Poblacion Food Hop
One of the best things in staying at Hop Inn Hotel Makati Avenue is being able to explore the oldest neighborhood of Makati, Poblacion. The said neighborhood is booming with hole-in-the-wall joints, quirky restaurants, and budget-friendly bars that has a wide international appeal. It then does not come as a surprise that people from different walks of life hang out here.
With Tralulu‘s guidance, we did an exciting food hop on some of Poblacion’s best hole-in-the-wall joints.
Read to know where you can grab a bite when you stay at Hop Inn Hotel Makati Avenue and/or you hang out at Poblacion with friends.
Location: 5782 Felipe Street.
Operating hours: 11 AM to 4 AM on Mon. to Sat. and 11 AM to 12 MN on Sundays.
Our first stop is the famous Mexican-American restaurant, El Chupacabra.
The place is named after a beast called Chupacabra who sucks the blood out of goats. It used to be only an open-air diner whose tables and chairs extends on the street.
Now, El Chupacabra has this air-conditioned area for those who want to escape the midday heat. This place also transforms into a vibrant pub at night.
When you visit El Chupacabra, make sure that you don’t miss any of their street soft-corn tortilla tacos. It is what made them famous after all.
PORK SISIG SAN FRANCISCO STREET TACO, PHP 135 (or USD 2.6)
QUESADILLA (Cheese, Garlic, and Onion), PHP 141 (or USD 2.76)
El Chupacabra Menu
Lobo Filipino Tavern
Location: 4898 Durban Corner Polaris Street.
Operating hours: 5 PM to 3 AM on Sun. to Thurs. and 5 PM to 4 AM on Fri. to Sat.
Lobo Filipino Tavern is a place where anyone can come as they are. Serving contemporary Filipino classic dishes, their food satisfies ravenous diners.
Upon entering, one can appreciate the mural done by local artists waiting to be discovered.
We headed to the second floor where there is both an outdoor dining area and a covered dining area decorated with traditional Filipino materials.
Kian Kazemi, both the owner and the one who developed the menu, was kind enough to spare us some of his time. He discussed Lobo Filipino Tavern as well as the dishes we were about to try.
What I loved the most among the food they served is their Pork Sinigang. The broth has a balanced sourness that made me keep on slurping. How I wish Lloyd was around though to give his thoughts on their food.
KINILAW NA TANIGUE, PHP 195 (or USD 3.82)
LAMB ADOBO, PHP 275 (or USD 5.39)
PORK SINIGANG, PHP 225 (or USD 4.41)
SIGNATURE KARE-KARE, PHP 295 (or USD 5.8)
Location: 5779 Felipe Street.
Operating hours: 5 PM to 12 MN daily.
Tambai offers quick bites to bystanders and those who are just passing through. With their delicious version of yakitori and Filipino skewer favorites, this place is a great place to hang out just like what their name suggests.
The yakitori joint now has an indoor air-conditioned area. I totally can imagine Lloyd hanging out in this place. He loves grilled skewers.
Tambai has an interesting choice for a makeshift table. They used beer cases with empty beer bottles as the base.
BEEF ISAW, PHP 60 (or USD 1.18) per piece
This is a grilled beef intestine smothered with their sauce. I dipped it in vinegar to eliminate any hint of bitterness.
TOFUYAKI, PHP 70 (or USD 1.4) per piece
Okay, so Tofuyaki is skewered tofu drizzled with Japanese condiments. I found it really delicious despite its simplicity so I’m definitely coming back for this.
Tambai’s food takes time to prepare. Some may find it a long wait so be sure not to go here on an empty stomach. Also, it prevents you from burning a hole in your wallet.
Location: 5666 Don Pedro Street.
Operating hours: 11 AM to 10 PM on Mon. to Thurs. and 11 AM to 11 PM
I indulged myself with a custom-made parfait last year and I couldn’t forget how wonderfully sweet their dessert was. Glad that I’m back again to enjoy their famous parfait.
S’MORES PARFAIT, PHP 220 (or USD 4.3)
I chose the S’mores parfait because I love salted caramel and mini marshmallows. Their Bucky’s with house-made soft serve ice cream was just as good as how I remembered it to be. Enriched with layers of salted caramel, I couldn’t get enough of this stellar dessert. It was the perfect way to cap off our Poblacion food hop.
Location: 6071 R. Palma Street.
Operating hours: 11 AM to 6 PM from Tues. to Sat.
I wasn’t checking the food map given to us so I was really surprised that we still had another stop.
Despite its name, Pineapple Lab doesn’t experiment on pineapples. It rather serves as an arts and performance center for performing and multimedia artists and collectives. I think they named it pineapple lab because pineapple as a fruit has lots of eyes. There are a lot of creations to see in their regular exhibits.
The ongoing exhibit during our visit is the XY Two Man Exhibit which features new works by Sacramento and Belsazar.
The first floor has the Human Maze exhibit of Sherwin Sacramento. I learned from Pineapple Lab that Sacramento got his training at Institute of European Design in Milan. Having been in the creative industry for almost two decades, he has worked with well-known fashion brands.
This is me thinking of how amazing Filipino artists are.
The second floor houses the thought-provoking and angsty Why Are You exhibit of Rocky Belzasar. I’m not sure if he intentionally made his exhibit Instagram worthy. What I am sure of though is that we got to maximize our visit in his exhibit with a wacky group shot.
After our fun exploration with Tralulu, we went back to Hop Inn Hotel Makati Avenue for a good night’s rest.
Let me end this post about Tralulu for those of you who still don’t know about it or may have forgotten about it. Tralulu enables travelers to travel like a local by connecting travelers with experienced local guides via their digital booking platform. They also organize food crawls such as the Chinese New Year Binondo food crawl we availed earlier this year as well as familiarization trips. To know more about them, you may visit tralulu.com.
Disclosure: The food hop tour run by Tralulu, overnight stay at Hop Inn Hotel Makati Avenue, and Rufo’s Famous Tapa breakfast was generously sponsored by Hop Inn Hotel Makati Avenue. Rest assured all photos were taken by me except for the group shots sourced from Tralulu. Plus, everything I wrote is of my own opinion and insights.