Sometimes, reporting for work in Manila depresses me. All the beggars, street urchins, traffic, dirt. It doesn’t help that they’ve elected the same man to rule the city for the next six years.
Just when I thought I’ve given up on Manila comes a place like Tambayan. Did they say this is a hostel?? I like places with character and Tambayan Hostel has got it right down pat.
This forms part of the lobby…
The wooden staircase leading to the rooms with the stained glass piece is simply eye-catching –
The rooms in Tambayan Hostel range from P500 a night for the capsule style bunk beds and P1000 for the private rooms. But am not writing about the accommodations right now. I’ll be dealing instead with the restaurant and gastrobar which is my favorite hangout in Malate these days.
The downstairs resto adjoining the reception area has this shabby chic vibe with the mismatched furnitures and decor…
The upstairs bar is located in the terrace. As you can see in the photo, the shelves are filled with booze and there’s even shisha…
Whether day or night, the signature bottled cocktails are a winner. They come in 500 ml (for 150 pesos) or 1000 ml (300+ pesos). So far we’ve tried the bestsellers Pink Abad (guava juice, syrup, gin) and Yellow Orosa (tequila, midori, pineapple juice, lime)…
The Korean Fried Cauliflower (P280) brought me to another level with its spiciness. It made the perfect pulutan. And yes, I can’t believe this is a vegetarian dish.
The tastiness of the adobo, which they call Pork Belly Pot Del Pilar (P280) makes you shout Rice Pa More! And well…their garlic rice is really good. Ampf. I really love that they inserted a whole head of garlic in there.
The butterfly-cut deep-fried tilapia was a safe choice for lunch. It came with a vinegar dip and pickled watercress or kangkong.
The fish paired well with the Vegetable Curry, which was lacking spice though… It came with pita bread.
The Oriental salad with shrimps and diced carrots, among others, came in this delightful Vietnamese dressing.
There are dishes that disappoint, like the pad thai and these baked turon squares. So best to order the other specialties.
The sandwiches are hefty and should fill up hungry tummies. This is their banh mi. Nothing like the original in Vietnam but satisfactory.
Next time, I’d like to try the Tambayan breakfasts, soup and crispy pata. In the meantime, am glad there’s a place to chill out in Malate that’s not related to or invaded by the Koreans.
Tambayan Hotel & Gastrobar is located in 1607 J. Bocobo St., Malate Manila. It’s just a reasonable street crossing and walking distance from Robinson’s Place Manila Midtown Wing. Open 24 hours