There’s something for everyone’s craving at Pob Stacion Food Park

For quite a while now, the Poblacion area has been reinventing itself from its previous incarnation as Makati’s red-light district and re-establishing itself as its foodie-friendly haven. Here, foodies can explore various options in food and drink spanning various cuisines and concepts.

If you were to pool some of those eateries together and concentrate them into one easily accessible place, you would have the Pob Stacion Food Park. Located at B. Valdez Street, Barangay Poblacion in Makati, a ten-minute walk from A Venue or Century City Mall, the newly opened multi-storey Pob Stacion houses a variety of concept food stalls that give the park’s visitors wondrous choices for their gastronomic adventure or to soothe their food cravings.

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Recently, together with my fellow foodies, I had a taste of what Pob Stacion’s food outlets have to offer. Read on and check out my top picks.

Above Sea Level (Seafood)

As the home of the Giant Butterfly Squid (Php180 with 1 Java rice | Php250 with 2 Java rice | Php350 with 3 Java rice | Php450 with 4 Java rice), they really do serve it up big-time. Lightly battered, well-seasoned and fried to a golden-brown, each enormous squid by itself is good for two people and is best enjoyed with the resto’s vinegar dipping sauce.

If you’re feeling extra hungry or adventurous, add the Seafood Festival (Php380) to your order and bite into mouthwatering crab, shrimps, mussels and corn on a bed of Java rice doused with a buttery crab fat sauce, or the Spicy Squid Sisig (Php180) for a seafood take on the Pampanga delicacy.

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Rib Pop (Pinoy-Korean Fusion)

With the Korean food craze firmly entrenched in the Philippine culinary scene, it’s hardly surprising that the two cuisines would mesh together at some point. That point is here at Rib Pop where the best of the two cuisines is highlighted in its Ribpop Sampler (Php400) which consists of its signature dishes: Black Ink Chicken Wings – squid ink bettered fried chicken pieces with spicy tangy sauce, Ribpop Bowl – your choice of rice topped with beef short ribs, and an assortment of banchan – small plates of Korean appetizers.

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Octoboy (Japanese)

Who would have thought that Takoyaki (Php70 for 3 pcs | Php140 for 6 pcs), balls made of batter filled with chopped octopus meat, cooked in a specially shaped griddle and served with those wriggling Bonito flakes, would be such a hit with us Pinoys? If you’re on the lookout for something quick, cheap and yummy, Octoboy’s Takoyaki is your best bet.

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Tokyo Tempura (Japanese)

Did you know that tempura, the Japanese method of deep-frying battered seafood and vegetables, was influenced the Portuguese who were residing in Nagasaki in the 16th century? Today, tempura is a mainstay in practically all Japanese restaurants in the country and is even gaining some foothold in Pinoy eateries through localized versions.

Tokyo Tempura’s versions are quick, yummy, easy to enjoy when you’re having a case of the munchies, and with affordably priced options which include Imperial Tempura (Php150 for 12 pcs), Tempura Rice (Php80) and Kani Tempura (Php55 for 6 pcs).

Want some spicy kick to go with your tempura? Add the Chili Cheese Poppers (Php55 for 4 pcs) to your order and take some heat from those tempura battered cheese-filled jalapenos!

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Oskar’s Soul Kitchen (American)

If you’re looking for an alternative to your usual fastfood burger, check out Oskar’s Soul Kitchen’s Cheeseburger (Php220) – a quarter pound of ground Wagyu beef patty sandwiched in an oatmeal bun together with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and the resto’s signature sauce.

Still have room for more? Add Angus Beef Hotdog (Php140), Fries Overload (Php160), or the Nachos Overload (Php150) to your order and eat to your heart’s content.

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Wing’s Lab (American)

How about Wing’s Lab’s sinful take to your flavored chicken wings? Try its American Wings (Php699 with Nachos and Beef) which hits you with its Jack Daniels flavored sauce.

Want something to quench your thirst after those spicy wings? Take your pick from the resto’s refreshing and conveniently packaged Juices (Php60 – Blue Lemonade, Cucumber Lemonade and Melon with Milk). The best part is that you can easily take these handy juice packs with you all over the park and beyond.

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Authentic House of Curry (Indian)

Get yourself a taste of the exotic with the Authentic House of Curry’s spicy Beef Rendang (Php240) and Lobster Scallop Balls (Php180). These dishes provide a nice South Asian flare to your food park fare.

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Cha Tuk Chak (Thai Milk Tea)

While boba milk teas abound all over the metro, Thai milk teas are as visible, which =, for me, is a shame if Cha Tuk Chak’s drinks are anything to go by. From the world famous creamy and silky Cha Yen (Php110 regular | Php125 large), the sweeter, fruitier and caffeine free Nom Yen (Php120 regular | Php135 large), the sweet lemon-infused Thai Ruby (Php115 regular | Php130 large), the refreshing Thai tea with real lemon Thai Emerald (Php115 regular | Php130 large), and the gourmet dark chocolate milk tea given a Thai spin Koko Yen (Php110 regular), among others, you’ll have tasty thirst-quenching options as you navigate the food park.

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Papa Diddi’s (Ice Cream)

And who can forget about dessert? Papa Diddi’s Hand-crafted Ice Cream (Php75 for 1 scoop | Php110 for 2 scoops | Php145 for 3 scoops) come in such unusual yet localized flavors that pay tribute not just to our Pinoy heritage but also to the farmer communities that supply the brand’s all-natural ingredients. From the fruity Mango Pili, the cheesy Queso Blanco with kesong puti and Cheese Closed with cheddar, the chocolatey Chocolate Lovin and Tsokolate de Cagayan, the sinfully indulgent Tres Leches and the chocolate-meets-spicy Davao Meets Bicol, your dessert gives you a cool, culinary trip across the country.

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

So if you’re a denizen of Poblacion, or on a night out with friends in the area, do add a stopover to Pob Stacion Food Park to your evening’s itinerary.

Many thanks to Raina of KonyoQueen.com for extending the invitation!

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

Bingsu treat at Hobing, SM Marikina

After celebrating my niece’s birthday at Samgyeopmasarap, the family continued the Korean-themed celebration by having our dessert at the SM Marikina branch of Hobing.

Hobing specializes in bingsu, originally called patbingsu. This is a traditional Korean dessert made of finely shaved ice, sweetened by condensed milk, and enhanced by bits of fruit, candy or pastries. It may even be topped with ice cream or yoghurt.

The fam indulged in these yummy bingsu flavors:

Mango Cheese (Php350 for large). flavored with mango syrup with large cubes of ripe mango and New York Cheesecake bits, topped with vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with crushed almonds

Hobing, SM Marikina

Hobing, SM Marikina

Banana Mango (Php350 for large). Bananas and mangoes prove to be a winning combination in this bingsu flavored with injeolmi powder and chocolate syrup and topped with whipped cream.

Hobing, SM Marikina

Hobing, SM Marikina

Choco Cookie (Php270 for large). Crushed and whole Oreos give this bingsu a cookies n’ cream vibe with more chocolatey goodness from the chocolate syrup.

Hobing, SM Marikina

Hobing, SM Marikina

Caramel Coffee (Php395 for large). Satisfy your coffee craving with this bingsu treat made with coffee jelly, topped with mixed nuts and vanilla ice cream then drizzled with caramel sauce.

Hobing, SM Marikina

Hobing, SM Marikina

From Korean barbecue for dinner to Korean bingsu for dessert, my niece’s birthday celebration was a fun family get-together.

This Hobing outlet is located at Second Floor, SM City Marikina, Marcos Highway, Calumpang, Marikina City, open daily from 10am to 9pm.

Other branches are located at:

  • Ground Floor, Glorietta 4, Ayala Center Glorietta Complex, Makati
  • 72 Jupiter corner Mercury Street, Bel-Air, Makati
  • Fifth Floor, SM Aura Premier, C5 Road corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Third Floor, BGC Stopover Pavilion, Rizal Drive corner 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Ground Floor, Market! Market! Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Fifth Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong
  • Lower Ground, Ayala Malls the 30th, Meralco Avenue, Ugong, Pasig
  • Third Floor, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Binondo, Manila
  • Third Floor, Robinsons Magnolia, New Manila, Quezon City
  • Upper Ground Floor, SM City San Lazaro, Santa Cruz, Manila
  • Second Floor, Eastwood Citywalk 2, Libis, Quezon City
  • OK Street Food Court, K-Town @ Vertis North, Level 2, Ayala Malls Vertis North, Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City
  • Ground Floor, The Block, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
  • Upper Ground Floor, Ayala Fairview Terraces, Maligaya Road corner Quirino Highway, Novaliches, Quezon City

Hobing Korean Dessert Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other dessert places in the metro:

 

Unlimited Korean Barbecue at Samgyeopmasarap, SM Marikina

Apparently, my extended family shares my love for Korean barbecue. It’s no surprise then that, for my niece’s birthday, we all met up at the SM Marikina branch of Samgyeopmasarap.

The restaurant occupies a relatively large area at the mall’s third floor. As is the standard for Korean barbecue joints, it boasts of tables with built-in grills and exhaust pipes. The layout is comfortable and conducive to dining.

Samgyeopmasarap, SM Marikina

The number of diners queueing for their turn is proof of the resto’s appeal, owing largely to its unlimited Korean barbecue sets:

Unlimited Pork BBQ (Php399) includes pork belly, marinated pork belly bacon slices, six kinds of side dishes and rice

Unlimited Beef BBQ (Php499) includes plain and marinated beef bacon slices, six kinds of side dishes and rice

Unlimited Chicken BBQ (Pho349) includes boneless chicken, six kinds of side dishes and rice

Samgyeopmasarap, SM Marikina

Samgyeopmasarap, SM Marikina

Samgyeopmasarap, SM Marikina

Samgyeopmasarap, SM Marikina

Our party of eight ordered four unli beef, 3 unli pork and 1 unli chicken so there were enough varieties of Korean barbecue for all of us to enjoy.

I would have loved seeing more varieties of beef and pork given the price of the meal sets.

Samgyeopmasarap, SM Marikina

That said, the family still had a great time gathering to celebrate my niece’s birthday. I’m glad that there’s a Korean barbecue joint in SM Marikina where we can opt to go when the craving hits us.

Samgyeopmasarap, SM Marikina

This Samgyeopmasarap outlet is located at Third Floor, SM City Marikina, Marcos Highway, Calumpang, Marikina City, open daily from 10am to 10.30pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 908 7978868.

Other branches are located at:

  • Second Floor, Connecticut Carpark Arcade, Greenhills Shopping Center, Greenhills, San Juan
  • Ground Floor, Intelenet Building, Le Grande Avenue, McKinley West, Taguig
  • Calle Bistro, Ground Floor, Ever Gotesco Mall, Commonwealth Avenue, Old Balara, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, SM North Towers, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
  • Lower Ground Floor, Mall A, SM City Bicutan, Don Bosco, Paranaque
  • Second Floor, SM City San Lazaro, Santa Cruz, Manila
  • Second Level, SM City BF Paranaque, BF Homes, Paranaque

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

Check out my posts about other Korean restaurants:

Unli Korean BBQ at Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

For years now, there’s a proposition that’s sure to get me all excited: all-can-eat samgyeopsal.

Ever since I had my first taste of juicy flavorful pork and beef pieces freshly grilled right in front of me, seasoned with sesame oil, salt and pepper, and given that distinct Korean flavor with a bit of ssamjang and thin garlic slices, I knew a new gastronomic obsession was born.

And that obsession holds true to this very day.

This is why I was overjoyed to be invited to a foodie meetup at Every Samgyeop. Not only is it a Korean resto specializing in samgyeopsal and other Korean barbecue variants, it is also located just a stone’s throw away from my office.

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

I first dined at Every Samgyeop early last year and have eaten there several times since but today was special: my foodie friends from #SaanSaPH and I were being treated to its “Eat All You Can: Unlimited Meat and Rice” set which was not yet in place during my previous visits.

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

For only Php499/person, you and your friends can enjoy unlimited plain and marinated meats which include:

Samgyeopsal (thick slices of pork belly)

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Deepee Samgyeopsal (thinly sliced pork belly)

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Soy Sauce Samgyeopsal (pork belly slices marinated in soy sauce)

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Gochujang Samgyeopsal (pork belly slices in the traditional Korean spicy sauce)

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Honey Butter Samgyeopsal

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Hangjeongsal (jowl meat)

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Woosamgyup (thinly sliced beef loin)

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Soy Sauce Woosamgyup (thinly sliced beef loin marinated in soy sauce)

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Gochujang Woosamgyup (thinly sliced beef loin in the traditional Korean spicy sauce)

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Bulgogi (Korean sweet beef stew)

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Dakdarisal (marinated chicken thigh fillet)

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

These meats come with special side dishes (called banchan) which include:

Kimchi

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Ddangkong Jorim (soy braised peanuts)

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Eomuk Bokkeum (stir-fried fish cakes)

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Korean Cabbage Salad

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Pickled Vegetables

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Calamaris

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

You can also add Php50 to your meal set to get another order of calamaris as well as a bowl of steaming hot ramyun (Korean-style instant ramen).

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Aside from its sheer variety of meats available, Every Samgyeop is also notable for its tender and flavorful pork cuts. Their secret is the dry aging process that they subject their pork cuts to which allows the enzymes present to further break down the meat resulting to enhanced taste and texture.

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

I had so much fun taking my turn to grill our meats, eating my fill and spending time with my foodie friends at Every Samgyeop and I look forward to my next visit!

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Every Samgyeop is located at 58 Sgt. Esguerra Street (across ABS-CBN Main Building), Bgy. South Triangle, Quezon City. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 6212032 or +63 927 273555.

Every Samgyeop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies from #SaanSaPH, 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 posts about other Korean restaurants:

Unli Premium Korean BBQ at Muhan Samgyupsal, Greenhills

My love affair with Korean BBQ has already spanned more than a decade and I welcome every chance to enjoy it, especially with my family in tow. Really, what’s not to love about it? Sizzling strips of tender beef or pork cooked right before our eyes, a proliferation of side dishes (called banchan) to munch on while the meat is cooking, the interplay of tastes from the meat wrapped in crisp lettuce accompanied by the complexly flavored ssamjang paste.

This past week, I was quite fortunate to try out one of the newer entrants among Korean barbecue restaurants: Muhan Samgyupsal.

This resto is situated in a newer buildings along Ortigas Avenue in the Greenhills area, and it boasts of ample parking space as well as expansive and well-appointed interiors.

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

As I have come to expect in all Korean barbecue joints, this branch of Muhan Samgyeopsal is equipped with exhausts to suck the smoke from the meats cooking on the table-top grills.

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Its menu is refreshingly simple but packed with value. The choices consist of:

UNLI 1 (Php369/person for lunch available from 11am to 3pm and Php399/person for dinner available from 3pm to 2am): unlimited refills of 5 kinds of pork barbecue

UNLI 2 (Php399/person for lunch available from 11am to 3pm and Php449/person for dinner available from 3pm to 2am): unlimited refills of 5 kinds of pork barbecue and 3 kinds of beef.

UNLI 3 (Php449/person for lunch available from 11am to 3pm and Php499/person for dinner available from 3pm to 2am)): unlimited refills of 5 kinds of pork barbecue, 3 kinds of beef and shabu-shabu.

All these come with soup, unlimited banchans and steamed egg.

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Plus, the resto currently runs a Lunchtime discount promo wherein a group of four diners get to enjoy, not just the discounted pricing on the Unli sets, but also a free 1.5 liter Coke. Now, isn’t that a great combination?

The fam opted for Unli 2 so we were able to enjoy various options of marinated and unmarinated pork and beef. Granted, our tastes veer towards the unmarinated kind.

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

The premiumness of the meat cuts was apparent in their flavor, juiciness and tenderness, which, together with the clean and comfortable surroundings and the warm and friendly assistance from the wait staff, makes the price of the menu items so worth it.

We all enjoyed our first dining experience at Muhan Samgyeopsal and we look forward to our next visit.

Muhan Samgyeopsal, Greenhills

This Muhan Samgyupsal branch is located at the Ground Floor, Eton Square Building, Ortigas Avenue, Greenhills, San Juan, open daily from 11am to 2am. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 956 3912240.

Other branches are located at:

  • Second Floor, One Archers Place, Taft Avenue, Malate, Manila (Tel: +63 2 7175627)
  • 830 Padre Noval Street, Sampaloc, Manila (Tel : +63 955 4957585)

Muhan Samgyupsal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Part of this family lunch is sponsored by Muhan Samgyupsal through free Unlimited Meals good for two people, the balance of which was paid for.

Check out my posts about other Korean restaurants:

1223 Grill: A hidden gem for Korean BBQ in Pasig

Korean barbecue has grown in popularity in recent years. I sometimes think that I can’t pass through an area without seeing at least one Korean barbecue joint.

Apparently, there was an area between Pasig and Pateros where there was a dearth in K-BBQ eateries. That is, before 1223 Grill came along.

The only K-BBQ joint in a relatively quiet residential area just off the C-5 highway in San Joaquin, Pasig City, 1223 Grill usually caters to local residents as well as students of a nearby school. This restaurant approximates the usual location, look and feel of similar eateries in Korea: homey and located off-the-beaten-track.

1223 Grill, Pasig

Together with other food bloggers from Saan Sa PH, I was invited to check out 1223 Grill’s Korean food offerings, which include the Samgyeopsal and Chadolbaki Unli Combination (Php429 for lunch | Php449 for dinner). The most popular (and ubiquitous) among K-BBQ variants, unmarinated pork belly and beef brisket slices have a special appeal. Since no flavoring was applied to the meats prior to grilling, the flavor has to come from the meats themselves and the what you put on them once they’re off the grill. Personally, I like dipping them into sesame oil seasoned with salt and pepper, and into ssamjang (soy bean paste) before wrapping them in the crisp lettuce leaves along with a thin slice of raw garlic.

1223 Grill, Pasig

1223 Grill, Pasig

But the Korean BBQ fest does not end there! Add a pan of creamy melted Cheese (Php100) into the fray for dipping and what have you got? An explosion of flavors with each bite that’s just heaven!

1223 Grill, San Joaquin

For more than just a bit of heat, we had the Spicy Chicken and Pork with Cheese (Php289) and the Teokboki Spicy Rice Cake (Php120).

1223 Grill, Pasig

1223 Grill, Pasig

1223 Grill, Pasig

The Budae-jjigae (Php399) is a hearty soup of flavorful broth, noodles, tofu cubes and chopped aromatics along with processed meats. Did you know that its name translates to “army base stew?” It came about after the armistice that ended the Korean war, when home cooks scrounged for food left behind in the US bases. Today, it is usually consumed along with beer or as a lunch item.

1223 Grill, Pasig

Rounding up our viands are the Japchae (Php150), stir-fried glass noodles with vegetables, and Beef Bibimbap (Php280), rice mixed with julienned cucumber, mushrooms, soybean sprouts, spinacha and beef, flavored by gochujang (red pepper paste). I like placing small amounts of bibimbap into my samgyeopsal in lettuce wrap to get an interesting mix of textures and flavors with each bite.

1223 Grill, Pasig

1223 Grill, Pasig

And of course, as is customary among Korean BBQ joints, our viands were accompanied by several types of banyan (side dishes) that we can munch on while waiting for our meats to cook.

1223 Grill, Pasig

1223 Grill prides itself on having premium ingredients; many of its meats are actually imported to capture the authentic taste of Korean food.

The servers were also quite attentive and accommodating, despite our group’s many requests and inquiries.

It seems that 1223 Grill’s combination of great and affordable food and friendly service is well-appreciated by its patrons. Plans are already underway to expand the store’s area to accommodate more customers.

It was quite a Korean food adventure; we even had some shots of soju mixed with Sprite to cap our meal!

1223 Grill, Pasig

1223 Grill, Pasig

1223 Grill, Pasig

1223 Grill is located at Unit 1-A, Angeles Residences, F. Angeles Street, San Joaquin, Pasig City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 2pm to 12 midnight, and Fridays to Saturdays from 2pm to 1am. For inquiries, call +63 2090 62206843.

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I was invited to attend a food tasting held in 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.

1223 Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts about other Korean restaurants:

5 reasons to check out Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

In the mood for a gastronomic adventure? Look no further than Vatos Urban Tacos for good food, cool vibes and a great time. Here are five reasons why you should check this place out:

One: It’s a cool place to hang out in

Located at the ground floor of Net Park Building in BGC, Vatos’ store is characterized, not by the traditionally colorful Mexican decor, but by an industrial, almost steampunk aesthetic. Bare concrete walls tastefully adorned with black and white photos and exposed pipes, lamps hanging from the ceiling giving muted light, dark wood tables and an accent wall of broken bricks on top of the bar were elements inspired by the very first Vatos outlet in Korea. These give the place a cool urban vibe that make it a great stopover after work to eat, have a few drinks and relax.

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

And ladies, those inverted faucets under the tabletops serve as bag hooks!

Two: It’s your intro to #KorMex

Vatos (from the Mexican slang for “men” or “dudes”) was actually born out of the desire of three Korean-American friends – Sid Kim, Kenny Park and Juweon Jonatham Kim – to offer a new type of dining experience in the Asian market. Having grown up in areas of the US where they have access to authentic Mexican dishes, while being fed a steady diet of homemade Korean food by their moms, they came to mix and match the cuisines. These experimentations resulted to exciting new dishes, especially for adventurous seekers of spicy food. These include:

Kimchi Carnitas Fries (Php350). A hearty serving of seasoned French fries, braised pork carnitas, melted cheese and sauteed kimchi topped with chopped cilantro and onions, sour cream and Vatos signature hot sauce.

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

Honey Tequila Chicken Wings (Php490). Can something so good be hot and sweet at the same time? Apparently yes, with these meaty chicken wings coated with a sweet and spicy honey tequila sauce and served with deep-fried battered jalapenos and bleu cheese dipping sauce.

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

Vatos Cowboy Queso (Php390). For a rich savory taste of the Wild West, dip a crunchy had-cut corn tortilla into this molten dip of cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, black beans, pico de gallo and cilantro lime crema. You’ll surely be coming back for more.

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

The Fat Bastard Burrito Bowl (Php560). A filling bowl of Mexican rice and black beans combined with tender bits of carne asada steak, pork barbacoa and grilled fajita vegetables, with fresh Mexican flavors from cilantro onion, cilantro lime crema, fresh guacamole, chipotle salsa and Vatos hot sauce.

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

Grilled Chicken Fajita Platter (Php850). Grilled chicken thigh and fajita veggies served on a sizzling hot plate along with Mexican rice, pico de gallo, chimichurri, cilantro lime crema, Vatos hot sauce and warm flour tortillas.

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

Korean Pork Belly Taco (Php290 for 2 pieces | Php430 for 3 pieces | Php600 for platter). One of the resto’s much-vaunted urban taco options, this platter, this features pork belly marinated in Korean soy paste, ssamjang aioli, sliced fresh and pickled onions.

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

Chimichurri Chicken Taco (Php259 for 2 pieces | Php370 for 3 pieces | Php600 for platter). Spicy chicken flakes topped with a sweet and tangy chimichurri salsa, lettuce, sour cream and Mexican cheese.

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

Baja Fish Taco (Php280 for 2 pieces | Php410 for 3 pieces | Php600 for platter). White fish coated with tempura beer batter served with spicy chipotle mayo, pico de gallo and apple coleslaw.

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

Three: Why would you go through life without taking a sip of Vatos’ crazy margaritas?

Margeritas are tequila and citrus-based cocktails which serves as refreshing drinks and worthy foils to spicy Mexican dishes. Vatos’ ‘ritas have a nice variety that you can choose one that suits your craving or mood.

The sweetest among Vatos’ margarita offerings is the Sexy Sanchez (Php480), a fruity strawberry margarita served with an upended bottle of Magners Berry Cider.

Grow-a-Pear (Php480), on the other hand, is less sweet though no less fruity being made of passion fruit margarita accompanied by an upended bottle of Magners Pear Cider.

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

If the ‘ritas are not your cup of tea (more like alcohol of choice!), how about another shot of #KorMex fusion with the Makgeolitas (Php320)? Tequila meets Korean rice-based alcohol resulting to a sweet and tangy concoction that packs a wallop.

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

Four: There’s something for your sweet tooth too!

With all the fresh citrusy and rich earthy flavors, generously infused with a spicy kick stemming from Vatos’ Korean and Mexican roots, capping your meal with a decadent dessert can be quite an indulgence.

Take the Nutella Nachos (Php225), for example. Cinnamon powder and sugar dust crispy tortilla triangles drizzled with hazelnut Nutella sauce. Topped with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, each mouthful is an explosion of sweetness.

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

A new addition to Vatos’ menu, the Bacon Jalapeno Brownie (Php180) is an interesting study of contrasts. Sweetness from the chocolate and candied walnuts, savory from the crispy bacon bits, and spiciness from the jalapeno that was included in the mix for some reason. One bite and I just want to delve into its mysteries, unravel its complexities and discover what makes it tick. Long story short, yeah, I liked it. (Thank you, Captain Obvious!)

Vatos Urban Tacos, BGC

Five: It has special treats in store for you as it turns a year old this February.

When you visit Vatos as it celebrates its first anniversary, you’re definitely in for a treat!

Feel like crooning out your signature song while accompanied by an acoustic guitar? Make sure you’re at Vatos on February 1 (Fri), 7pm for its Open Mic Acoustic Night with Dindo and Ryan.

And for all you 80s and 90s kids out there who can’t get enough of the past decades’ great tunes, DJ Erwin Paz will be there on February 2 (Sat), 8pm to play the sounds you’ve been missing.

And, on those days, you will discover that your Php100 bill can get you very far: you can either get a huge glass of margarita, or a pair of scrumptious tacos.

Vatos is a welcome new foodie discovery in itself but with its imaginative fusion menu and anniversary activities, it can become a new favorite.

Vatos Urban Tacos is located at Net Park Building, 5th AvenuelBonifacio Global City, Taguig. For inquiries, call +63 2 4597009 or +63 967 2464781. More information on its dishes and drinks are available at www.vatosph.com.

Vatos Urban Tacos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I was invited to attend a foodie meetup held in 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.