Bodega Kitchen & Bar is the After-Hours Hang Out You’re Looking For
CJ Clemente | Oct 22, 2018
In a bustling city such as Makati, walking around definitely has its perks. Aside from saving yourself from a gruelling search for an empty parking slot or being in perpetual motion as you navigate the tricky one-way streets, you’re bound to find little gems of hole-in-the-walls and other local joints that you otherwise would miss when you go by car.
Such is the case when you mosey over to Valero Street. On one end of the road in particular, you’ll find a small restaurant housed between a mini mall, a condo, and a whole lot of offices aptly called Bodega Kitchen & Bar.
A bodega is usually a place you find hidden treasures of things past, bringing fond memories to you in the present. Just as their name suggests, nostalgia and the comfort of the familiar are exactly what you’ll find in Bodega’s decor and on their menu.
Chatting with one of the resto’s owners, Paul Tionson, he says that that’s exactly what they want their customers to feel. He says, they “want to be the place where people make memories”. Initially they were thinking to be more of the tugsh-tugsh type of bar, but eventually they headed towards being a cozier place where people of all age groups can find something for them. Starting with their food, of course.
Popular with the groups is this all meat platter that’s not for the faint of heart— literally. Aptly called the “Jogging Bukas”, this mix includes a hefty crispy pata, chicharon bulaklak, and bagnet, and after indulging in this it’ll be wise to do a few laps the day after just to be safe.
If you prefer your meat charred, this Sinarabsab (Ilocano liempo) might be the dish for you. The grilled liempo sits on top of grilled eggplant, surrounded by homemade bagoong (shrimp paste) and ensalada. The kicker to this dish is the sour cream that’s lightly drizzled on top of the meat.
For the more health-conscious, the Greek Inasal and the Pinaputok na Tilapia are your go-to choices. The inasal is served with a pita bread, tatziki, and tabbouleh. Not to mention the authentic harissa sauce that’s gonna have you chugging on your drinks if you’re not used to spicy.
The pinaputok is a new offering and is frankly a pleasant surprise as it’s not your usual fish stuck with tomatoes, onions, and ginger. Instead, Chef Andric Clemente uses lemongrass, mint, tarragon, and basil, and tops it with a homemade sauce he concocted. He calls it the mexican mojo— it’s like a salsa, mixed with cilantro, orange, and lime.
For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the Kung Hey Fat Choi, which is tikoy wrapped in lumpia wrapper served with creamy vanilla ice cream, encased in a caramel nest.
Photos by Chris Clemente
How to get there:
Bodega Kitchen & Bar is located in Two Central, Valero St., Makati City.