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

Savoring the moment at Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel Manila

Nestled amidst the hustle and bustle of Cubao is Novotel Manila Araneta Center’s newest restaurant concept – Sabor Bar de Vinos – a welcome haven for the urban denizens seeking some respite from the daily grind.

My fellow foodies and I were warmly welcomed by Novotel’s staff and its digital marketing manager Angela Silvestre, who told us more about Sabor, as well as made recommendations for our highly anticipated repast (all were good calls, by the way).

This newly opened wine bar boasts of warm and colorful Spanish-inspired interiors, a highly Instagrammable outdoor sitting area which also serves as a venue for live musical performances, an extensive wine collection and masterfully prepared tapas. All of these elements help the bar’s patrons to #SABORthemoment.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Its name Sabor translates to “flavor,” a philosophy made apparent with the elegant serving of its delectable sangria and tapas offerings.

Sangria is an alcoholic drink that originated from Spain. Technically a variation of the fruit punch, it consists of red wine mixed with chopped fruits and sweetened with sugar water and fruit juice.

Sabor has three signature sangria concoctions created by its expert mixologists. These drinks are priced at Php360 for a 250ml glass, Php900 for a 450ml half carafe and Php1,200 for a 750ml whole carafe.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

The Sangria de Rosa, for instance, is a mixture of rose wine, tequila, pureed guava, strawberry syrup, the juices of pineapple and lime, and as well as mint leaves.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

The Sangria Blanco, on the other hand, is made of Savignon blanc, vodka, the juices of lime, apple and lychee, and basil leaves.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Lastly, the Fortress Sangria combines red wine, brandy, grenadine, the juices of orange, lemon and lime, cinnamon and lemonade.

Lightweights like me, take heart! You do have the option to request the bar staff for virgin versions of your chosen drinks. That way, you can enjoy all the fruity flavors without the alcohol.  (Plus, better for you if you’re driving afterwards.  Remember, don’t drink and drive.)

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Feeling a little adventurous? Try mixing your own sangria from the mixing station beside the bar. Some of our group did and while the results of their efforts ranged from delish to disquieting (and oh, the names we came up with for those concoctions!), the experience of mixing your own drink (or watching someone else make the attempt) is not to be missed.

We enjoyed our drinks together with the tapas, small servings of tasty Spanish cuisine, expertly prepared by Sabor’s own chefs  Josh Mara  and Glenn Estrella which include:

Smoked Salmon Roulade (Php350) – A scrumptious roll of made of dill, cream cheese and sun-dried tomato with capaers – mandarin sauce wrapped in homemade smoked salmon.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Mushroom Croquette (Php350) – A mixture of finely chopped Porcini, Portobello and Button mushrooms, covered with a crunchy layer of breadcrumbs and accompanied by a blue cheese sauce.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Beetroot Arancini (Php350) – Crunchy crumb-crusted balls stuffed with marinated beetroot (hence the pink color of the filling) accompanied by goat cheese fondue.

Galician Empanada (Php350) – Galician style empanada stuffed with marinated chicken and herbs.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sauteed Chorizo in Red Wine (Php350) – Sliced Spanish chorizo sauteed in red wine, herbs and red onion, served rosemary focaccia.

Gambas al Ajillo (Php350) – Delectable shrimps served in a Spanish style sauce flavored with lemon, paprika, olive oil, white wine, parsley and chili flakes, then served with tomato focaccia.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Selection of Cheese (Php690) – An assortment of cheese accompanied by crackers, nuts, Taggiasca olives and radish. Here’s a tip: After tasting the cheese, a bit of the sangria jelly can help freshen the palate.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Bitter Ballen aka Dutch Meatballs (Php350) – A mixture of veal, chopped parsley and onion covered in bread crumbs and served with mustard.

Tiramisu the Classic Way (Php250) – Amaretto-flavored mascarpone cheese layered with coffee-soaked lady fingers and topped with cocoa powder, a fitting cap to the meal!

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

Sabor’s tapas are varied with complex flavors and well-presented with a continental flair but can still be appreciated by those with a decidedly Pinoy palate. For instance, some guests do request for rice to go with their flavorful chorizos or gambas dishes (to take full advantage of those flavorful sauces and drippings), and who’s to say that it’s wrong to enjoy your food that way?

Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

The combination of the wine and food served turned our group from a bunch of relative strangers into a fun and boisterous crowd by the night’s end which just goes to show how good food, good drinks and good company make for a great time.

Sabor Bar de Vinos is located at the Ground Floor of Novotel Manila Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.  It is open from 5pm to 2am, Tuesdays to Saturdays.  For reservations and inquiries, call + 63 2 990 7888.

Disclosure: Together with other foodies and bloggers, I was invited to attend a food and wine-tasting at this wine bar. All the food and beverage items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.
Sabor Bar de Vinos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

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: