By Francine Ciasico
Creative and modern gastropub Bodega recently launched new homey Filipino meals that millennials will truly enjoy.
As the owners try to explore more opportunities for Bodega, Nathan Flores, one of the pioneers of the gastropub, shared that their ideas for the new menu came from their dear customers.
“The mains before, it was “okay lang” so we wanted to add something na it would make it more varied and more Filipino,” said Flores.
“It’s more on what the people wanted. They were looking for it,” he added.
One of the new dishes is the Sizzling Beef Pares featuring slow-cooked five spiced beef brisket pares with ox cheeks and gravy.
The tenderness of the beef compliments the savory and sweet taste of the meal.
Furthermore, other new meals include: Isaw Sampler and Quezo Fundido for the Appetizers category; Mami Pares for the Soup and Salad category; Boneless Bangus and Pinaputok na isda for the Mains category; and Kare-kareng Bagnet for the Sharing Plates category.
“Jogging Bukas” is definitely the best-seller. It is a sharing meal so a group of friends could enjoy the Lechong Bagnet, Chicharong Bulaklak, and Crispy Pata altogether. Friends would really be doing jogging the next day after a whole night of fun eating.
“Sinarabsab” is one of the meals that will truly make one return to Bodega. It is a combination of Ilocano grilled liempo, roasted eggplant, and green mango with bagoong.
“It’s different and people can’t find it anywhere,” Flores described.
“Greek Inasal Gyros” is Bodega’s mediterranean take on a Pinoy classic Tabbouleh salad with the iconic Chicken Inasal alongside one’s choice of either pita or rice.
“Kung Hey Fat Choi” comprises of fried Tikoy rolls with vanilla ice cream and langkaramel syrup. This dessert will truly satisfy one’s sweet tooth.
“All the owners were classmates during college,” said Flores who is also a co-owner of Bodega.
“Then after college, I took culinary in the US. I worked there. Meanwhile here, they were talking na “What if we start this restaurant?” he continued.
“Then one of them contacted me because I am the one who knows about food. So sabi niya ‘What if you come back here and let’s start ‘Bodega’ — this concept,'” Flores shared. “Pagbalik ko, they started this ‘Bodega.'”
The Filipino term ‘bodega’ means storeroom or warehouse which is a place known for keeping or storing old items or belongings that one does not want to throw away since there is a treasured memory associated with it.
“Di ba when you go to your bodega, you see your old clothes, old toys — so parang yun yung concept niya,” Flores explained.
“We want to have a place na parang bodega. You go here to create memories with friends,” he added.
For their target market, they knew that millennials want something retro and nostalgic.
More on Bodega
The fun never stops in Bodega as the gastropub offers different events in a week.
On Wednesdays, they are holding “improv nights” where there will be a group of improvisational actors that will throw an improvisational show.
Thursday nights are acoustic nights where new artists are being invited especially those who want to put their music out into the world and make their name known.
On Saturdays, Bodega has a “Gin-buffet” where one can choose his or her gin (Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, Beefeater, and Boodles) alongside his or her choice of garnish (lemon, apple, lime, chili, orange, mint, cucumber, basil, and black pepper).
Bodega is located at the heart of the Makati Central Business District along Ayala Ave. and Valero Street.
(Photos taken by Monica Pantaleon)