Another day, another invite from Zomato Philippines to try out a new restaurant. This time it’s a bar called Pablo’s Pub & Restaurant, and to be honest, I almost didn’t go. Sometimes I feel like I’m too old for places like this, but with a menu promising that it’s more than just a place where poor judgement is born of good alcohol and bad company, I headed for The Forum at Bonifacio Global City.
Co-owned by musician Miguel Escueta and Javier Mabanta, Pablo’s Pub is a bar for the guy’s guy, not that women wouldn’t like hanging out in it too. It’s just that it feels like it belongs in the 1960s, a watering hole where the Don Drapers of any industry would hang up their hats after a long day of paper-pushing and/or infidelities.
The place is said to be named after and inspired by Pablo Escobar who, for all the faults he has (you know, with the drugs and everything), is one guy who knows what luxury is. The lighting is dim, and everything is covered in dark upholstery, definitely a place that’s perfect for relaxing, brooding, contemplating whatever mistake you did that day, etc. And there’s actually a portion in the back that’s for VIPs (or secret dealings), a room where Escobar and his goons are sure to feel right at home.
Pablo’s, they say, can fit up around 150-200 people, though half of them should feel comfortable standing while drinking. If you’re heading there because you want to party (ugh, I feel all rickety just saying that), then head on over on Friday and Saturday nights, when things are bound to get out of control.
Our tasting menu that night consisted of a handful of appetizers, as well as a couple of main meals including their best-selling classic burger.
It was easy to tell why the burger is a favorite among patrons: it’s humongous (with two patties!), very juicy, and flavored nicely, and it paired very well with the cold beer they so thoughtfully served with it. A side of well-seasoned thick-cut fries completes the already heavy meal, which I personally think is fit for two people with relatively modest appetites. I seriously wished I had more stomach space to finish mine, but I ultimately had to admit to defeat and just bring home my tasty leftovers.
The Grilled Chicken Jambalaya was as much a winner as that dreamy burger. The slab of chicken was pretty big and tenderly cooked. The pesto was bordering on salty, although it was balanced out by the hint of spice coming from the rice, so no harm, no foul.
As for the appetizers, I liked the crispy Spam fries, and the spicy chicken tenders with sour cream dipping sauce was just OK, nothing really special. I’ve never been a fan of onion rings, and Pablo’s version didn’t really change my mind. The sisig was a salt lick on a plate. What is it with this place and salt? Is the stuff on sale for a peso a sack? Not sure, but they should try pulling back on it.
These days, bars are a bit too rowdy and noisy for me, and I have a feeling this tends to be one of those bars. Though if you were to ask me if I would consider coming back, I’d say sure. I mean, I may not be a partying yuppie or a high-rolling entrepreneur with mightily suspicious business dealings, but as long as I can have another one of those classic burgers, I’ll be a happy girl.
Overall rating: ★★★✭☆
Pablo’s Pub & Restaurant
2nd Floor, The Forum, 7th Avenue Corner Federacion Drive, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Disclosure: This visit was organized by the restaurant’s management in cooperation with Zomato Philippines. The opinions expressed in this post are based on my own experience and were in no way influenced by said groups.
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