227 Salcedo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati
Open from: Friday to Saturday 6PM-3AM, Sunday to Thursday 6PM-2AM
When you get to the address, all you’ll see is a locked door—no sign (except maybe for that tiny metal Braille one), no light, no nothing.You’ll have to knock and say your name (make sure you make a reservation) and they’ll buzz you into a smallish dimly-lit room with the usual booths on the sides, a sufficient spread of a bar and couple of tables in the middle.
Their menu is a short but impressive list of cocktails for the discerning cocktail drinker. But ask about what they can make beyond the menu and the bartender would gladly oblige, in true speakeasy spirit.
3F Greenbelt 3, Esperanza Street, Ayala Center, Makati
Open from: Monday to Saturday 6PM-4AM
Prohibition is a little less obscure than Blind Pig with it being in a mall and all, but it’s no less speakeasy-esque. The ritual is a little simpler—go through the fire exit door behind Dillingers and voila!the 1920s-themed Prohibition Liquor Lounge! The area seats 120 a night so they’re a little kinder to walk-in guests.
They take pride in their collection of single malt whiskey and rare spirits. And for the cocktail fan, they offer designer cocktails made from premium spirit brands and freshly pressed fruit juice.
Adamson Centre Building, 121 LP Leviste Street, Salcedo Village , Makati
Open from: Monday to Friday 11AM-12PM, 5PM-12AM, Saturday 5PM-12AM
If you’re more into obscure al fresco dining and drinking, head on over to 121 Grille and Restaurant just a little to the left of the Goethe Institut at 121 Leviste Street. This casual dining restaurant offers typical Filipino fare (plus pica-pica like fried banana hearts and talong chips) and local beers.
Via clickthecity.com, facebook.com
Bel-Air Soho Polaris Street corner Badajos Street, Makati
Open from: Monday to Saturday 11:30AM-3PM, 6PM-11PM, Sunday 1PM-11PM
Le Café Curieux is a garden restaurant tucked inside the Bel-Air Soho building along Polaris Street. Perfect for hungry drinkers, the dimly-lit resto-bar has an indoor bar area/gallery that displays their famous flavored rums (PHP80/shot), and a large garden for diners.
Their menu features French cuisine and a long list of cocktails and spirits. Chat up the bartender and he’ll gladly sample their rums or make you a special concoction. The staff’s a very friendly bunch.
Via ph.openrice.com, sudscraft.com, masticatemanila.tumblr.com
The Collective, 7274 Malugay Street, San Antonio, Makati
Open from: Monday to Thursday and Sunday 11AM-12AM, Friday to Saturday 11AM-1AM
People flock to the small restaurant that is Offbeat Café not for the flavored beers but more for the food. Their main attraction, the Offbeat Burger, features Krispy Kreme’s original glazed doughnut as a bun for a big, fat, juicy beef patty, bacon strips, cheese and a fried egg. It’s as good as it sounds.
Offbeat is hidden in the folds of Malugay Street’s The Collective, just ask the guard at the gate.
Ed’s note: Bad news: Offbeat’s closed, but good news: Mickey Wieneke the owner says we should watch out for its resurrection.
Corinthian Plaza 121 Paseo de Roxas corner Legaspi Street, Makati
Open from: Monday to Saturday 5PM onwards
Think of Exit Bar is Blind Pig’s younger sister. It features the same speakeasy theme that starts at a fire exit door past Plaza Café at the Corinthian Plaza building along Gamboa Street. They have local and imported beers and another short list of cocktails written on a small menu card.
It was Makati’s newest secret place (secret enough for It Girls and celebrity barkadas to hang out at) until a few months ago when people started getting curious.
114 Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati
Open from: Monday to Saturday 11AM-2PM, 5PM-12AM
There’s no place more conducive for discreet meetings than Bar M in Valero. From the street, a short flight of stairs leads to two doors—the one on the right is restaurant (Masseto) and the less conspicuous door on the left is the bar.
The bar has a rich selection of single malt whisky and a short but gourmet list of bar chow—they have nuts, potato chips with truffle dip, chorizo puffs and Jamon de Jerez.
Via looloo.com, yawyw.com
134 Legazpi Street corner C. Palanca Street, Makati
Open from: Monday to Saturday, 11AM-12AM
Located at the back of Cyrano, Curator wears somewhat of a double hat. In the mornings, it is a purveyor of fine coffees, known these days as part of the 3rd wave movement of coffee shops where caffeine is elevated into the status of wine and the barista a sommelier. Curator begins to serve cocktails starting 6PM and although they have a menu, treat this more as a guide because the bartender can whip up anything to fit your mood.
Must try: A tall, ginger infused Dark and Stormy for PHP300.