Get­ting the most out of Manila’s swanki­est neigh­bour­hood

Southeast Asia Globe - - Contents -

Our guide to glam­orous Makati, Manila’s home of high fahion and haute cui­sine

EAT / 12/10

When Gab Bus­tos and Thea de Rivera, the team be­hind cult Manila eatery The Girl + The Bull, an­nounced they were to open a Ja­panese iza­kaya-in­spired restau­rant, loyal fans held their breath. They needn’t have wor­ried, though, for this funky lit­tle spot – all ex­posed white brick and wrought iron fur­nish­ings – has stayed true to the duo’s in­no­va­tive flavour com­bos. All man­ner of small bites can be mixed up to cre­ate a delectable spread, though it doesn’t get much bet­ter than the salmon kushiyaki – two fil­lets skew­ered yak­i­tori-style be­fore be­ing driz­zled with a play­fully sweet curry sauce, truf­fle oil and ce­real.


Steer­ing clear of the big in­ter­na­tional chains while not com­pro­mis­ing on com­fort in Makati de­posits guests squarely at the doors of the Pi­casso, which spe­cialises in bou­tique ser­viced apart­ments that are gen­er­ously sized at ei­ther 45 or 88 square me­tres. Clean white lines are the or­der of the day in the rooms, though all of them are ac­cented by the bold blocks of colour that might be ex­pected of a prop­erty in­spired by the works of the famed Span­ish artist. At the very least it’s highly un­likely guests will ever fail to spot their ho­tel – the de­signs on each bal­cony com­bine to cre­ate a giant Pi­casso mo­saic on the prop­erty’s façade.


As tempt­ing as it might be to hang around in a restau­rant that pro­claims “Long Live Ba­con” in pink neon let­ter­ing on one of its walls, Lazy Bas­tard burger bar dou­bles up as the en­trance to ABV, ar­guably the Philip­pines’ best bar. Ac­cessed via a wooden door, an el­e­va­tor shaft and a pass­word de­liv­ered to a ‘lift at­ten­dant’, ABV shoots for the clas­sic pro­hi­bi­tion style with its black-and-white floor­ing and leather booths with deep but­ton tufts. Drinks fall into one of two cat­e­gories – time­less clas­sics or sig­na­ture cock­tails, although ABV also prides it­self on its im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of ab­sinthe. Go for the Jupiter Street, a mix­ture of scotch, pros­ecco re­duc­tion syrup and ar­ti­san ginger beer, all served up in a beer bot­tle.


This large con­tem­po­rary art gallery fo­cuses on artists from the Philip­pines, most of whom pri­ori­tise work cen­tred on cos­mopoli­tan and ur­ban is­sues. Apart from its own monthly ex­hi­bi­tions, the Draw­ing Room also helps fa­cil­i­tate off-site shows for its artists in cities from Taipei to Turin. The space is one of seven ten­ants in the Al­ley at Kar­rivin Plaza, a tidy lit­tle creative hub that also of­fers a café, a con­tem­po­rary florist and a creative home­ware bou­tique – per­fect for brows­ing af­ter tak­ing in ex­cit­ing works from the likes of Alvin Gre­go­rio and Is­abel Aquil­izan at the Draw­ing Room.


Just a two-minute walk from the Pi­casso lies one of Manila’s best-loved mar­kets. Founded in 2005 and in­spired by a com­mu­nity’s love of food, Sal­cedo Mar­ket pops up ev­ery Satur­day at Jaime Ve­lasquez Park from 7am un­til 2pm. Nu­mer­ous stalls lay out in­tri­cate hand­i­crafts for in­spec­tion, but ask any Filipino and he or she will tell you that Sal­cedo is re­ally all about the food. From boiled peanuts to home-cooked com­fort food from leg­endary ven­dor Tita Ope Lopez, not to men­tion cui­sine from Ja­pan, Viet­nam, Syria and Morocco, there’s al­ways some­thing here for roam­ing om­ni­vores.

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