The Bar Guide 2018: The Best Drinking Hubs in Manila
November 20, 2018
Lifestyle Asia’s annual bar guide looks at the newest hot spots in town with the best bespoke beverages, gastronomical fare, and music to put you in the partying mood
Partying has never been this good. When the owners of the Palace announced that they were changing the iconic Valkyrie Super Club into something bigger and better, the Manila partying scene went into an excited frenzy. Months later, XYLO opened its doors, bringing nightclubbing to whole new heights. The mindboggling interiors, sprawling new layout, art-deco inspired fixtures, and well-designed lightshow is enough to have us back every weekend. However, it’s the entire mood and good vibes at the club that makes it worth returning to again and again. The who’s who of partying has made it their preferred place just a few weeks since the club has opened its doors. TIP: reserve your tables and VIP nooks early, XYLO is always fully booked!
XYLO is located at The Palace, 36 9th Avenue, Taguig
Make your way to the back of Bellevue Manila’s signature restaurant Vue and you will find yourself at Cellar 22, a gentleman’s hideout in the sky. The bar features panoramic views of the southern part of Manila and includes a menu of food and cocktails that will surely titillate the palette. Kobe Japanese beef, fried mussels with coconut sauce, and whiskey tarts are only a few of the menu items that are best enjoyed with a good glass of scotch. The brainchild of Bellevue Manila’s managing director Patrick Chan, Cellar 22 is far from your typical speakeasy. Described as a place “to hang out with your bros”, the gastropub’s interiors are inspired by the tailoring shops at Saville Row in London. It is decorated with classic furniture such as leather armchairs and wooden tables, but feels modern because of a wall made entirely out of metal beer kegs. The novelty detail looks as good as an art instillation, and reminds patrons of their purpose for being there—to drink.
Cellar 22 is located at the 22nd floor of The Bellevue Manila, North Bridgeway, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Studio 28 is a recording studio by day, but a bustling drinking hub in the evening. Inspired by lounges in New York City, the new bar aims to promote and highlight the rich Filipino music scene. They boast different themed music nights between Wednesday to Saturdays, offering every sound from Jazzy open mic nights to DJ and live sax pairings. During the daytime, the space can be used as a recording studio, where aspiring singers and musicians can experiment and find their sound and style. Food and drink options at Studio 28 have been ideally curated to excite the palettes of Manila’s young sophisticates. Pair their finger foods (created by Chef Francis Tolentino) with any of their eight signature cocktails, each named after a song which inspired its flavors. Happy Hour at Studio 28 includes unlimited cocktails that can be adjusted to your liking through the use of hand-picked botanicals.
Studio 28 is located at 2F, Uptown Parade, Bonifacio Global City
Chotto Matte at Net Park building in BGC offers a Happy Hour promo ideal for those who want binge drink high balls while enjoying the flavors of Japan. Boozy afternoons can be spent with their Buy 1 Take 1 deals on Japanese highballs with a Filipino twist. The promo runs from 2 PM to 7 PM. Pair your calamansi high ball with one or more of sister restaurant Izakaya Sensu’s dishes. Favorites include fresh sashmi or rolls such as the Dynamite Roll. The latter is a signature dish packed with the flavors of fresh salmon, blue fin tuna, avocado, cucumber, spicy mayonnaise, unagi sauce, chili powder, and tempura flakes.
Chotto Matte is located at the Ground Floor, Net Park Building, Bonifacio Global City
Mireio Terrace at Raffles Makati
Since the Raffles Hotel opened its doors in Makati, they’ve been challenging the Manila bar scene with unmatched Happy Hour promos and delicious cocktail creations. The luxury hotel continues their trend of premium drink concoctions with new offerings at Mireio Terrace, a specialty bar located at the rooftop of their namesake French bistro. The bar’s beautiful view of the Makati skyline can now be paired with gold themed cocktails during happy hour at dusk. “The Golden Hour” promo runs from 5PM to 8PM, where you can enjoy your choice of unlimited drinks and 50% off on other cocktails, wines and spirits by the glass. Their inventive sunset cocktail list includes the 24k Magic, Midas Touch, Gold Standar, Liquid Gold, Gold Digger and All That Glitters. From Tuesday to Sunday, a DJ comes to the rooftop to play some soothing beats from 6 PM onwards.
Mireio is located at the 9th Floor of the Raffles Hotel Makati, Raffles Drive, Makati. For more information and reservations, please call 795 0707 or email [email protected]
Single Origin is most famous as a space on High Street where busy business owners and students stay and work while enjoying good food and a strong cup of coffee. However, the eatery offers a ton of drinking promos in the evenings that many will enjoy. For instance, the Tito’s American Mule cocktail is on Buy 1 Take 1. The refreshing concoction is a fusion of Tito’s Vodka, lime juice and homemade ginger beer. Happy Hour, which happens daily between 4-8pm, gives patrons 25% off on selected beers, cocktails and wines. For lovers of music, check out Single Origin every last Tuesday of the month, where you can enjoy discounts on selected cocktails and wine, while listening the cool beats of live musical performers.
Single Origin is located at 2/F C3 Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Avenue corner 30th St., Bonifacio Global City. For reservations phone 0903 268 8902. For more follow them on Instagram @singleoriginph
Johnnie Walker House
Whiskey lovers rejoiced when the very first Johnnie Walker House in Manila opened last October at Burgos Park. The pop-up bar was tailor made for scotch addicts. The well-designed wooden structure featured a highball bar, rows upon rows of Johnnie Walter bottles, an al fresco sitting area and a personalized whiskey vault for VIP bottle keep. Keeping up with their promise to move the Johnnie Walker House to key parts of the Metro every few months, the bar has found its new home at Greenbelt 3 until December 28, 2018. Just like the Burgos Circle branch, the new Johnnie Walker House aims to show people new ways to drink scotch while having a good time. There are different quiz nights, games, and events happening regularly at the Johnnie Walker House.
Johnnie Walker House is located at Greenbelt 3 until December 28, 2018
Gilarmi Lounge at Discover Primea
A good ole G&T is this year’s trendy drink. The Gilarmi Lounge at Makati-based luxury hotel Discover Primea is equipped with a treasure trove of premium gin bottles and assorted ingredients for patrons to tailor-make their preferred cocktail. Step up to the G&T making station and mix in your choice of gin (they have everything from the standard Tanqueray brand to more obscure assortments like Nordes and Roku) with a selection of fruits, spices, herbs and vegetables. For those who intend to stay seated and relax in one of the hotel’s many comfortable arm chairs and couches, the staff at Gilarmi Lounge is ready to make your drink for you. The Gilarmi Gin Station is open daily from 4PM to 9PM.
All prices are subject to service charge and applicable government charges. Gilarmi Lounge is located at Discover Primea at 6749, Ayala Ave., Makati
Vu’s Bar and Lounge at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila
Vu’s, the bar and lounge located at the very top floor of the towering Marco Polo Ortigas Manila hotel, aims to redefine the bar scene with their unobstructed panoramic views of Manila and indulgent menu selections which includes Filipino, Spanish and Mediterranean gastronomic favorites. To pair with their vast menu, Vu’s has created a number of flavorful summer cocktails worth binging on. This includes the Coffee Loco, Andalussia, Vu’s Sky Fizz, Spossa, and 19 Pick Me Up. The luxury bar is also ideal for those who loves shisha smoking. Choose between a variety of smoke flavors such as double apple, grape with better, and mint. Lastly, the bar and lounge takes pride in their live entertainment, which changes on a daily basis. Monday Night Bash kicks off with the Red Picasso Brand. Tuesdays and Wednesdays will have you dancing with Mulatto and Hi-Way 54. End the week by relaxing to the grooves of SILK on Thursday and The Great Groove on Friday. The Saturday musical line-up includes the tunes of Judth Banal and Powerplay.
Vu’s Sky bar and Lounge is located at the 44th floor of Marco Polo Orrtigmas Manila. For more information visit www.marcopolohotels.com or follow them on Instagram @MarcoPoloManila.
Perry’s Tea Bar and Bake Shop
The first thing you might notice while stepping into Perry’s Tea Bar and Bake Shop is not the large mural of a pug on the wall, but a pink neon sign at the back of the restaurant reading, “Oh hey Rosé!”. The owners of Perry’s are just as knowledgeable about wine and rosé as they are about tea. The restaurant’s chef shared that it is their mission to promote and expose the different types of the famous pink drink to a Filipino audiences. The most premium rosé varietals available at Perry’s include Cheateau Beahu-Puits Bordeaux 2017 and Bodega La Flor Pulenta. Happy Hour at the McKinley Hill-based restaurant runs all day and also includes sangria and a gin cart service
Perry’s Tea Bar & Bake House is located at Upper Ground Floor One West Campus, Telus Building, Mckinley West, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
The Macallan Whiskey Bar at Solaire Resort & Casino
There’s nothing better than stepping away from the tables on a lucky night gaming at Solaire & Resort & Casino to retreat to the Macallan Whiskey Bar for a celebratory drink. The premium outlet is open between 5PM to 3AM and offers an old-world elegance that recalls the finer things in life. A selection of hand rolled cigars certainly helps to put you in a luxe mood, but it’s their extensive whiskey bar menu that will keep you coming back for more. The bar is well stocked with everything from single malts to bourbons, whiskeys, and other rare fine spirits.
The Macallan Whiskey Bar is located at Solaire Resort & Casino at Entertainment City, 1 Aseana Ave, Paranaque
The Back Room at Shangri-La at the Fort
The Back Room at Shangri-La at the Fort is one of BGC’s best kept secrets. The luxury hotel does their best not to promote its location to the public, only allowing the whispers of the people to spread the world. Ran by Shangri-La Fort’s “Resident Smuggler” Executive Mixologist Ulysse Jouanneaud, it inspired by the speakeasies of the roaring 20s. The key to enter is a shot of bourbon—that is, if you can find its secret location within the hotel grounds first. Inside, the bar features green leather walls and spacious seating areas. They also carry over 120 brands of gin, the largest collection in the country, including their own homemade variant called the Bee’s Knees. Their signature gin includes ingredients endemic to the Philippines like dalandan, malunggay and sampauguita. In addition, they have 18 signature cocktails falling under six categories: Jag Juice (strong and flavor-forward), Giggle Water (sophisticated and glamorous), Liv Wire (refreshing), Moonshine (Experimental) and On a Toot (for sharing).
The Back Room is located at a secret location at Shangri-La at the Fort