grub + travels + perspectives

The PigPen Legaspi Village, Makati City

I don't usually go out of my way on a weekday to Makati CBD for foodie meet-ups (traffic!) but after a quick digging online to find more about The PigPen, I just had to go. And yes, they've proven that they're worth it. I arrived around 11:00 AM, saw a few tables inside occupied and it had that perfect natural light coming in from the glass panels on one side. Co-owner Berna Garriz was also there to guide us throughout our PigPen dining experience. 

The restaurant albeit small was elegant and inviting. It's like one of those restos usually seen in TV shows that's just around the corner from the office where you meet your friends for a quick lunch or after-work drinks. Something like that. The interiors are sleek and predominantly wood so it gives off that relaxed, easygoing vibe.

Their menu showcased Asian and European dishes with added wonderful twists. I was expecting a lot of pork-based dishes because of their name but there's nachos and dumplings and noodles and chicken and cocktails and more -- yep, there's something for everyone's cravings.

Here are my favorites:

Pork Dumplings. More than the quality of this dish, I was in love with how it was plated. It looked too pretty to eat! Nice colors against a black plate! The thin slices of apple, chopped friend garlic bits that gave a dash of gold and the nice pink of the sliced onion! I really appreciated the details. And it did, in fact, taste as great as it appeared. Loved the texture and flavors of the crispy pork filling covered in apple hoisin sauce. This was definitely something new for me.

Beef Papadum Nachos. I've tried papadum before when I had an Indian meal but never really imagined it to be used as substituted for tortilla chips, and wow, it really worked. This East-meets-West dish was one of the highlights of the day. Crispy, crunchy papadum topped with flavorful beef and chopped tomatoes with honey mustard or mayo! Could you imagine all the flavors happening with every bite? It was really, really good and addictive. Please order this when you pay them a visit.

Beef Brisket Bowl. Another beautiful dish we got here. The meat was slow-cooked in lemongrass, mint, calamansi and fish sauce. Super tender and delicious and perfect with rice. It had that balance of savory and sour that just hits you in the right places. I really enjoyed this one.

Pork Belly Kimchi. Once again, another well-presented dish. Those "doing it for the 'Gram" will be excited by the sight of this. The golden fried pork belly slices were served in a long plate and was slathered with red orange kimchi sauce. What a stunner. The sour-spicy kimchi sauce was the perfect complement to the juicy and tender meat. It had that heat and tang to it so the pork wouldn't be 'nakakaumay.' Order this with rice!

Chistorra Sausage. Chistorra is a cured sausage originating from Spain, we were told. I gravitated towards this dish because it looked like something I'd dig in to for breakfast! The chistorra had a salty-smokey flavor to it that was rounded off with a heaping bowl of PigPen's garlic calamansi rice, plus a nice sunny side up egg. A nice and filling mix and match of flavors.

Dulce de Leche Praline. Visually, another 10/10 for me. When it was served to our table, my eyes went all heart-shaped and I had to snatch it away first from everyone so I can photograph it the way it deserves. Hahaha. I would like to think I did a good job. Anyway, I'm a big fan of dulce de leche so I was bound to try this one way or another. The outside was an indulgent, luscious coating of milky chocolate, the inside was chewy and fudgey layers of cream, nuts and caramel. A great way to end our meal!

The other dishes that were to served to us were: Pulled pork canneloni, Longganisa, dried fish and egg, Truffle fries, Grilled tamarind chicken, Grilled porkchop, Crispy pork hoisin (this is a runner up!), Lamb shoulder and Mushroom truffle (another runner up). Other desserts were the Black rice with mango and banana cheesecake. For the drinks, we had the Aperol spritz, PigPen mojito and Tamarind pisco. Skipped on these and had the Blueberry pomegranate with basil which was something new and refreshing!

Such amazing and wonderful dishes for their price point! I will never get over how all the dishes were presented, just goes to show how they handle each and every plate with effort and care. Can't beat that kind of attention to detail! I highly recommend this place whatever the occasion might be. I could definitely imagine myself sitting on a stool by their wine bar just people watching on a Friday afternoon while enjoying my PigPen frozen margarita, waiting for my friends. If only I lived in Makati! Haha!

The PigPen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The PigPen is located at Ground Floor, Eton Towers Makati, 128 Dela Rosa Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
Operating Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 10:00 AM - 12:00 MN
                                 Sundays, 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Contact No.: (02) 246-9069
Accepts cash and credit cards
Official Facebook Page
@pigpen.ph on Instagram