• Location:  2/F 5666 Don Pedro St., Barangay Poblacion, Makati, 1209 Metro Manila
  • Contact Info: +63 917 530-2580
  • Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday 6 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Sunday 6 p.m. – 12 a.m.
  • Price per head: P350
  • Signature drinks: MOMOL (Melon Melon Lang), Salabatman, Sago’t Gulaman, and Filipino craft beers

Situated in the bustling Poblacion area on Don Pedro St., Alamat invites you to step in for a chill night with friends as though you’re entering your buddy’s living room. You can come in your laid-back clothes and kick back to some homegrown sounds. When we visited, we bobbed to the beat of Pinikpikan. Who knows who it’ll be on your next visit, especially during their “Alamat Sessions,” a monthly event wherein they invite legendary artists to perform live in the pub.

While co-owner Brian Mendoza is the music guy who’s in charge of “Alamat Sessions,” there’s a handful of childhood friends who banded together in the formation of Alamat, such as Chef Niño Laus, the guy behind the entire menu, his wife, Alamat manager Cassie Laus, who built the brand and oversees pub operations, and also Tin Sayo, who crunches the numbers together with her husband Paolo Sayo, the guy behind the quirky creative interiors. When their powers combine as Superfriends, their Hall of Justice is Alamat.

Cassie says, “(We) decided to do a Filipino concept because Poblacion is known for foreign visitors and backpackers who come to our country to experience our food and culture, so we wanted to give them just that ¾ a one-stop shop with the most loved Filipino dishes and beer from all around the Philippines. Being in the restaurant industry for several years, we have come to know so many awesome Filipino ingredients and products that aren’t really given much attention to. What better way to give them the spotlight but in our Filipino pub? We want our guests to appreciate them the same way we do in a really enjoyable way.”

The main inspiration for the food is tribal and ancestral Filipino dishes, most of which are pre-colonial. Chef Niño coined the term “pulutan cuisine” to describe the way he transforms traditional dishes into pulutan for locals and foreigners alike to eat Filipino food in a totally different and exciting way.

Our top picks from Alamat’s menu:

Artisan Platter – a selection of three kinds of Artisan Sausage, and our choice picks were Dinuguan, Adobo and Salted Egg, and Sisig. Imagine these fave Pinoy dishes cleverly compacted in a sausage format served with a siding of red cabbage sauerkraut. To moisten the meat and bring out the flavors, it’s best to drizzle some calamansi on the sliced surface of the sausage.

Kilawinner Kilawin, a dish originating from Leyte is a popular pica-pica food and in this version, Chef Nino uses cold smoked malasugi as kilawin, mixed with pomelo, cashew, cherry tomatoes and a bit of coconut milk. It is strikingly topped with a dried swordfish that you may crush to bits and stir in with the kilawin.

Adobo Chicken Wings

Salted Egg Crispy Chicken Skin – Or everything that your doctor told you not to eat. Yes, this is indulgence at its finest. The batter stirred in with the deep fried crispy chicken skin is the salted egg yolk while the Pinoy salsa includes salted egg whites.

Kare-Kare Skewer – Usually served as a heavy meal served in a big pot, now you get a chance to delightfully partake in a bite-sized portion of kare-kare. Three delicate slices of ox tripe dipped in peanut sauce with beans and nuts is presented in a skewer over a baby eggplant.

Bagoong Pork Jowls – The skewered pork is glazed with bagoong and complemented with the commanding sour tastes of drunken santol, green mango, and singkamas.

The moment you set foot in Alamat, the neon red signage greets you warmly with the phrase “CRAFT BEER FOR THE PEOPLE.” In your mind you respond in agreement, “Here, here!” Already you want to grab one or more from the vast selection of beers. Cassie beams with pride, “We have the most number of craft beers on tap, 15 to be exact, and we have chosen the best craft beers from all around the Philippines. You need not travel around the country to try them. We change them up once in awhile because there are just so many good beers out there!”

Because Alamat takes its love for beer seriously, it has one tap reserved for home brewers. To encourage the passion of these home brewers, Alamat invites them to showcase their beer there. “Surprisingly, home brews are always the best, since it’s brewed just for their own consumption or for selling one to two kegs in our pub. It’s packed with goodness and flavor since they brew only a small batch, and they don’t (scrimp) with the ingredients. Most of all, it’s made with love.”

When it comes to beer, everything is top-notch. But here are our top choices:

De Puta Madre – On the other hand, should you wish to get something stronger, this Double IPA from Alabang is quite nasty with an 8% ABV. The taste alone will give away its name with an exclamation point; Cinnamon Oatmeal – This dark stout beer from Pampanga has a 6.6% ABV and is rich with flavor; Pivo Praha Classic – If you like it smooth and light, this pilsner from Makati contains just 4.5% ABV.

Other bestsellers:

Keywheat – A fruit beer from Baguio, this refreshing beer with a 5% ABV leaves a nice citrus note of mild kiwi.

Single Speed – This 9.3% ABV imperial stout from Cebu is impressive. Its dark hue and taste gives you the illusion of drinking coffee with its blend of roasted malt. But don’t be fooled, as it’s pretty strong, too.

 Zig Zagger – With the highest ABV of 10%, this triple-hopped beer from Baguio can be a traitor with its suave taste.

And for the grand finale, we sipped the best for last! These cocktails will carry you to Cloud 9 in no time:

MOMOL (Melon Melon Lang) – In appearance it seems innocuous—a fresh melon with a sliced cap like a buko, garnished with pandan leaves and a skewer of calamansi for squeezing into the serene milk drink… so friendly and general patronage, eh? Not! One sip delivers a kick of Barik lambanog and subtle calamansi liqueur delicately hidden in the cold coconut milk.

Sago’t Gulaman – It is what you’ve always loved it to be, your same ole colorful merienda drink in its dessert-fully sweet liquid mingling with sago of all sizes and gulaman of different shades punctuated with a slam of premium dark rum.

Salabatman – This is my personal top pick. Both in life and in cocktails, simplicity can yield beauty. The crisp, rejuvenating tang of ginger tea intertwined with the taste and fragrance of lemongrass is ultimate pleasure, and more so with a splash of rum.

There’s so much to be fond of at Alamat. Clyde the bartender as well the cooks and servers are all fun and chatty. It must be highlighted that everything in the pub is local. Literally. The food ingredients, the spirits mixed in the cocktails, the music, the T’nalak fabric used on the pillows, the jeepney bar, the kris sword hanging on the wall (obtained from a real datu), needless to say the beers, and the list continues…

Plus, Alamat is excited to unveil an upcoming dish called “Overdrive Burger” inspired by the Eraserheads song. This place exudes nationalistic pride without being over the top and welcomes you any day of the week you feel like it. And that’s a comforting thought. Alamat truly reminds you that there’s no place like home.

Photos and video by Star Sabroso

A bohemian spirit who's now exercising and enjoying her left-brain functions in a corporate world. Denise Roco will still forever be a writer and artist at heart. She wrote about the awesome coffee classics and coffee cocktails at Caravan Black, and looks forward to more drink explorations with DrinkManila.

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