Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pablo's Pub and Restaurant @ The Forum, BGC

Pablo Has Arrived: Pablo’s Pub and Restaurant Opens in The Forum, BGC


The year 2013 is burgeoning with so many new establishments that aim to balance both the eating and the drinking communities--watering holes that offer an eclectic mix of wines and spirits along with an extensive food menu, and all shapes and sizes of gastro pubs. The Forum, a new commercial building (and growing food hub) along Federacion Drive in BGC, is homebase to another establishment where one can dine and drink, and not settle with just meager bar chow selection when major hunger strikes: Pablo's Pub and Restaurant. This new pub, a concept of young co-owners (siblings Atty. Nicolo and Nathania Villonco, Jam and Joy Mabanta, and Miguel Escueta of The Morning Episodes), is just about a month old, but has been experiencing a steady stream of customers. It gets jampacked on weekends, Friday and Saturday nights filled with young crowds during after-dinner hours.

Inside Pablo's Pub
An extensive line-up of whisky brands is sure to lure the thirsty, seeking for a night cap or a party-starter (there's also the staple ice-cold beer, of course). Pablo's drinks, along with the DJ's beats, easily sell themselves at this new but fast becoming popular bar. Folks with carnivorous appetities, however, should know that it's best to round up the troops and come in this place hungry, as they have quite the delicious selection of bar chow and mains. Pablo's has arrived, so now it's fine time for everyone to get acquainted with his food, most especially his half pounder burger.
But before we move on to their rockstar of a burger, let's nibble on some appetizers. If you're much of a fan as I am of tangy buffalo wings, then order Pablo's South American Wings (P360). While I prefer to fill my palate with a whiplash of hot sauce and extra kicks of spice with this chicken starter, people whose tastebuds shy away from the hot, hot heat will find comfort in their lightly spiced version. Still tangy and each bite juicy, this take on the classic bar chow is a safe and delectable choice to begin your evening.
Pablo's South American Wings
Served with sour cream dressing
Nothing spells Pinoy pulutan better than combining crispy, fatty, and juicy elements into bite sized portions. Enter Pablo's Chicharon Bulaklak  (P250), coated with a light batter and the pub's own seasoning mix. Every pop of the deep-fried pork innards into your mouth starts with that crunch and ends with a sinful release of oils. Crunch, crunch, squirt, squirt--then immediately douse every fatty piece with your poison of choice. Consume in moderation (both chicharon bulaklak and your alchoholic beverage), and don't forget to dip the bite sized little devils in their spicy vinegar for some acidity to cut the fat.
Pablo's Chicharon Bulaklak 
Now that you have kickstarted your appetite with some bite sized starters, it's time to notch it up with epic proportions of meat. Clear the table and clean your plates, as The Escobar (P998) is one big daddy of a steak. Suggested to be paired with The Glenlivet 12 years, this whopping 400 grams of US Angus Rib Eye is a classic slab of beef, served with mashed potatoes, gravy, and buttered vegetables. One serving is more than enough to trigger one's primal instincts. Restrain being agressive--partake with a fork and knife, and divide equally among dinner companions (because sharing is caring).
The Escobar
Medium well, done right
As if a caveman-like slice of steak wasn't filling enough, Pablo's also offers a couple of options to make The Escobar extra luscious. So fearless foodies, dare to order some Bone Marrow (P200) or Foie Gras (P350) as Add Ons?
A dish I look forward to trying at Pablo's is the Truffle Carbonara (P390), which they recommend paired with a glass of Jacob's Creek Chardonnay. Just the thought of creamy carbonary sauce meeting pieces of bacon and a drizzling of truffle oil makes my mouth water. We skipped ordering the fettucine, though, as my friend and I had our eyes on a meaty best-seller that quickly became our favorite upon first bite during our first time at the pub: the Pablo's Pub Half Pounder (P285).
Pablo's Pub Half Pounder served with Paprika Fries
On our first encounter with the burger, we were served bite size portions along with some of their extremely addicting, crisp Paprika Fries (P170), to go along with our The Glenlivet tasting session. We heard that the burger is the prized dish of Pablo's, as co-owner Miguel Escueta personally curated the pub's menu and considers this half pounder as their pièce de résistance. And oversee Miguel does, visiting our table often to check feedback on the burger. "How did you make it so juicy?!" we asked--nay, demanded--and he just laughs. "I'm glad you guys liked it!" he replies. We wolfed down the bite-sized portions in seconds, and shamelessly nodded our heads (which sported happy grins) when they asked if we wanted more. Please sir, I want some more...
And more, we had, on our second visit. One order of their best-seller gets you a plump, all-beef burger, with a slice of melted American cheddar on top. The bread buns have been improved since our bite-sized first meeting, now being fluffy potato buns freshly baked then lightly toasted at Pablo's. There's a special burger sauce in there, but only a light coating of it to make the meat be the centerpiece of this burger experience. Your requisite greens come in the form of sheets of lettuce, to cut just a little of the proten with some freshness. A slice of tomato is served separately, neatly laying on the plate with its busy neighbors, a stack of fries dusted with Spanish paprika.
Best paired with a glass of Jacob's Creek Shiraz
When noshing on this hunky half-pounder, it's best to use your hands. Just grab that sandwich and balance it between your two hands, and zero in on your target. Chomp the biggest bite you can afford to get a lot of the beefy patty in, and relish on the fact that when your teeth meet and your chewing starts, juicyness overflows. Then that all beef patty melts in your mouth, combining with the soft bread and melted cheese. Grab a fry and munch on it as your chaser (dip it on the ketchup as you wish, but their paprika fries as-is is already delectable).
Burger is served with homemade Paprika Fries
Just like the rib eye steak, their seductive, succulent burger has suggested add ons. Pablo recommends some Bacon (P80), Blue Cheese (P80), or Foie Gras (P350) to your half pounder. But personally, it's like having a ridiculously handsome date for dinner (the thought of it makes me blush). Why add more accessories to an already handsome eye candy?
We winded down our evening with more white wine, some single malt, and The Big Heist (P200). This dessert is a freshly baked cookie that's probably a dream come true for Cookie Monster: a supersized chocolate chip cookie wider than a palm, then topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which is drizzled with chocolate syrup. Some fancy spun sugar adorns the plate, crowing the dessert with added sweetness with its delicate glossy strands. While tempting to claim this giant cookie ala mode as yours and yours alone ("Me want cookie! Om nom nom!"), its best to share this with your companions to spread the sugary high. You've had a hefty feast, after all, with all the carnivorous spread before this. And afterward, once the lights go dim, the beats go loud, and the crowd swells and comes alive at Pablo's, you know it's time to enjoy the night even more.
The Big Heist

1 comment:

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