupacabra will always be the notable to us as being one of the cheapest places to get a drink and good solide food in the neighborhood.
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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Have you ever tried something so rich in flavor that it permeates thru your whole being? Something so hearty that you just overwhelmed with the bursting flavors that seem to come from every direction? That’s how it felt when I first tasted Indian food. The more I had, the more I wanted, and from then on, I always craved it/
Luckily I stumbled upon the Royal Indian Curry House in Poblacion, we were still quite unsure whether to try it but the servers outside ushered us in encouraging us to give it a chance. The moment we stepped inside we could already smell the fragrant spices of Indian Cuisine. I was quite surprised with the interior, it had a nice ambiance, very clean, vibrant, lovely velvet sofas, ambient lighting and these beautifully carved wooden pillars that were on the sides of the room. There were a lot of guests at this time considering it was 10 pm during a weekday.
When we were first seated, they served us this thin crisp Indian bread that the servers called /pa-per/ with sesame seeds and these 3 sauces, namely: Chili, Green Chutney( I think this has a lot of silantro), and tamarind paste. To be frank, all I could think about at this point, were the Samosas that would go perfectly with these sauces. They also used the classic stainless steel plates I usually see used in Indian movies, making it a good balance of casual and high end.
Next up is the Butter chicken. If cant handle spicy then this dish is for you. It’s creamy, full bodied, a bit sweet and tasty. Everything butter chicken is supposed to be. I remember when I used to live in Canada, my uncle who was a chef would make tons of this and stock it up in our refrigerator. It brings me back when I would fill up a bowl with piping hot rice and this chicken. Not bad for 349 pesos per order.
Royal Indian Curry House
Address: 5345 General Luna Street, Poblacion, Makati City
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