Thursday, January 15, 2009

Please (Don't) Feed the Models

It’s very seldom that you find a place which serves great food and is also a happening party spot late at night. Several have attempted to do this, but only a rare few have succeeded. I know a lot of lounges or clubs (both existing and obsolete) in Manila which have created major buzz around their cuisine, and then not exactly stepped up to the plate. After a while, their dinner service is completely scrapped-off and what used to be a restaurant/bar /club just turns into a venue for after-hours partying.

For a while now, I have been wanting to have dinner again at Tabu after eating there more than a year ago. Yes, I do go there once in a while for drinks. They serve up some really mean cocktails, and I do have a major thing for martinis and mojitos. I like that their mixed drinks are not watered down and overly-sweet (unless they’re supposed to be) without customers having to pay New York prices (Oh yes, you know who you are, you over-charging-wannabe-Bungalow 8, you!). So when a few friends decided to meet up for Tabu’s Model’s Night, I decided to start the night early.

Matt and I met The Manchild shortly before 9 in the evening. The tables outside were already full when we arrived, mainly because there was a photo shoot taking place inside the establishment. After a short wait, we were ushered to our table by our server. During dinner, the restaurant was well-lit, showing off Tabu’s dark, modern interiors.

The menu was quite eclectic, ranging from American bar food to Thai dishes. We started with the Taco Cheese Rolls (seasoned ground beef and cheese wrapped in egg roll paper, deep-fried), which I remember from my first meal there. It’s just a really fun and tasty starter, reminiscent of our parties in college where we chowed-down on cheese rolls and sisig, but this was a better-made version, of course.

The Manchild and I were both watching our carb-intake, so our threesome shared Chicken Satay (marinated grilled chicken breast strips), Pad Thai (sauteed edd noodles with chicken, shrimp, egg and bean sprouts) and Beef Curry . Matt, not having any of our silly dieting, ordered himself a cup of steamed rice. The Chicken Satay was flavorful and moist, the peanut sauce fragrant and quite authentic. I honestly cannot say the same about the Pad Thai, but it was still ok. I prefer my Pad Thai a bit on the spicy side and not too sweet, and this one was a bit on the sweeter side.

Matt obviously enjoyed the Beef Curry, which had a very thick sauce. I tried a small piece of beef (two-bites worth) and I had to consciously stop myself from getting more rice. It was very tasty, and I will surely order it again when I am no longer on this torturous diet.

After dinner, our friends arrived in rapid succession: Papa Tims (who reserved a nice corner banquet table for us) was there with some of his wife’s relatives from Vancouver; DJ Scratchmark was working that night to spin some tunes, introducing us to Steven, a visiting DJ from San Diego; TG-Boy and The Body followed after, just in time for the parade of drool-worthy Brazilian hot bods. I saw a couple of old friends, too, which was nice.

After The Manchild left, we joined Papa Tim’s relatives closer to the door. It was late into the night and the place was packed, with models, wannabe models, gawkers (that’s us), partyphiles of all ages just looking for some crazy partying. Working models get free drinks, and luckily Matt had a few gigs before, so the beers and Mojitos were flowing (for the two of us, at least). I was apprehensive that I would have to deal with stupid airhead comments and arrogant airs from the “beautiful people”, but there was none of that. It was a really fun night and I was a bit sad when it was time to leave.

It’s nice to know that Tabu was able to maintain the quality of their food, while coming up with exciting events to heat up Manila’s nightlife. They really seem to offer a little bit of everything, even for their patrons who DO eat.

Tabu Restaurant and Bar
Salcedo St.
Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel. no. (632) 8177523


Anonymous said...

The last photo is such "wunderbar" for that reason a poem by Goethe.

Und leidvoll,
Gedankenvoll sein,
Und bangen
In schwebender Pein,
Himmelhoch jauchzend,
Zum Tode betrübt –
Glücklich allein
Ist die Seele, die liebt.

J. W. von Goethe

Martin "BerlinKitchen"

Anonymous said...

i wanna be a model but i dont have matt's dashing good looks... pel

Chinkee said...

Hi Martin! What a beautiful and profound poem. Thanks for sending it.

We'll be going to Germany in September, Hamburg (where Matt is from) first, then
Berlin of course, then Munich for Oktoberfest. Hopefully we get to meet you then.:-)

Chinkee said...

Pepel, humility does not suit you. Before you got married, you had to swat women (from Manila to NY) away like flies. You're hot and you know it.

Now, if you can kindly send me a few more bottles of that Charbono...:-)

Anonymous said...


I am looking forward to meet you and Matt in Berlin. When your trip is arranged, send me the date and we will go out for diner or I cook at my home and open some delicious Rieslings.

Via my blog you could contact me.........

All the best,

Miguel said...

Nice post and nice place - I'll have to make an excursion from Alabang one day to try that place :)...

Chinkee said...

That sounds like a great plan, Martin! We'll be in touch... Bis bald!:-)

Chinkee said...

Hey Mig! Yes, its a nice place for drinks and partying. It does get packed on Tuesdays and weekends, but if you have a table, it's alright.:-)