Saturday, February 24, 2018

Na-Engkanto sa Polilya

If you're one of those who was somehow exposed to folkloric stories or has gotten an appeal for it, then you're going to like this feature. But if you're both and also someone looking for a place in Poblacion that serves up artisan beers and grubs that could satisfy even a discriminating gourmand, then you'll make me your friend before you even finish reading this feature.

While the location and atmosphere comprise a hefty part of Polilya's initial appeal, every eatery lives and dies based on one simple factor. Yep, that’d be the food and sometimes the alcoholic beverages that keep the community alive.

Uncontroversial opinion: you can never have too many stories of "mananangal", "the kapre" nor the "tiyanak" when in Polilya, but Engkanto here has a whole different meaning or not.  However, there's no need to bring an "agimat" when coming over this joint, not even garlic, as their kitchen could not afford to run out of stock.

Okay, okay, I'm not trying to confuse you nor even scare you.  Polilya is actually a hip place to get your fix of Engkanto brews - the country's newest craft beer.  Polilya, is a Filipino word for moth, adapted from the same image Engkanto Beers is drawn from.

Polilya came into being after the success of Engkanto beers, which then evolved to creating a menu where they could carry over the greatness of their beers.  Paradies family, have made it possible to create a haven for their enchanting brews sans the huge balite tree, thanks to Chef Luis de Terry.

Hence, it's Engkanto's home in Manila.

Here, Engkanto beers are kegged and poured through tap, saving its aroma and guaranteed having freshly brewed beer on every glass.

Self-confessed beer connoisseur, Ian, one of the owners of Engkanto brewery, is very passionate about his creations and it's his goal to share this to fellow Filipinos, even though he looks foreign, he is a true-blooded Cebuano. Along with Nina Paradies, their childhood stories about local "engkantos" (supernatural being in Filipino culture) will keep you ordering for more beers but don't get me wrong, these beers are really good, the crisp, clean and refreshing take on the bev made me like it, I need to admit, I'm not into beers, but I guess Ian had me converted, just a wee, into it.

If you're still not sold on the idea, you may want to opt to order wine from their list, but might I suggest their mixed beverages or cocktails?

Fonzy Collins



Tipsy Paradies - 0.25 L carafe of Voqo vodka, extract from pandan, lime and Cava.

Polilya is plonked squarely in the suburbs, lined up with equally unique whole-in-the-wall and watering-hole concepts.  A tightly edited food menu features several greatest hits –

Ultimate Nachos (P 275) is hefty enough for 3 to 4 pax.  Notice the real grated cheese on top? So, aside from the cheese sauce dolloped all over this quirky and cute kawali, are grated cheese.

Zen Chicken Nuggets ( P 250) served with three sauce, inspired from the Hainanese Chicken dish.

Fried Pickles (P125)

Play surprise game with these munchies, these are poppers of tempura batter goodness has something inside that will will tickle or might fire up their palates.'s pikled jalapeno.
Plus it's super cheap.

Gambas Engkantadas (P 440)

Lager infused gambas al ajillo is the perfect tapas for the Engkanto Beers.

A crowd-pleaser, not in the menu yet is this crunchy Cheese toasts served with potato chips and the ultimately gratifying tomato marmalade.  You'll keep on oming back here.once tasted.

Now you see what I mean,Polilya isn't just a watering hole, adding to the unique menu is Steak Ale Pie (P 310). A whole new level of meat pie using wagyu beef, slow cooked with mushroom and infused with the IPA-kind of Engkanto beer all encased in a pastry that's crumbly.  Making it a complete meal is the salad greens served on it's side.

Gangnam Style Chicken on the other hand is the Korean-inspired plate paying homage to their beer-loving culture.

Their menu is so diverse and that's perfectly fine, as anyone and everyone might have one of their go-to food, seafood lovers can rejoice with Bangla Mussels.  This typical Filipino dish was given a spin with Blonde Ale and coconut milk broth.  I'm such a noob when it comes to be beers really, I find bitter and unsatisfying to the palate, but realizing there's beer in it, opened up a different inkling for beers, you won't find any bitter taste here, only an array of flavors from the freshness of the mussels to the ginger, up to the broth which has all the good elements of Asian flavors.

For me, it's distatesful if you call yourself a food joint without even an ounce of sweets in the menu.

Again, if wines,beers and cocktails enhances your food (yes debated upon and backed-up by more that a gazillion years of studies, luckily no wine wasted), desserts can also be complemented.

And yes, they too have some sweets to offer.

Another best-seller I got to try here was the Deep-fried Apple Pie Ala Mode.  Someone in our group actually have found resemblance with McDo's apple Pie. Also served piping-hot, only this is biggerand has a dollop of vanilla ice creamon the side.

If you don't like beers in your dessert, then this is for you.  Kids would definitely love this.

Not all the food menu has beers infused in it, BTW, only those that have appeared with logos of their beers.  Thus, kids are definitley welcome to enjoy their food offerings.

Lastly, how can I ever forget the Grown-up Chocolate Mousse.  Seriuosly, you better get a try of this before you die!

Think Davao single-origin cacao, three chocolates, all made into a mousse, then the pinch of peppery taste on some bites and then angles to the slight saltiness of the Himalayan Salt.  Reserve your OMG moment, ome on here and try this then. . . thank me! Alright!

There are so many things I love about Polilya.

It not only reflects the effects of Pop culture in our society, making it an obvious Filipino joint, adding to it all the tropical elements, and the chairs which somehow brings back memories of our grandparents' homes.  They also give a stand on sustainability, making sure they use rural-inspired materials in serving their dishes and drinks, while making sure they are not being harmful to the environment and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance, like for example, using banana leaves as coasters and bamboo straws,

The sides are mooreish and delicious too.

Watching the world go by over a great meal is one of life's simple pleasures. And, for regulars of Poblacion, it's one of the reasons that Polilya keeps proving to be one of the city's favourite areas.

That's what this intimate hangout in one of Makati' newest haunts serves up — i.e. the kind of not-quite-secret bar that makes you feel like you've stepped into a completely different space, with a very gorgeous and clean toilet to boot.

Make the most of your visit, they only open at 5:30 in the afternoon but closes at 2 AM.


Address: 5658 Jacobo Street, Poblacion, Makati City

Polilya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. The interior and food are both great! How I wish it's available on Cebu as well.


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