A new hidden gem in Marikina: Swig & Nosh Kitchen + Bar

Weekends are best spent close to home.

And my home is located east of Manila, where traffic jams abound and going to the overcrowded malls is sometimes too much of a hassle to be worth the effort.

This is why I #LookToTheEast for new destinations, foodie or otherwise. Because why brave the metro’s streets when you can find what you want right where you are?

Recently, I discovered another reason for us Eastern foodies to not venture far to satisfy our food cravings.

In the suburbs of foodie-friendly Marikina, away from the hustle and bustle of busy highways and malls, is a new and exciting foodie destination: Swig & Nosh Kitchen + Bar.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

A hidden gem in a quiet Marikina neighborhood

The brainchild of Mario Mendoza, one of Marikina’s homegrown culinary talents, Swig & Nosh takes its name from the British colloquial terms for “taking a drink” and “eating a snack,” respectively.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Located in a remodeled bungalow along Mt. Pleasant street, Swig & Nosh is geared to be the place for Marikina locals and visitors to enjoy great-tasting comfort food along with their drinks of choice.

Mario took his cues from the house’s original architect (who also happens to be his dad) and furnished the space with comfort in mind. Ceramic tile-topped hardwood tables bring splashes of color while also accommodating large groups of diners. The chairs are also ergonomically-designed; they adjust when the diner leans back, giving back support that facilitates comfort for resting or conversing with companions after eating.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

A well-stocked bar is situated in one of the inner rooms with mixologists at the ready to pour out spirits or concoct cocktails for the guests.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Diners also have the option to take their meals in the garden outside; this will become the location of choice when the cool weather sets in by December to February.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Nosh on fusion of American and Filipino cuisines

Together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH, I was able to sample some of Swig & Nosh’s signature dishes.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

These included:

Apple Pie Salad (Php220). A healthy combination of sweet and savory flavors made withmixed greens tossed with apple compote, streusel crumbs and cheddar with a cider vinaigrette.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Pork Cubes and Watermelon (Php230). Fork-tender cubes of pork belly tossed with watermelon cubes and hoisin sauce.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Calamares sa Bawang (Php210). Garlic-flavored battered squid rings served with tarragon vinegar and lemon.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Gambas Aligue (Php305). The shrimp and garlic appetizer hyped-up with the inclusion of crab roe balanced with orange bits.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Bacon Benedict (Php335). The hyped-up version of Eggs Benedict with special pan de sal, homemade bacon jam, spinach, bacon, two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Wagyu Bacon Royale Burger (Php350). Wagyu patty, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and bacon jam in a buttered brioche bun served with spiced ketchup.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Tinapa Rice. Fried rice flavored with smoked fish.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Dry Rub Chicken with Truffle Honey (Php295). Chicken leg and thigh covered with the house-recipe dry rub and truffle honey then fried to a crispy golden brown and served with cole slaw and ranch dressing.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Prime Rib (Php392/100g). Tender and perfectly grilled grilled steak made of Black Onyx Australian Angus beef.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Choco Chip Cookie Dough Milkshake (Php170). Made with vanilla ice cream and milk with balls of edible cookie dough, topped with whipped cream in a candy studded glass and served with a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Brownie Mocha Milkshake (Php175). Made with chocolate ice cream and milk with bits of brownie, topped with whipped cream and chopped nuts in a candy studded glass and served with a freshly baked brownie.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

These hearty and tasty comfort food, all meticulously prepared and prettily presented, are suitable for discerning foodies in big celebrations, intimate get-togethers or even solo food adventures. The milkshakes, in particular, were a treat to both the eyes and the sweet tooth.

Take swigs of refreshing drinks and cocktails

Wash down these delicious viands with your choice of drinks – alcoholic or non-alcoholic – from Swig & Nosh’s well-stocked bar.

House Blend Iced Tea (Php185/liter). Swig & Nosh’s own signature flavor of iced tea. A raspberry-flavored variant is also available at Php175/liter).

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Atomic Cat (Php130). A mocktail made with lemonade and grenadine.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Long Island Iced Tea (Php170). A cocktail made with rum, vodka, gin and other spirits mixed with cola and lemon juice.

Tequila Sunrise (Php180). A cocktail made with tequila, orange juice and grenadine.

Amaretto Sour (Php190). A cocktail made with amaretto, lemon juice, egg whites and bitters.

Blue Lagoon (Php170). A cocktail made with vodka, blue curacao and lemonade.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

So if you find yourself in Marikina, know that you have somewhere to go for good eats and drinks.

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Swig & Nosh, Marikina

Many thanks to the management and crew of Swig & Nosh for the warm welcome and great food, and to EJ of I Love To Eat PH for extending the invitation!

Swig & Nosh is located at No. 6, Mt. Pleasant Street, Bgy. Santa Elena, Marikina City, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 28 2801298.

Swig & Nosh Kitchen + Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I attended a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare to facilitate honest reviews and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other bars and watering holes in the Metro:

Zomato Tagaytay Food Crawl Third Stop: Siglo Modern Filipino

The last and final stop of our Zomato Tagaytay Food Crawl was held at Siglo Modern Filipino. Located along the Tagaytay – Calamba Road beside the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) and right across Picnic Grove, Siglo is the restaurant attached to the View Park Hotel Tagaytay.

Siglo (which translates to “century”) is so-named in honor of 100 years of evolution of Philippine food, from the Spanish and Latin influences brought by the colonizers, as well as flavors from China, America and Southeast Asia which found their way here via trade.

Siglo synthesizes a century’s worth of Filipino culture and cuisine from all over the country,  and supports the local economy by using ingredients sourced from local farmers.

It also seeks to preserve heirloom recipes – dishes that your great-grandmother might have cooked and using ingredients like adlai and siling labuyo that she might have used – while still innovating on the classic Filipino dishes through modern techniques and added creativity.

The restaurant is quite small (can seat at most 50 diners) but it has a lot of charm. Ethnic-inspired furniture and decor abound, and its advocacy for the appreciation of Filipino cuisine is apparent in the use of traditional materials and design.  When you sit down and wait for your order, you can amuse yourself in puzzles and trivia that feature Filipino food courtesy of the placemats used.

Siglo Modern Filipino, Tagaytay

Siglo Modern Filipino, Tagaytay

Siglo Modern Filipino, Tagaytay

Siglo Modern Filipino, Tagaytay

Siglo Modern Filipino, Tagaytay

My fellow foodies and I were served the Blockbuster Bilaos, hefty servings of themed Pinoy delicacies with dishes representing different locales in the country.  These are best shared among a group of 4 to 6 people.  Bilaos are flat and round-shaped implement used in separating rice grains from other particles like chaff, dirt and small pebbles.  When I was young, the rice that was delivered to us had a lot of impurities so my yaya and I oftentimes had to pick the impurities from the rice (hence the term “nagpipili ng bigas“) that was laid in a bilao.

Siglo Bilao (Php1,800)

This bilao features native Tinola, classic Kare-Kare, Crispy Tawilis, Pancit Pusit and Siglo Salad.  These are all heirloom recipes of Filipino dishes collated by Siglo’s team during their travels.  For me, the standout among these dishes is the Pancit Pusit; it had the distinctive salty-sour garlicky taste of Adobong Pusit which I absolutely love.  I would have eaten more of this were I not afraid of going home with black teeth (it would have been worth it, though!)

Siglo Modern Filipino, Tagaytay

Barkada Bilao (Php2,200)

This bilao boasts of timeless classics that barkadas (groups of friends) crave for when they’re hanging out such as Regular Bulalo (a staple in Tagaytay), Crispy Sisig, Calamares Frito, Himagsikan Wings (Siglo’s version of spicy buffalo wings in which the chicken pieces are glazed in shrimp paste and honey sriracha sauce) and gising-gising.

Siglo Modern Filipino, Tagaytay

Luzviminda Bilao (Php2,400)

Named after the portmanteu of the Philippines’ three major island groups – Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao – this bilao features dishes representing bestsellers from north to south, serving as a quick culinary tour of the country.  It includes Bagnet Ilocos, Chicken Binakol, Seafood Kare-Kare, Lumpiang Shanghai and Ubod Salad.  The standout in this bilao is the bagnet with its savory tender meat and crispy crackling skin.

Siglo Modern Filipino, Tagaytay

Siglo Modern Filipino, Tagaytay

All the bilaos come with steamed rice and fresh fruits.

Siglo Modern Filipino, Tagaytay

We washed down our food with a refreshing Pomelo Amaranth Juice which is not part of Siglo’s menu but is actually the welcome drink of View Park Hotel.

Siglo Modern Filipino, Tagaytay

Siglo Modern Filipino is located at the Ground Floor of View Park Hotel, 3500 Tagaytay-Calamba Road, Sungay East, Tagaytay City. It is open Sundays to Fridays at 7am to 10pm and Saturdays from 7am to 12mn.

Siglo Modern Filipino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other Zomato foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Unwinding at Manila Hotel’s Tap Room

Taking advantage of a credit card promo, my mother-in-law treated us to dinner at Manila Hotel’s Tap Room to celebrate my sister-in-law’s birthday.

Manila Hotel is a historic 5-star hotel located along Manila Bay. Built in 1909, it is the oldest premiere hotel in the Philippines.

The Tap Room is Manila Hotel’s English pub-inspired bar. Its dim lighting, dark wood interiors, plush seating and soothing jazz music from live performers make it an appropriate place to unwind in with your favorite drink.

While waiting for our orders, we were served with salted peanuts and green peas to go with our drinks (mine was, of course, a double shot of Bailey’s).

Our food orders included:

  • Pizza Manila Hotel (Php550). A thin-crust pizza topped with tomato, mozzarella, Laguna cheese and olives.
  • Slider (Php550). Two cheese-stuffed mini burgers with guacamole and barbecue sauce.
  • Chicken Shawarma Wrap (Php450). Roasted chicken wrapped in a toasted flour tortilla and served with tahina dip, garlic sauce, pickles and French fries.
  • Fried Fish and Chips (Php750). Battered fish fried to a crispy golden brown and served with large cut fries.
  • Deep-fried Calamares (Php450).
  • Buffalo Chicken Wings (Php450).
  • Sizzling Pork Sisig (Php450).

Being located in a 5-star hotel, the Tap Room’s service was top-notch.  The wait staff was elegantly dressed, very accommodating and helpful.  They even brought out a slice of chocolate mousse as a birthday treat for my sister-in-law.

The food was well-presented and well-flavored.  However, given the pricing, hanging out at the Tap Room for dining or drinks is not something I can do too often.

Tap Room - Manila Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato