Location: 2/F Unit 2, The Grandia Place, Mother Ignacia Avenue, Quezon City
Contact Number: +639199908805/+632 2469069 ext:192
Operating Hours: Sunday to Wednesday - 5:00 pm to 1:00 am; Thursday to Saturday - 5:00 pm to 3:00 am 
Price per head: Php700++ for food and drink
Signature drinks: Flora x Fauna, Piñalaya, Moras & Malice, Curry the Painkiller, In Love with the Cacao, Camote Tops Iced Tea, Pineapple Express, Aloe & Coco
Specials and promos: Unli wine and sangria (red wine at Php 549, sangria at Php 599) Sunday to Wednesday - 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Whole day Buy 1 Take 1 on signature cocktails on Thursday; DJs and 50% off on 2nd bottle purchase on Friday and Saturday 

There’s a new bar in Quezon City that is daring and playful, slowly making a dent in the blossoming market of the northern bar landscape. WYLD Kitchen x Bar is a bar and restaurant committed to bringing local flavor and nature into the dining and drinking scene. Located across ABS-CBN on Mother Ignacia Street, WYLD is an exciting new concept that’s a welcome addition to the growing list of bars in the area and challenges you with cocktail ingredients that is not common to some bar menu. This is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared to drink cocktails with ampalaya, or curry, or take your cocktail with a side of crunchy worms.

The idea for WYLD came about in the forests of Avon, Colorado where Kenn Gonzales, one of the owners of WYLD, spent some time a few years ago. Inspired by the experience, he fell in love with the great outdoors that he decided to bring some of that wilderness into the city.

Kenn’s sister Andrea Evangelista and her husband Alex Evangelista helped bring his vision to fruition, designing the space to give the feel of the outdoors without being literal. There are no plants or branches in the bar. Instead, they used reclaimed wood boards for the walls, and metal pipes as accent pieces. As the sun sets and the night progresses, the shadows cast by the tubes look like tree branches, giving off the vibe of being in the forest at night. The place can seat around 80 people, with the bar area when you enter, an alfresco area, and split mezzanine sections which can accommodate groups or parties.

Since they opened in November 2018, WYLD has been gaining a steady following. “I’ve seen a rise in small bars, and I saw the opportunity here,” Kenn says. “I wanted to bring something unique to QC because I see that people want it. Even my friends have told me that they’re getting tired of the usual places around here. I wanted to bring something new because people are ready for it.”

To bring his vision of the wild to their drink menu, they enlisted the help of Larry Guevarra, bar consultant and bar manager of Liquid Concepts Philippines and Manille beach Bar in El Nido, Palawan. His playful yet skillful approach to mixing local flavors and his chill vibe is a match with what Kenn wanted. “I like that they use local ingredients and push local bartending as well,” he adds.

Radiculous made with radish and Mulberry Sangria

“We made sure we carried out Kenn’s vision and delivered it straight into a glass by applying some unconventional, if not, weird ingredients while adhering to the concept of “wilderness” with a modern twist,” says Larry.

The drinks they come up with contain unusual local ingredients that still complement their bar food. “For this specific concept, we drew our inspiration from the abundant flora and fauna here in the island of El Nido, Palawan,” shares Larry. “We wanted to challenge the consumer palates by coming up and using products very rarely seen or even used in drinks (like camote tops, radish, mulberry, etc.). Other sources of inspirations were from music, classic and tiki cocktails, and pretty much from our daily communion with Mother Nature.” WYLD’s bar staff is trained by Larry, to make sure that the drinks remain consistent.

cacao liqueur, coffee liqueur, amaretto, brandy, cinnamon powder

Check out the cocktail menu:

Flora X Fauna (gin, grapefruit juice, fresh lemon juice, rose foam, basil, butterfly pea flower, chichaworm) is the star of the bar menu. “Not only is it creating quite a stir in social media, but also challenge the palates of the consumers and encourage them to get out of their comfort zone,” Larry shares. It’s a conversation starter, that’s for sure. It’s not every day that you find crunchy creepy crawlies atop your cocktail. The cocktail is flowery sweet yet layered and complements the saltiness of the chichaworm. The gin slides along in the background, a welcome supporting character to the herbal medley. Once you get over the ick factor, you may find that this is a cocktail that you can drink over and over again (with or without the worms).

Flora X Fauna

Piñalaya (vodka, calamansi liqueur, triple sec, pineapple juice, caramelized ampalaya) has an interesting nose. The bittersweet vegetal smell of caramelized ampalaya adds flavor and depth to the drink. Breathe in while you take a sip of this zesty and bittersweet cocktail.

Piñalaya

Moras & Malice (gin, dalandan liqueur, ‘moras’ local mulberry, fresh lemon juice, chickpea juice)  is a fresh and light cocktail that uses local mulberry. This sour cocktail is also vegan, using chickpea juice instead of egg white for the foamy texture.

Moras & Malice

The local mulberry (moras) is also part of the steak and burger sauce, so pair this cocktail with those dishes if you want.

WYLD Beef Burger paired with Moras & Malice

Curry the Painkiller (150 proof rum, house-made colada mix, orange juice, curry powder) is a light frothy cocktail with a hint of curry. A good combination of savory and sweet.

Curry the Painkiller

In Love with the Cacao (cacao liqueur, coffee liqueur, amaretto, brandy, cinnamon powder) is almost like an alcoholic coffee granita. With strong notes of chocolate, cinnamon, and coffee, this is perfect after meal drink or have it as a boozy alternative to your frappucino.

In Love with the Cacao

Afterglow (gin, calamansi liqueur, house-made camote tops syrup, fresh lemon juice) takes inspiration from how the sky changes color at sunset. It’s sweet, and deep earthy taste comes from the camote tops. It has a slight gin taste and a short, sweet finish.

Afterglow

Mulberry Sangria (mulberry wine, rum, triple sec, pineapple juice, green apple, orange) has a slight berry taste and a tart finish.

Mulberry Sangria

Radiculous (radish infused vodka, elderflower liqueur, aloe vera juice, speared pickled radish) is fresh on the nose, with a radish vegetal taste that almost mimics a light salad.

Radiculous

Mocktails

For those who want to abstain from liquor but still want some tasty refreshments, WYLD has got you covered. Their mocktails pack a lot of flavor without the punch of alcohol.

Pineapple Express (pineapple juice, clove syrup, and star anise) – A nice take on the usual pineapple juice. The pungent and sweet notes of clove and star anise complement the tropical sweetness of the pineapple.

Pineapple Express

Aloe and Coco (aloe vera juice, fresh basil, nata de coco) – Tastes like the gelatin treat Jelly Ace in drink form. It’s bright and sweet with nata de coco at the bottom for snacking.

Aloe and Coco

Camote Tops Iced Tea (house-made camote tops tea, syrup, fresh calamansi juice) – This fresh brewed iced tea has the earthy flavor of camote leaves, not grassy or bitter taste that you associate with regular tea.

Camote Tops Iced Tea

Pair your drinks with these bar chows:

Calamari and house-made vegetable chips

The food at WYLD shares the same concept as the drinks. They prefer to use locally sourced ingredients and make a lot of their sauces, condiments, and bases in-house. If you’re in the mood to munch while you drink, try their crunchy Calamari or the rich, creamy, and earthy Spinach Dip served with house-made vegetable chips, organic house-made tortilla chips, crudites, and parmesan. The Pan Seared Salmon served with black rice, corn salsa, lemon aioli, edible flowers, and micro greens is well-seasoned and perfectly done. The WYLD Beef Burger is a hefty serving of house-blend ground beef with mulberry steak sauce, poached egg, yellow cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and onion stacked in a brioche bun with a side of either hand-cut fries or salad.

Pan Seared Salmon served with black rice
WYLD Beef Burger

WYLD takes your taste buds on a journey through fresh local ingredients while daring you to get out of your comfort zone. The drinks are on the sweet side, which Filipinos like, and have a light earthiness and playful quality to them. The cocktails are fun and easy to drink; there’s not a spirit-forward drink on the list. If you want a classic cocktail instead, ask the bar, and they’ll whip one up for you.

Since they’re just starting, they’ll be adding more items to their menu. Watch out for new food and more wine soon. Come on Thursday and enjoy Buy 1 Take 1 promo on their signature cocktails, or maybe even bring a date and impress them by being game enough to drink the Flora x Fauna without flinching. They have DJs Friday and Saturday nights so you can chill and relax, listening and singing along to old hits.

WYLD is located in a building with different kinds of concepts, so there’s a nice mix of establishments. You’re spoilt for choice: there’s a Bicolano restaurant, Korean barbeque, a Japanese restaurant, cafe, and spa. The downside is that parking can be a problem, so it might be best to take a Grab.

From people looking for a cool place to sit and enjoy a meal with some drinks, to people who want to explore something new, WYLD is paving the way to slowly wean the local drinking crowd from the usual beer buckets, cocktail pitchers, and bottle service. “I’ve seen the appreciation for the cocktails,” Kenn shares. “I’m actually surprised that a lot of people don’t buy the bottles (to drink), but instead they lean more on the cocktails,” Kenn observes.

For more updates, follow @wyld.ph on Facebook and Instagram.

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