A Toda Madre, Manila’s first and only tequila bar, located in the side streets of Makati. Very clandestine, very cool. And they have more tequila varieties than I think possible. For the connoisseurs, tequila tasting flights are also available from P2,000 onwards.
One of the four margaritas available, Cadillac Margarita (P360): Tequila Reposado, Grand Marnier, agave nectar, fresh lime juice. Behind, a Charo Negro (P275): Tequila Reposado, Coke, fresh lime juice.
The Cueritos Enfurtidos (P275) are chicharones. Dip one in the homemade and Hades-hot salsa rojo. On the night we’re here, the chicharones are unfortunately, stale. A bag of Lapid’s would be more appropriate here; maybe you’ll have better luck when you visit. But wooh, that salsa – spice-SAY!!!
I don’t have a picture for it but the Elotes Callejeros (P120) is an exotic dish of shucked and buttered grilled corn. Go cowboy and eat it on the cob.
Taco Sampler (P400-450/ 3 pieces). Pollo de Chipotle (chicken in chipotle sauce); Chile Verde (pork stew in tomatillo, onion and jalapeño sauce); Steak. Wrap ‘em up in the warm corn tortillas and slather with the green and red salsas, cilantro, and lime. Chew then breathe fire. Douse with a margarita.
We also try the Fish Tacos but you shouldn’t. For that, go to El Chupacabra or Hermanos.
The Nuernberger Sausage Spiral at Prost, the headliner dish and certainly a stunner. You could get vertigo just by staring at it. The sausage itself is somewhat plain, so I suggest accompanying this with something alcoholic.
Signature Happiness Ramen (P480) at Hanamaruken Ramen. It’s the mammoth slab of braised pork rib, soft and succulent, that makes this bowl different from the others. The broth has strong notes of miso, and it’s a flirtation away from sweet and milky.
Drunk Man Rice Bowl (P240). Chunks of pork and charred fat. Pierce egg over all and mix with the steamed rice. Get your own bowl.
I think I preferred Toby’s Estate before it got popular. It’s now so crowded that a table is a treasure to come by. The waiters are harried and distracted.
The reports are right that the food served here is almost indecently expensive. Here’s the pretty Traviata for a sticker-shock P315. Seems simple no, something you can do at home? It’s just a pair of fried eggs dotted with tomatoes, arugula, feta, and dribbled with basil oil. But oh, that wedge of grilled bread on the side is some of the best artisan bread on offer in Manila.
I fork over another P180 for the pleasure of having the Sticky Toffee Pudding a la mode. I know this is Carmen’s Best ice cream but paying over P350 for this dessert is just wrong. The cake is also served cold and when I ask for it to be warmed, it comes back without the caramel sauce.
I leave Toby’s Estate that morning feeling like I’ve been robbed. But their coffee is a class in itself and one of the best in Manila.
Cupcakes from My Little Buttercup Bakeshop. Because every weekend should have a sweet little something.
A Toda Madre
G/F Sunnette Tower, Durban Street, Makati
+63 998 999 1521
Open Mondays – Saturdays from 5PM to 2AM
G/F Fort Pointe Bldg, 26th Ave cor 5th Ave Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
(02) 828 3940
2/F Trinoma Mall
North Ave. cor. EDSA Quezon City
(02) 720 9283 / (02) 628 1603
125 LP Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati
My Little Buttercup Bakery and Café
2/F SM BF Parañaque
Dr. A Santos Ave. corner President’s Ave., BF Homes, Sucat, Parañaque
0917 521 6042
Stores also in Makati Supermarket and South Supermarket in Alabang.