#TasteMagic at Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka translates to “sleight of hand” in Tagalog. It is a word wrapped in magic and mystery, calling to mind enchantment and wonder.

The restaurant and bar in Eastwood Citywalk that bears that name lives up to it by offering coffee, cocktails and craft beer, as well as its own reimagining of Filipino food, against a welcoming backdrop laden with a hefty dose of mystical appeal.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH, I stepped inside Salamangka’s doors for a taste of magic.

In the late morning, Salamangka is awash with light, the black murals of mythical creatures and the balete tree on the wall wonderfully offset by the clean white background. Furniture made with native materials and a huge table and bench set made from solid pieces of wood provide ample seating for the diners.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka’s menu consists of its own take of classic Filipino dishes, such as:

Kamote Chips (Php199). Crispy deep-fried slices of of sweet potatoes that go so well with its dip of condensed milk reduction.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Piknik (Php199). Crispy hand-cut potato slivers served with three different sauces (but they’re ok without the sauce as evidenced by the way I keep popping them into my mouth, hehehe!)

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Coca Cola Wings (Php259). Fried chicken wings simmered in a Coca Cola reduction and served with piknik.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Itlog na Maalat Wings (Php349). Fried chicken wings covered in a sauce of salted eggs and served with piknik.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Vegan Nachos (Php199). Toasted pita chips topped with ground tofu and drizzled with a mixture of Yummza pesto hummus, lemon and oil. Live a little and add Php20 for additional topping of grated cheese.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Tinapa (Php189). A bowl of smokey tinapa flakes on top of garlic rice and paired with salted egg, a side of tomatoes and burong mangga.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Bawang na Bangus (Php189). Fried bangus marinated in garlic served on top of garlic rice with salted egg and atsara.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Sinigang sa Manggang Hilaw (Php279). Beef sinigang with a sour sauce instead of broth on top of steamed rice and served with sour mango and bagoong.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Once you’ve eaten your fill, how about lettin’ loose and sampling Salamangka’s much celebrated alcholic concoctions? Impress your friends with your knowledge of native folklore when you identify the entities that give their name to these intense spirits.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Wakwak (Php99 per glass | Php349 per pitcher). Named after a vampiric bird-like creature that makes the noise “wak-wak” as it flaps its wings, this cocktail is mixture of rum, lime juice, mango puree and mint leaves.

Mambabarang (Php99 per glass | Php349 per pitcher). Made with gin, lime juice, cucumber slices and mint leaves, this cocktail got its name from the warlock or sorceress that cast malevolent hexes on people

Ibong Adarna (Php99 per glass | Php349 per pitcher). Named after the mythical bird whose song has healing qualities, this drink is made with tequila, pineapple, calamansi and chili placed in a salt-rimmed glass. A sip of this drink is multi-layered: you get the citrus flavor from the calamansi, the spiciness from the chili, the saltiness from the rimmed glass and the fire of the tequila as it travels down your throat.

What really got me excited was Pitong Elemento (Php350). A flight of seven intense native infusions inspired by legendary elementals, this consists of seven shot glasses of flavored spirits that pack quite a punch.

  • Duwende (dried mango rhum – named after the mischievous house spirit)
  • Sigbin (orange vodka – named after the mythical creature that suck its victims’ blood from the shadows)
  • Kibaan (raisin gin – named after the mythical creature that lead travelers astray with its backward feet)
  • Tiyanak (Thai chili tequila – named after the creature that takes the form of a crying baby to attack folks who pick it up)
  • Undin (roasted bell pepper vodka – named after the water sprite that drown people who disturb it)
  • Santelmo (lemon vodka – named after St. Elmo’s Fire, balls of fire that appear as portents of doom)
  • Nuno sa Punso (spearmint chocolate vodka – named after the dwarf-like creature that dwell in mounds of earth).

You can also opt to get these infusions individually by the shot glass at Php50 each, except for Nuno sa Punso which is at Php99.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

(Note: I only attempted to try Nuno sa Punso and, really, a few sips were more than enough for a lightweight like me.)

Fans of the local craft beer Engkanto would really go for a Beer Flight (Php249) a four variant sampler consisting of lager, pale ale, IPA and double IPA.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka also prides itself on its Single Origin local coffees at Php99/cup such as those from Bukidnon and Batangas. These are freshly ground upon order and then brewed using pour over cups. Until August 31, get a Buy 1 Get 1 deal on these local coffees from 7am to 10am, thanks to Salamangka’s ongoing Hiwaga ng Umaga promo.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka’s Bulletproof Coffee (Php190), which is made with brewed coffee, coconut oil and unsalted butter, would probably be great for chasing away a hangover given the coffee’s touted properties for enhancing alertness. I would just prefer the residual flavor from the coconut oil to be tempered down a little bit more so that the creaminess and the slight sweetness from the butter would be more pronounced.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

So if you want a great time with your friends tinged with magic and mystery, head on to Salamangka.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka, Eastwood

Thanks to Darryl, Issa, Veni and Kevin of Salamangka for having us!

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Join Salamangka’s Hocus Focus Facebook contest by posting a picture of you posing in one of Salamanka’s Kreature Kutouts. Make sure your post is public, tag @salamangkamnl, use the hashtags #IsangTaongHiwaga and #TasteMagic, for a chance to get a freebie.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Feel like pitting your knowledge against other Salamangka guests? Join the Gabi ng Pagsusulit, a quiz night held at Salamangka every second and fourth Thursday of the month.

Salamangka is located at Eastwood Citywalk 1, Libis, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 3am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 5518557.

Did you know you can buy two drinks and get the same two drinks for free at Salamangka through Zomato Gold? Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

Salamangka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with my fellow foodies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup held at this restaurant. 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 bars and watering holes in the Metro:

Three reasons why Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar, Tomas Morato is your next favorite hangout spot

So you’ve just clocked out but are not yet in the mood to face the long commute home.  What can you do and where can you hang out to while away the rush hour?

If you’re near the foodie-friendly Tomas Morato area, you’re in luck.  Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar located along Scout Rallos Street, as my fellow foodies from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH and I have recently discovered, may just be your next favorite hangout spot.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Here are the reasons why:

1) Luxurious ambiance with a vintage charm.

Stepping into Tiyo’s interiors is akin to entering a time portal to the era of Old Manila where elegance and comfort take center stage from the Escolta-themed mural, muted lighting to the white marble tabletops.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

2) Pinoy artistry in food and drink preparation. 

Tiyo serves a thoughtfully curated menu of local fare which takes the best representations of Philippine regional cuisine and painstakingly uses traditional ingredients and cooking methods, and yet has reinvented and served these dishes with a modern flair.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

During our fun-filled foodie meetup, we were presented with viands that are familiar yet decidedly different from our usual fare, and definitely a lot more exciting to dig in to.

Manila Ensalada (Php180).  Crispy and golden-brown okoy (deep-fried shrimp fritters popular in the Ilocos region) served with green mango, unripe papaya and assorted greens.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Lengua Kaldereta Nachos (Php380).  The ubiquitous Mexican bar chow has been upgraded with the addition of tenderized and finely chopped ox tongue and generous dollops of kaldereta sauce and kesong puti sauce, flavored by salsa and malunggay chimichurri.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Inihaw na Liempo Sinigang (Php420).  Take your inihaw na liempo (grilled pork belly) and sinigang na baboy (pork in sour tamarind broth), put them together and you have this delightfully deconstructed dish.  Take the pork belly and tamarind gravy together with the sour broth or separately, it doesn’t matter. Both iterations are equally good.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Corned Beef Caldereta (Php460). Here’s a new and leveled-up spin to the breakfast classic, corned beef! Combine fork-tender house-made corned beef with tomato puree, liver and grilled veggies and you’ve got yourself a filling and flavorful dish!

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Dagupan Bangus Bistek (Php290). Deboned milkfish in soy calamansi sauce and garnished with red onion, suitable for those who want to eat light.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Maranao Piyanggang Manok (Php390). Chicken pieces served with sakurab – a vegetable mainstay in Maranao cuisine – along with coconut cream, lemongrass, turmeric, garlic, onion and ginger. Each bite is an explosion of flavor.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Palitaw Mochi (Php185). Instead of the usual flat kakanin (glutinous rice delicacy), these are cute dessert balls served with latik and bits of cashew crumble and coconut. Each bite is a surprise as your palitaw could be filled with either Malagos chocolate, Dulce de Leche or Ube (purple yam).

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Turron ala Mode (Php195). My dad’s home province of Bataan produces one of the most iconic sweets of the region: gabi (taro) ice cream. That regional delicacy tops the turron (banana fritters) and caramel drizzle of this dream dessert.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

And the craftsmanship does not stop with the food. Tiyo’s bartenders also whip up exciting craft cocktails for the thirsty but exacting diner. These concoctions are designed around local spirits, highlighting their unique flavors while demonstrating their versatility.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Pedro’s Uprising (basi, lemongrass, brandy and mint). It is named after the leader of the 1807 Basi Revolt which came about when the Spanish colonial government banned the private manufacture of this fermented sugar cane beverage. This just goes to show that you can’t keep the Pinoy spirit down!

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Jai Alai (basil, white rum, brandy-infused cinnamon, tea, calamansi and honey). Named after the pastime of my own tiyo when I was growing up, this drink is sweet and heady, just like nostalgia.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Blame It on the Barako (coffee liquer, cream, coconut rum, syrup and orange wedge). If you find yourself lying awake at night, dreaming of the next time you’ll get a sip of this cocktail, you can always #BlameItOnTheBarako.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

With its nine-tap craft beer system and the biggest collection of craft beer in the city, there is something from the seasoned brew connoisseur to a newbie. Opt for a Sampler Flight (Php150) of three sample glasses of different craft beers and discover your new favorite brew.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Not into alcohol? Don’t sweat it because Tiyo’s Houce Iced Tea (Php85) is drink that quenches your thirst and soothes your soul. And that straw is actually edible! It’s made of rice and tapioca so after finishing your drink, take a bite out of the straw.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

3) It’s exciting promos and events.

Knowing the Pinoy penchant for spotting and pursuing a good deal, Tiyo has promos that lets its guests enjoy more for less.

Until the end of July, enjoy Buy 1 Take 1 deals on all craft cocktails.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Get 3 Gin & Tonic drinks for only Php280.

Every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, get all the wine you can drink for only Php799.

During Ladies Night Wednesdays, all ladies get a free craft cocktail drink of their choice.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Every Tuesday and Saturday night, groove along with live musical entertainment.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

With all these elements coming together, it’s easy to see how Tiyo Craft Kitchen and Bar is #TailoredToGoodTaste. So make a stopover at Tiyo tonight. You’ll be glad you did.

Many thanks to Michelle and Mik de Guzman and Ed Salvador of Tiyo Craft Kitchen and Bar for hosting this foodie meetup.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar is located at Second Floor, CKB Centre, Tomas Morato Avenue Corner Scout Rallos Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City, open Sundays to Mondays from 4pm to 1am, Tuesdays to Thursdays from 4pm to 2am and Fridays to Saturdays from 4pm to 3 am.  For inquiries or reservations, call +63 932 8642593.

Did you know you can buy two drinks and get the same two drinks for free at Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar through Zomato Gold? Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with my fellow foodies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup held at this restaurant. 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 bars and watering holes in the Metro: