In terms of having the most varied of communities, you can say that Poblacion is right at place for foreigners, and who can blame them? You have bars, restaurants, and karaoke venues that line up with each other for the convenience of tourists and thrill-seekers alike.
Outside of its famous (or should we say, infamous) red light district, you can find a plethora of cuisine that suits even the pickiest of eaters.
Fancy a Korean BBQ? It’s just right up that alley. How about Mediterranean cuisine? There’s plenty. No matter what you are hungry for, it is very likely to be just right around the corner of Poblacion.
While diversity in terms of food exploration, what better way to appreciate it than to go back to your roots? Which is what exactly Kian Kazemi ( same owner as Kite Kebab Bar) has in mind for his restaurant, Lobo Filipino Tavern.
Your first impression of the restaurant would be to assume that it is just the same as the many bars beside it. However, once you go inside, you would definitely sense what Kian has in mind. The interior is reminiscent that of a Filipino ancestral home, with misshapen wood fashioned into tables, and chairs that you would normally find in your grandparents’ traditional house.
Further up, a balcony is set up to let you take a peek into the streets of Poblacion. All of this is accompanied with warm lights that don’t distract from the experience.
“For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” – Rudyard Kipling, Author of The Jungle Book.
This is written alongside one of Lobo’s interior walls. Filipino families usually function as a “pack” akin to that of a wolf, and eating is one of those activities that many locals can’t have without enjoying it with their family.
Lobo is named after the Tagalog word for wolf. Lobo can also mean the family-centeredness of the restaurant with how the place feels, which is definitely appropriate for any Filipino gathering.
Going into the meat of the business, Lobo emphasizes the owner’s Illongo roots by embracing its dishes. You can find an assortment of classic Filipino dishes such as adobo, bulalo, kare-kare, and lechon kawali.
For our group, we had the following:
- Godfather’s Lengua
- Crab Fat Kani Pasta
- Lobo Lamb Adobo
- Chicken Nachos
- Pork Liempo
- Tofu Sisig
For starters, we had chicken nachos and crab fat kani pasta, both of which are unheard of in the realm of Filipino cuisine, but their uniqueness is what made them great both in execution and taste.
Pork liempo made its way as it is one of my favorite dishes, and who doesn’t like liempo, right? Another classic was the adobo, and its flavor is really brought out and consistent with each bite of the soft and chewy texture of lamb.
They also have vegan options like tofu Sisig and Gising-gising. While there were a couple of people who were intimidated by their spiciness, I was fond of it, because spice is life! Nevertheless, they found it too good to pass up, and true to its name, it really wakes you up!
But the best of them all was Godfather’s Lengua by far, which is ox tongue slathered in mushroom sauce. Surely, this alone makes a visit to Lobo worth considering as it was tantalizing to the tongue and I kept wanting more!
Is it worth a visit?
While surrounding restaurants offer different kinds of cuisine, Lobo reels you in with its Filipino-oriented cuisine that brings it all back together with the experience of a family gathering.
For solo-eaters, a meal averages about 300 pesos. For anyone interested in really appreciating what Lobo offers, I would suggest a group meal (about 1,300 pesos) that offers the full Filipino culinary journey.
Address: 4898 Durban Corner Polaris Street, Poblacion, Makati City
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