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:

 

Wine with the titos: Bevvy at Don Revy, Magallanes

Ladies, what do you do when you find out where you Hubby and the boys hang out whenever he’s late going home from work?

Join them for a round of drinks, of course!

Bevvy at Don Revy, Magallanes

Well, that’s what I did the other day when I had myself dropped off at Hubby’s workplace along Chino Roces Avenue Extension after doing some field work in the South.

Rather than facing the Carmageddon going home, Hubby suggested we hang out for a while at his gang’s go-to watering hole: Bevvy at Don Revy.

Bevvy at Don Revy, Magallanes

Don Revy is a supplier of beers, wines and spirits committed to bringing what’s new and what’s next in the world of beverages.

It’s name was chosen because it rhymes with “always on the bevvy” – Scottish slang for “always drinking.”

It operates the wine bar – Bevvy at Don Revy – as a venue for drink connoisseurs to unwind, relax, celebrate and imbibe the cultures and tastes of the world of beverages.

Bevvy at Don Revy, Magallanes

Bevvy at Don Revy, Magallanes

Bevvy at Don Revy, Magallanes

Bevvy at Don Revy, Magallanes

At the Bevvy, every bottle can be bought at retain price to be enjoyed either at the premises or brought home. It is akin to a hidden library where you can choose your preferred drink to enjoy by yourself or to fuel a fun evening with your buddies, just like our chosen drinks for this night:

Glenalmond Everyday Highland Pure Malt (Php90 per glass | Php1500 per bottle). The boys drank this vintage blended malt whisky which is said to be so dangerously easy to drink.

Bevvy at Don Revy, Magallanes

Chateau Rotas Rose 2016 (Php150 per glass | Php730 per bottle). A French pink wine that’s a bit dry and acidic yet also easy to drink. It gave li’l ole lightweight me a bit of a buzz.

Bevvy at Don Revy, Magallanes

Bevvy at Don Revy, Magallanes

We also munched on these bar chow while enjoying our drinks:

Cold Cuts and Cheeses (Php700). A board containing three kinds of cold cuts (Fuet, Salamanca and Prosciutto) and three kinds of cheeses (Gorgonzola, Manchego and Gouda).

Bevvy at Don Revy, Magallanes

Pork Cracklings (Php150 per pack). Plain chicharon that gives a satisfying crrrrunch with every bite.

Bevvy at Don Revy, Magallanes

Well, wine night with these Titos of Manila sure was fun!

Bevvy at Don Revy, Magallanes

The next time Hubby tells me he’ll be late coming home from work, I’ll probably tell him to bring home a bottle for me. Hehehe!

Planning a spirited night out with the gang? Here are some Bevvy deals you might like:

  • Have a Bevvy (Php550). Unlimited servings of drinks for three hours for one category (gin & tonic, draft beer and wine)
  • All the Bevvies (Php750). Unlimited servings of drinks for three hours for all categories (gin & tonic, draft beer and wine)

Bevvy at Don Revy is located at UPRC III Building, 2289 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City, open Mondays to Fridays from 2pm to 11pm and Saturdays from 6pm to 11pm (closed on Sundays and holidays). For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 82528703, email bevvy@donrevy.com or visit its website.

Don Revy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Experience Prime Dining at B Hotel Alabang

Getting lost in the south isn’t such a bad ordeal when wandering leads to the quiet streets of Madrigal Business Park because there stands B Hotel Alabang, a premier 4-star hotel managed by The Bellevue Hotels and Resorts.

“What is there to do?” one may ask. Aside from an undisturbed staycation in the comfort of a cozy room, guests can also enjoy the first-ever outdoor hot tub in the area. With perfectly warm water for the rainy season, and refreshingly cool water during the summer! And while fitness junkies spend time in the hotel gym working out, the foodies can go ahead and start eating their hearts out at the hotel’s dining outlets.

B Hotel Alabang

Foodies everywhere will agree that it takes more than just picture-perfect plating or unique food concepts to make a dining experience memorable and worth going back for. With an exquisitely prepared mix of fancy and familiar flavors, coupled with the 4-star hotel’s dedicated 5-star service, one can only expect a dining experience at its prime, every time. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or anything in between, B Hotel Alabang has the perfect plate!

“Our mission is to give our guests the best of Filipino hospitality and that includes proudly representing our heritage in our menu. That’s why we always allow culinary innovation while preserving the integrity of our country’s traditional dishes,” says Chef Ricky Galon, B Hotel Alabang Sous Chef. Prime Café offers a diverse selection of traditional local dishes from across the different regions of the Philippine islands such as the bestselling crispy Sizzling Sisig from Pampanga, perfectly char-grilled Chicken Inasal from Bacolod, and tender Beef Salpicao. The hotel’s main dining outlet also features Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian, and Mexican cuisines among others. Craving a classic American favorite? Chef Ricky’s special creation is the answer—a flavorful patty and fresh vegetables in a soft sweet bun. And if you’re craving a different kind of meat, no need to go far! Get your steak fix and enjoy perfectly grilled prime steaks from Johnny’s Steak and Grill at Prime Cafe.

B Hotel Alabang

B Hotel Alabang

B Hotel Alabang

B Hotel Alabang

B Hotel Alabang

Those who simply cannot do without a sweet ending (or beginning) to a sumptuous meal can head on over to sweet tooth heaven—Pastry Corner. This little nook is where all the freshly baked goodies and barista specials are! Must-try includes moist and indulgent Belgian Chocolate Cake, and German Chocolate Cake, and Leche Flan, Ube, Chocolate, Plain, and other limited edition flavors of the coffee shop’s signature ensaymada.

B Hotel Alabang

Prime Café puts the “happy” in happy hour with some San Valley wine for only Php800 nett per bottle, or unlimited beers, mojitos, or sangria for only Php550 nett person, available daily from 6:00PM to 10:00PM. Booze and live entertainment? Enjoy it at Prime Café’s Bistro Nights every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 8:00PM to 11:00PM.

B Hotel Alabang

B Hotel Alabang

Get a taste of all these exciting dishes and activities at B Hotel Alabang’s Meet and Eat exclusive foodie event, in partnership with Don Revy, Monkey Eagle, Alliance Crafts, Instamug, and Eco Verde.

For more information on B Hotel Alabang’s exciting dining promotions and other offers, visit www.thebellevue.com, or call (+632) 828 8181.

Thanks to Eboy Donato for serving as my correspondent during B Hotel’s Meet & Eat Foodie event.

Details and images provided by B Hotel in A recent press release.

Wine pairing class explores tasty combinations of wine and pizza

In vino, veritas.

In wine, there is truth.

Well, the truth is, I didn’t have much appreciation for wines. Similar to most Filipinos who reached adulthood without any exposure to wine culture, I have decided that wine just isn’t for me. What few sips I’ve had of the stuff were, for some reason, not pleasurable for me.

However, after joining a Food and Wine Pairing class organized by Wine Story Academy, I realized that maybe, similar to many things in life, I just haven’t found the right wine for me. Also, by partnering wine with one of my favorite kinds of food – pizza, supplied by Pasto Cafe and Bar – I was able to explore how the right combination of food and wine brings out the best in each other.

Food and Wine Pairing, Wine Story

The class was held at the Wine Story outlet in EDSA Shangri-la Mall, an upscale retailer of fine and rare wines. Wine Story Academy’s Wine Education Manager Carla Santos guided our group through a set of five different wines to be tasted together with five different pizza flavors.

Food and Wine Pairing, Wine Story

Basic Principles in Food and Wine Pairing

The conventional wisdom in food and wine pairing is to pair red wines with red meat and white wines with white meat. However, according to Carla, there are more factors to consider, not the least of which is your own preference.

To find the perfect food and wine pairing, we need to strike a balance among the following characteristics of the food served:

Weight. How heavy (or filling) does the food feel in your mouth? It is a good idea to pair a filling kind of food with a fuller-bodied kind of wine.

Intensity.  How strong does are the food’s flavors?  You would want to taste both the food and the wine’s flavors so take care that one does not overpower the other.

Flavor.  The ingredients and method of cooking, as well as dips and sauces incorporated to the dish also contribute to the flavor of the food which needs to be considered.

In choosing the perfect wine for the dishes, one must consider the following wine profiles:

Sweetness. It is the first sensation – it may not necessarily be a sugary kind of sweetness but more of a fruity kind – as the wine hits the tip of your tongue. All but the very driest of wines will have some sensation of sweetness.

Acidity.  This is what makes the wine crisp and refreshing.  You will feel it as it makes your mouth water.  A wine with too much acidity will be unpleasantly tart while one with too little will feel flabby or flat.

Tannin.  This is the mouth-drying  substance found in wine.  Too much tannin will make the wine taste hard and bitter while too little will make it seem soft and innocuous as fruit juice.

The Tasting

The evening’s featured wines, curated by Wine Story Academy, include:

Tenuta Sant’Anna Goccia Pinot Grigio 2017 (Veneto, Italy; Php1,000).  It smells of acacia flowers and exotic fruits.  The taste is marked by a total absence of tannin, resulting to a fresh and floral flavor.

Sand Point Chardonnay 2015 (California, USA; Php1,300). Possesses an aroma with peach and pear notes.  It is a soft wine with low acidity and fruity flavor.

Urban Riesling 2015 (Mosel, Germany; Php1,350). It has a clean, fresh and flinty bouquet and smells of tangerines.  It is off-dry, with a crisp and semi-sweet taste.

The Winery of Good Hope Bush Vine Pinotage 2018 (Stellenbosch, South Africa; Php1,050).  Its aroma is one of blackberry and plums accented by hints of oak and mocha.  It tastes ripe and juicy.

Food and Wine Pairing, Wine Story

Cardinalices Rouge Grande Reserve 2015 (Rhone Valley, France; Php1,000).  It has a fruity aroma with some spicy notes and marked by a strong and complex flavor.

Pizzas paired with the featured wines were provided by Pasto’s EDSA Shangri-la Mall branch and presented interesting flavors that we mixed and matched with the wine.

Food and Wine Pairing, Wine Story

Vegetariano. This pizza is marked by the earthy smokey flavor of assorted roasted vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers and garlic. I find that the light and fresh Pinot Grigio works well with this pizza.

Food and Wine Pairing, Wine Story

Napolitana. Sliced button mushrooms and savory achovies make this a strongly flavored pizza. For me, the Pinotage’s acidity stands up well to its saltiness.

Food and Wine Pairing, Wine Story

Di Carne. This is an all-meat extravaganza with Italian sausage, smoked ham and pepperoni. The Cardinalices’ bold and strong flavors complement the meats in this pizza.

Food and Wine Pairing, Wine Story

Gamberi Fritti. A crispy battered shrimp tops the artichoke salsa and lemon aioli in this pizza, with spicy chili flakes. The low alcohol and the refreshing acidity of the Riesling manages the heat from this spicy pizza.

Prosciutto Cotto. Caramelized onions added some sweetness to the pizza along with the earthy smoked ham, asparagus and mozzarella. The soft and fruity Chardonnay complements the pizza’s flavors.

Food and Wine Pairing, Wine Story

Wine tasting tips

This food and wine pairing class is an eye-opener for me. Not only did it show me the versatility and variety of wines but it also helped grow my appreciation for how they can enrich the dining experience. For those who are planning to go to a similar wine tasting affair, here are some things to remember:

  • No brushing of teeth or smoking right before class. Tobacco and mint will affect your sense of taste.
  • Avoid wearing heavy scents such as perfume, cologne or scented hair spray. These will affect your sense of smell.
  • Hold the wine glass by the stem. This keeps fingerprints off the bowl (so you can see and appreciate the liquid in all its splendor) and prevents your hand from heating the wine.
  • Prior to tasting, take a sniff to get an initial impression of the wine’s aroma, then swirl for a bit to bring out some more of its scent. This will contribute to your fuller appreciation of the wine’s flavor.

Many thanks to Mike Lord Raymundo of the Pasto Group and Bar Craft Concepts for extending the invitation!

Food and Wine Pairing, Wine Story

Food and Wine Pairing, Wine Story

For more details about the wines and pizzas featured in this wine class, visit their respective social media sites:

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

To help develop the Filipino palate for wine, the Wine Story Academy offers the following classes next month:

  • April 6: Intro to Bordeaux (Php3,000 per person)
  • April 13: Wine 101 (Php2,000 per person) and Sushi and Wine Pairing (Php2,500 per person)

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

Great flavors at Vitto’s Wine Bar & Restaurant

I’m not much of a drinker. Actually, I’m not a drinker. Period.

You would think a non-tippler would have found little to appreciate in Vitto’s Wine Bar & Restaurant, but there I was with my officemates during lunchtime, marveling at the resto’s Instagrammable minimalist organic-themed aesthetic and its unusual and yet comforting food offerings.

This hole-in-the-wall establishment may seem small but its warmly lit and quite cozy. It’s unique style manifested in the old Latin saying prominently displayed in one of its walls – “In vino veritas; in cervesio felisitas” or “In wine there is truth; in beer there is happiness,” definitely a mantra among its patrons who have high regard for their spirits.

Our group of four were the only ones there. Our lone wait staff – RJ – was attentive, prompt in assisting requests and knowledgeable about the resto’s food choices.

I ordered a Salted Egg Pasta (Php250), spaghetti noodles with a creamy salted egg sauce and topped with bacon bits. It was a hit among our group but I would suggest splitting this order with someone; the sauce is quite rich and strongly flavored, and the dish is heavy on the tummy.

I was also able to try out my companions’ orders:

  • The Grilled Meat Chop (Php290), one of Vitto’s All Day Brunch meals, consisted of two hefty pork chops, well-seasoned to bring out their smoky taste, and well complemented by garlic rice and sautéed veggies. I will order this on my next visit.
  • The Potato Croquettes with Blue Cheese Mayo (Php190), on the other hand, had the problem of having a bland-tasting mashed potato base, we needed to further season it with salt.
  • Lastly, the Citrus Fish Fillet (Php220) consisted of two fillets of baked cream dory marinated in lemon. Its light taste and mild texture were well complemented by its rich butter sauce. It went well with the garlic rice my officemate requested as a replacement to its usual side of mashed potato.

While its wine list wouldn’t really appeal to me, Vitto’s food menu is definitely something I wouldn’t mind exploring.

Vitto’s Wine Bar & Restaurant is located at 114 Scout Lozano Street, Laging Handa, QC.

Vitto's Wine Bar & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other wine bars:

Want to profess your love of vino to the world?  Check out these wine-themed items on Amazon.com!


Primitives By Kathy Single Wine Bottle Holder – Whimsical Wine Box Sign


VinoPlease 4 Wine Coasters – Wine Gifts Accessory for Any Wine Enthusiast


5 Wine Stoppers + Gift Box – Perfect Wine Gift Accessory, Set of 5 Funny Silicone Wine Reusable Caps Stoppers for Wine and Beer Bottles – Vinaka Wine Stoppers

 

Late Night Drinks at Alchemy

Hubby and I attended a Saturday afternoon event here which extended to late night drinks with his friends and officemates. The place has an open-air veranda upstairs conducive to drinks and chats.

Alchemy is the ancient practice of mixing elixirs and potions to either come up with gold or the key to eternal life. Here, the elixirs are mixed for the patrons to have a good time. It has an extensive liquor list which include local and imported beers, wines from France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina, as well as other potions such as vodkas, rums, whiskies, liquers, etc. Also mixed in are lively music from the DJ upstairs or the live band downstairs.

Since I’m not much of a drinker, Hubby got me 2 double shots of Bailey’s Irish Cream (Php180/shot) and sampled their thick cut French Fries (Php110) and Hummus (Php200).

We stayed here until almost midnight (clearly my limit given we’ve been there since afternoon and I already consider myself a tita) but I had a fun time Hubby and some new friends.

Alchemy Bistro Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other wine bars:

Want to profess your love of vino to the world?  Check out these wine-themed items on Amazon.com!


Primitives By Kathy Single Wine Bottle Holder – Whimsical Wine Box Sign


VinoPlease 4 Wine Coasters – Wine Gifts Accessory for Any Wine Enthusiast


5 Wine Stoppers + Gift Box – Perfect Wine Gift Accessory, Set of 5 Funny Silicone Wine Reusable Caps Stoppers for Wine and Beer Bottles – Vinaka Wine Stoppers