Bar chows and chill drinks at After Hours, Tomas Morato

After hours is that precious time when the day’s work is done and we can finally sit back to relax and spend time with friends.

After Hours is also the name of a newly opened bar in foodie haven Tomas Morato. This is where my foodie friends and I, shortly before the Covid-19 and the ECQ came down upon all of us, were able to enjoy a few hours chillin’ in each other’s company while discovering all the fun to be had after hours.

1) The buzzy welcoming vibe

You would think that Tomas Morato would already have its fill of concept bars but there’s definitely room for more, especially this one.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

After Hours, Tomas Morato

After Hours, Tomas Morato

With its ample parking space, trendy decor, comfy furnishings, a playlist made up of 80s and 90s hits (which my friends and I sang along with!), excellent chows and a well-stocked bar, After Hours is a haven for those looking for some well-deserved R ‘n R.

2) Chill drinks

According to co-owner Rey Trillana, the focus of After Hours are on cocktails, whiskey and a bit of wine, drinks to chill with after work. Each cocktail is handcrafted (no pre-mixes). For whiskey connoisseurs, the bar also boasts of a well-curated whisky collection. Guests even have the option of getting the bartender to craft something Out of the Blue, based on their favorite liquor and taste profile.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

After Hours, Tomas Morato

During our visit, my foodie friends and I were able to sample:

Jack Estate’s Pink Moscato. A fresh and fruity wine from Australia.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

Perfect Pear. A fruity non-alcoholic mocktail for lightweights like me.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

Smoked Old Fashioned. The classic mix of bourbon, simple syrup and Angostura bitters, served with a bit of smoke and flair.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

Red Sangria Spritzer. Handcrafted sangria made with wine, brandy, mixed berries, chamomile honey, calamansi and soda.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

After Six. Gin mixed with elderflower liquor, lavender syrup, egg white and lemon juice.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

Punch Drunk Love. After Hours’ signature cocktail made with spiced rum, chai pandan syrup, lemon and pineapple juice, Angostura bitters and clarified milk, served with a dehydrated pineapple.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

3) Tasty bar chows

Of course, we needed some chows to go with those drinks, and After Hours has a very good kitchen going managed by Chef Miggy. He and his crew whipped up some tasty bar chows to complement our drinks, such as:

Beef Salpicao. Tender USDA beef tenderloin sauteed in a garlic butter sauce, definitely a favorite among tipplers and foodies.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

After Hours, Tomas Morato

Buffalo Style Chicken Poppers. Spicy, salty and slightly sweet bite-sized chicken breasts.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

After Hours, Tomas Morato

BBQ Beef Pockets. Crispy wonton pockets stuffed with ground beef doused with bourbon BBQ sauce and cheese.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

After Hours, Tomas Morato

Four Cheese Pizza. Mozzarella, feta, parmigiano reggiano and gorgonzala, all the good stuff on a thin-crust pizza.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

After Hours, Tomas Morato

All-Meat Pizzadilla. Gooey mozzarella sandwiched in two flour tortillas and topped with pepperoni, sausage, bacon, BBQ sauce and even more cheese.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

After Hours, Tomas Morato

Pork Binagoongan Pasta. Spaghetti with crispy-fried pork cubes tossed in shrimp paste.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

After Hours, Tomas Morato

Bacon Mushroom Truffle Pasta. Creamy truffle spaghetti topped with crunchy bacon.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

After Hours, Tomas Morato

Oh, such a happy time! There were good food, good drinks and good company.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

After Hours, Tomas Morato

But then, the community quarantine came and, sadly, After Hours had to close its doors for a while.

It seemed like the entire bar industry had been severely affected by the community quarantine.

However, a few weeks ago, I had the pleasant surprise of finding out that it had resumed operations to enable its loyal customers to get that After Hours experience even while at home through Buy One Take One offers on its wines, its signature cocktails by the bottle, as well as a selection of its bar chows, all available for delivery or pickup!

After Hours, Tomas Morato

After Hours, Tomas Morato

Thanks to Rey Trillana and the rest of the management and staff of After Hours Bar for having us and congratulations for succeasfully pivoting your business to operate in The New Normal.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

So until the next time I can visit After Hours again, I can enjoy my after hours at home.

After Hours, Tomas Morato

After Hours is located at 125 Don A. Roces Avenue, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City. To order its bar chows, wines and cocktails for pick up or delivery, fill up this form, send a message over Instagram or call +63 917 1767383.

After Hours 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:

 

Fiery Fiesta at Chichario, Molito Lifestyle Center

Foodies down South in Alabang have another place to discover: the new Chichario Peri Peri Chicken and Cocktail Bar.

Opened in late 2018 by the tandem of Moira and Marco, Chichario sprung out of their love for peri-peri chicken and boisterously vibrant fiesta culture of Brazil. Located amidst wine bars, family-centric eateries and cafes, Chichario offers the young adults – millennials, if you will – in the area a place where they can hang out with their friends and have a few drinks while enjoying good food and good music.

Chichario, Alabang

Chichario, Alabang

The restaurant’s name is a combination of the words of “Chicha” (from “chicheria,” the Pinoy slang for finger-food) and “Rio” (from the Brazilian capital Rio de Janeiro).

Chichario, Alabang

Upon entering its doors into its first floor dining area, you would get the impression that its a family-friendly barbecued chicken resto, but when you go up to its tropical-themed second floor bar area, aptly called “Chicha’s Hideout,” that’s where the party’s at.

Chichario, Alabang

Chichario, Alabang

Well, Chichario really did throw a party for me and my fellow foodies where we enjoyed a sampling of its fiery yet comforting Southern American home-cooking.

Nacho Carnitas. Crunchy nacho chips flavored with sour cream powder and generously topped with flavorful chipotle pulled pork, cilantro salsa and torched mozzarella and cheddar.

Chichario, Alabang

Chichario, Alabang

Soft Taco Carnitas. Two open-faced tortilla wraps stuffed with chipotle pulled pork, cilantro salsa and garlic aioli dip.

Chichario, Alabang

Pollo Asado Quesadilla. Tortilla wraps stuffed grilled peri-peri chicken, cheddar, cilantro pesto sauce and salsa. It is best enjoyed with its garlic aoili dip.

Chichario, Alabang

Salpicao Escobar. Hanger steak further tenderized via sous vide, then cooked salpicao-style and flavored with South American spices.

Chichario, Alabang

Chichario, Alabang

Chipotle Sisig. Instead of siling labuyo, this sisig is spiced uo with chipotle peppers.

Chichario, Alabang

Chichario, Alabang

Half Peri Peri Chicken. Sous vide is again employed to further tenderize these chicken pieces, which are then seasoned with South American soices and grilled to a smokey perfection which makes this dish the star of the show. It is served pre-cut for easy sharing with a trio of house-sauces: chimichurri, pepper sauce and garlic aioli.

Chichario, Alabang

Chichario, Alabang

And what’s a party without a few drinks?

After downing a couple of glasses of Chichario’s House Ice Tea, our group also had a taste of Chichario’s exotic cocktails.

Mojito de Janeiro. Grilled pineapple infushed rum, white rum, mint leaves and guyabano soda.

Chichario, Alabang

El Chichario. A mix of tropical fruits and dark and light rum.

Chichario, Alabang

Frozen Margarita and Mango Daiquiri.

Chichario, Alabang

Chichario, Alabang

Amidst the pulsing music, exotic locale and the fine fiery food of Chichario, my friends and I had a fun fiesta!

Chichario, Alabang

Chichario, Alabang

Chichario, Alabang (photo by Eboy M. Donato)

Chichario Peri Peri Chicken and Cocktail Bar is located at the Molito Lifestyle Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa, open daily from 11am to 2am.

Watch out: offshoots of Chichario’s might find their way in your hometown. Be on the lookout for “Chicha’s” outlets which will mainly serve ceviches and tacos.

Chichario Peri Peri Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other 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:

Credit for the last photo: Eboy M. Donato of #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH

DIY Taco Bar at Encima Roofdeck Restaurant, Makati

The appeal of Tex-Mex cuisine for me is the interplay of the fresh and tangy flavors of citrus, tomatoes and onions with the earthy and hearty fullness of its meat dishes.

Tex-Mex cuisine is front and center at City Garden Hotel’s Encima Roofdeck Restaurant with its first anniversary offering. I was invited, along with fellow bloggers, to experience Encima’s Taco Bar, which will be launched to the public on July 2.

Encima Roofdeck Restaurant has come a long way from its beginnings as a mere alternative to the hotel’s bistro downstairs, carving out its identity, adopting the name Encima (meaning “above”). The roofdeck resto does live up to its name, giving its diners a spectacular view of the Makati skyline and the city lights.

According to City Garden Hotel’s PR and Marketing Manager, Jo Ruales, the roofdeck restaurant’s Tex-Mex Menu was developed by the hotel’s powerhouse chefs: Chefs Mario Basig, J-Ann Fernandez and Dennis Peralta. Rinna Reyes, the hotel’s F&B Manager proudly shared the resto’s Tex-Mex offerings were hailed by the cities of Makati and Manila as one of the best in the country.

The twist to Encima’s Taco Bar is in giving the guests free rein to create their taco however they want. For only Php499, diners can mix and match from the ingredients found in the bar: crisp and soft tacos; a richly-flavored Mexican Rice; beef, pork and chicken filling; grated cheese and cheese sauce, chopped onions and tomatoes, and a host of other ingredients you can add to your heart’s content.

This unlimited do-it-yourself taco bar comes with bottomless margarita and sangria, two of the restaurant’s most popular drinks.

For non-drinkers like me, the resto also offers non-alcoholic drinks like the fresh mango shake they served me.

The Taco Bar will be open every night from July 2 to August 5.

The restaurant also has a happy hour from 4pm to 8pm wherein shooters are served for only Php50 and cocktails at Php99. Beers are also paired with Tex-Mex sampler plates.

Encima Roofdeck Restaurant is located at City Garden Hotel, 7870 Durban Street corner Makati Avenue, Poblacion, Makati. For reservations, call +63 2 899 1111.

Disclosure: Together with other bloggers, I was invited to attend a Thanksgiving Dinner 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.

Encima Roofdeck Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of restos offering Mexican food: