Saturday, October 24, 2015

Tambayan 101: a new chill spot in the heart of Vito Cruz, Manila

Miss Princess Salonga invited me to the launch of Tambayan 101 a few weeks ago. The place was hidden among a row of tenement apartments and houses in the busy district of Vito Cruz along Taft Avenue, Manila. Located at 976 Don Ysidro, Malate, Manila, this new enterprise is revolutionizing the tambay experience by combining a place with great food and great ambiance. 

According to the owner, Mr. Errol, the place was conceived as his new business venture. He envisioned a new concept that no one in the immediate vicinity will be able to copy effectively. Hence, the place was born. The venue is actually composed of 20 airconditioned units that can be used as movie and game rooms, while the ground floor contained a dining area that had double-decker beds as seating areas. People can order food and drinks at the dining area and bring these to the movie rooms up stairs. The second and third floors contain the movie rooms while the fourth and fifth floors are dormitories for 1-6 people. 

We were first brought to the second and third floors to check out the size and features of these rooms. The rooms were all air-conditioned and designed in unique ways to fit the tastes and wants of the lessees. Actually the owner leased the rooms to his friends and let them do the marketing. In turn, the lessees referred potential customers to the venue and designed the rooms themselves. Some were made to look like romantic bedrooms while others had a hipster vibe. Barbie-esqe rooms were also present in the venue, as well as masculine game rooms for beer pong and PS4 games. There were also glow in the dark psychadelic rooms with neon paint and all. According to Sir Errol, the rooms are fitted with glass on the doors to prevent suspicious activity from occuring. Also, the rooms are priced at 80 per person per hour. Not bad for upper middle class students who want to experience something diverse in their idle time. The rooms also have a washroom and a variety of movies that can be played on a 30 inch flat screen TV. During our visit, we already saw a good number of barkadas hanging around the place.

We then proceeded to try out the food in the spacious dining room at the ground floor. I'd say the cuisine was composed of meat-rich college-kid fare that fits a bottle or two of San Mig or Red Horse. First off was the nachos. Priced at 100 pesos, this gigantic heap of chips, jalapeno, tomatoes, ground beef, garlic mayo sauce, and tomato sauce fits the bill for a barkada treat. I love to say that the beefy and garlicky taste, apart from the generous serving, makes good pulutan for long drinking sessions. Even customers complained about the too generous serving at a measly price. In sum the cheapest offering of this restaurant gave so much bang for the buck.

The appetizers included fries in 3 flavors. These were plain, cheese, and sour cream. At 60 pesos, these were a steal. The servings were generous, and the taste was comparable to that of McDonald's Shake shake fries. The finger food also included onion rings, a staple for any burger meal. At 70 pesos, these delightful breaded and fried onion rings coupled with garlic mayo had a tangy taste that complimented sweet food.

The sandwich selection was also pretty impressive. priced from 150-200 per serving, these were the creme de la creme of Tambayan's menu. We started off with the Salami Sandwich. It was a generous sausage that was wrapped in a bun and showered with cheese and ground pork. A meat lovers paradise, this sandwich epitomized cholsterol in a bun. The bloggers wasted no time in devouring one serving, while a second serving was given to our group to savor even more. The pastrami sandwich, on the other hand, was a mildly spicy ham sandwich that pleased pepper lovers. It was served with a generous helping of fries. I do like the fact that this sandwich contained the right balance of meat with veggies and spice. The next was a similar-looking BLT and clubhouse sandwich. The BLT solely had bacon as its meat while the clubhouse had more generous slices of ham together with the bacon. In comparing the two, I found the clubhouse to be the more appealing one due to the larger meat content. Also, both sandwiches were served with layers of bread topped with lettuce and tomatoes. Both are good choices for individuals who prefer their sandwiches conservative due to its ordinary layout and ordinary taste. I did love the fact that these also had large amounts of fries on the side.  

The burgers were a more pleasing lot. A bit more expensive than the sandwiches, these dishes contained well-cooked beef patties topped with huge buns, lettuce, and ketchup-mayo mix. Upon tasting, I found that taking a small bite seemed to be an understatement. One must gobble down a huge chunk to enjoy the beefy goodness of this selection. The restaurant had variants with and without cheese, for those who like variety or are lactose-intolerant.

On to the drinks. I was able to taste 4 of their signature drinks. First we have the basic iced tea. It's the typical sugary drink people enjoy with their food, so nothing special. The other three were like magic, though. The iced latte was filled with all that coffee goodness which made it a must taste for coffeeholics. The ghirardelli, on the other hand was a hot cocoa drink generously mixed with high quality ghirardelli chocolate. Chocolate lovers would spend no time downing an entire mug together with the whipped cream topping. The strawberry cooler, was a mildly sweet strawberry treat that fits the taste of a younger, more vibrant crowd.

As for dessert, we were given threee varieties of waffles. First was the waffles with bacon filling. Served with a syrup, these were quite unconventional for my taste. The goodness of bacon together with sugary syrup was something I haven't tried before, but I'm glad to say that it catered to by otherwise conventional taste. The strawberry and chocolate waffles, on the other hand, were for loyal sugar lovers. The strawberry waffles were actually ordinary waffles with two different types of strawberry sauce: puree and syrup. I found the strawberry syrup and puree to be good complements to the hot and fluffy waffles. The taste wasn't overpowering, really. The chocolate waffles, though, was an overdose of chocolate in the waffles and the syrup. In sum, I prefer the strawberry waffles compared to the chocolate one.

In sum, my Tambayan 101 experience was very pleasant because of the good food and the good company I had with fellow bloggers who were interested in the place. We had a good time sharing stories, experiences, and perceptions about the place. I'd surely want to come back here for the great vibe and ambiance this place gives.

The story in pictures:

The location map

The beer pong room

Another shot

The romantic room

One of the more basic looking rooms

another of the more eccentric rooms

an unfinished room

The owner being interviewed by the bloggers

A room for barkadas

A room with stenciled grafitti

The game room

One of the more hipster rooms

A room with glow in the dark neon paint

The freedom wall in the dining area

The room menu

The dining area

The double deckers I was talking about earlier

The dining area

The freedom wall again

One of the co-owners talking about the place

The stylish menu

The salami sandwich

with the iced latte

The iced latte

being shared by the bloggers

The chicken wings

The basic burger

The cheese burger

another appetizing shot

last shot

The bloggers anticipating the next serving

cheese fries

another shot

ordinary fries

the burger with the sour cream fries

a lot of people enjoying the place

fries and the burger

another shot

my, these fries are pretty vain

The burger is vain too.

A sumptuous feast

Another shot

Last shot na pramis

The pastrami sandwich

The wonderful ghirardelli chocolate drink

The nacho overload!

The three types of waffles: the bacon waffle, strawberry waffle, and chocolate waffle

one more appetizing shot

bacon waffles

strawberry waffles

another shot

the strawberry cooler

another shot

The BLT and clubhouse sandwiches

Lastly, onion rings
Tambayan 101 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

No comments:

Post a Comment