Poblacion is evidently one of Makati’s best spots for foodies, with a wide variety of different indie restaurants and bars popping up through the streets of the neighborhood faster than you can count – but what if there was a more convenient way to get a little taste of the amazing flavors in the district without having to walk from place to place? Thankfully, there’s already a concrete answer to that question: Pob Stacion.
Food parks are a rather new and uncommon concept in Metro Manila, in part due to the cramped nature of the city. But thankfully, a group of great restaurants have finally come to a solution despite this by setting up shop together in a multi-storey open building named Pob Stacion! Already wondering just what they have to offer? Here’s a little taste of the delicious and unique eats we were able to experience during our visit:
Above Sea Level
If you’re looking to satisfy your seafood itch, then you’re in the right place! Above Sea Level serves flavorful dishes fresh from the waters – and at an affordable price. After all, the reason so many of us aren’t gorging on yummy shoreside favorites all the time is, in part, due to the tag that comes along with them.
One of the most eye-catching dishes on the menu is called Groot (450 PHP) – and when you think about it, the name really is fitting. It’s an enormous, battered and deep fried butterfly squid served on an upright stick – the crispy golden brown arms spread out like the huge branches of Groot the tree creature. This is served with a matching vinegar sauce and 4 servings of their yummy java rice, good for 4 people.
For those who want something with more variety and a touch of Filipino flavor, then the Spicy Squid Sisig (180 PHP) is a great option! A squid meat alternative to typical sisig dishes, served with a perfect blend of onions, garlic, seasoning, and of course – the ubiquitous and appetite-stimulating sunny side up egg.
And it wouldn’t be a seafood restaurant without a serving of crabs and shrimp! Order their Seafood Festival (380 PHP) platter for a mixture of mussels, corn on the cob, shrimp, and crab – all doused with a mouthwatering sauce made with a mixture of butter and crab fat. Hold the extra order of rice, because this delicious quartet is served atop a golden bed of their mastered java rice blend.
Korean culture has been flowing into the Philippines like hot gravy – music, tv shows, and even food! And of course, the country is a melting pot of different influences, so it’s no wonder the people of Rib Pop have decided to create a mish mash of both Filipino and Korean cuisines.
Both countries love their fried chicken, making it no wonder why the dish is on the menu – what makes it unique, however, is that it’s doused in black squid ink! It might seem strange, visually, but the Black Ink Chicken Wings (225 PHP) are the perfect blend of salty, tangy, and spicy.
If you want to get a taste of more of the restaurant’s fusion dishes, then you can order their Ribpop Sampler (400 PHP). Included in this are the Black Ink Chicken Wings, Korean banchan side dishes, and a Ribpop Bowl – Rib Pop’s own spin on the popular bibimbap, rice topped with fried egg, veggies, kimchi, and beef short ribs cooked the Pinoy way.
Next up, Japanese food! Pob Stacion truly has a mix of both local and international eats, making sure your taste buds never have the opportunity to be bored. One of Japan’s favorite street foods is Takoyaki (3 for 70 PHP, 6 for 140 PHP). The name Octoboy is quite fitting – if you don’t know what takoyaki is, it’s octopus pieces and veggies encased in a floury batter, drizzled with tangy sauce and fish flakes, making for a hot and delicious, grab and go snack. It’s eaten very similarly to the street food dotted around the Manila streets, picked up with a toothpick and popped into the mouth – be careful, however, because takoyaki balls can be hotter than they look!
The experience of having the shrimp tempura platter at buffets constantly be empty is something we can all relate to – thankfully, Tokyo Tempura is here to give us our servings of deep-fried goodness. Served in a small, handheld container with a stick to keep your hands clean, Tokyo Tempura’s selections are the perfect food to grab and walk around the park with while you’re looking for some more yummy food to munch on. You can choose from Imperial Tempura (12 for PHP 150), Tempura Rice (PHP 80), and Kani Tempura (6 for PHP 55). Want a bit of something else to spice up your tempura? You can order their Chili Cheese Poppers (4 for PHP 55), cheese-stuffed jalapenos enclosed in tempura batter just bursting with flavor with each bite.
Oskar’s Soul Kitchen
Oskar’s Soul Kitchen gives Pob Stacion its dose of hearty, quality American food sure to leave you full and contented. While fast food burgers are accessible and easy to grab and have delivered, nothing quite hits the spot like a freshly made sandwich – much like Oskar’s Cheeseburger (220 PHP). It’s made with wagyu beef, chopped veggies, buttered oatmeal bun, and served with a side of fries for a meal that just hits the spot after a long day. More of a hot dog fan? Try out the Soul Kitchen’s Angus Beef Hot Dogs (140 PHP) instead.
White meat lovers might fancy their Wings, served in two flavors – Honey Garlic and Buffalo (6 for 200 PHP, 12 for 350 PHP). Or maybe indulge in some cheesy, beefy goodness with their Fries Overload (160 PHP) and Nachos Overload (150 PHP).
Wing stops are frequently flocked to in Makati, but Wing’s Lab serves a boozy twist on your deep-fried favorites with Jack Daniel’s flavored Wings N’ Nachos (12 for 699). It’s the perfect mixture of savory and spicy, and you can all wash it down with the lab’s refreshing assortment of Drinks for 60 PHP each. They have melon with milk, cucumber with lemon, and blue lemonade – all packaged in adorable juice bags with curly straws so you can take it around with ease.
Authentic House of Curry
It’s no secret that the Authentic House of Curry serves up deliciously spiced curries – but their renditions of other South Asian dishes are fantastic as well. They have Spicy Beef Rendang (PHP 240) to give your tastebuds a kick, as well as Lobster Scallop Balls (PHP 180) drizzled in their spiced sauce, the perfect pair to fresh seafood. Feeling adventurous? Order a plate of Escargot (PHP 200) for a unique but surprisingly yummy experience.
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Cha Tuk Chak
Milk tea is immensely popular in Metro Manila, with people willing to line up at stores for hours on end. Taiwanese milk tea is the fan favorite, but one shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the refreshing blends of authentic Thai Milk Tea – the likes of which are offered at Cha Tuk Chak.
Thai tea is typically made with four main ingredients: black tea, sugar pearls, ice – and condensed milk. It’s what gives the tea its creamy and sweet taste! If you’re interested, order their bestselling Cha Yen (Regular – 110 PHP, Large – 125 PHP). Of course, Cha Tuk Chak offers something for everyone, for every mood – fruity Nom Yen, lemony Thai Ruby, sour-sweet Thai Emerald, and chocolatey Koko Yen.
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Of course, no food park is complete without dessert – particularly ice cream! Move over for now gelato, because Papa Diddi’s serves up homemade ice cream made with local ingredients, in Filipino-inspired flavors sure to have you feeling the Pinoy spirit. Indulge in creamy concoctions like Tres Leches, Mango Pili, Queso Blanco and more! For PHP 75/scoop (110 for 2 scoops, 145 for 3), the all-natural coolers are well worth it.
Poblacion never fails to excite locals and visitors alike with a continuous supply of delicious eats and drinks – and Pob Stacion is a relatively new, but essential part of the district’s foodie community. The congregation of stalls in one location makes for the perfect place to brighten up an evening – bring your friends and family along, no matter how picky they are, because the wide variety of both local and international dishes served at this food park will satisfy even the most stringent of diets.
Address: L11 B4, B. Valdez, Makati, Metro Manila
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