On the Ground Floor of I’M Hotel in Poblacion, Makati City is Hops and Brews–the kind of spot where you just want to grab a seat next to a stranger and hear him tell tales of his life or anything under the sun.
We can spend hours here drinking beer and cocktails such as the Swizzle (made with Tanqueray Gin and Absinthe), Hanky Panky (mix of Ketel One Vodka, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice, and Vanilla extract), Mojito, Martini (stirred not shaken), and Margarita. The cocktails are progressive but the whisky list is equally worthy of consideration. The top-notch food is an added bonus, and includes local and international favourites.
The Kitchen Staff at Hops and Brews are working double-time by crushing it behind the bar, as well as in the kitchen. Dishes such as the Galbi Jim, Callos de Cerdo, Pork Belly Croissant, and ‘Shalang Pares—Brisket Stew served with Garlic Rice, Roasted Garlic, Chili Sauce, and, Bone Marrow–may make you swear off vegetables forever. And don’t sleep on the Appetizers either. Do try the Lamb Keso Fundido and Gambas al Ajillo.
Drinkers with White Collar-taste can stop in for a glass of Copper 47–A smooth, clean drink, that mixes the herbal flavours of Monkey 47 Gin, Tanqueray Gin, Sous Vide Orange, and Cinnamon.
Meanwhile, beyond the happy hour patrons, Hops and Brews also cater to the business lunch crowd looking for substantial meals. The menu offers plenty of Sandwiches, Pastas, and Mains that are superb in taste and quality and portions are good for sharing. I personally recommend the Pork Belly Croissant (Think, Cua Pao) and Sardinas Aglio Olio. These are simple yet delicious dishes done right.
Coffee or tea and a dessert ordinarily conclude the meal in restaurants and this place surprised me with a thoughtful selection of specialty coffee concoctions and pastries. The Flat White and Cortado are your best bets but if you aren’t certain what you want, make sure you ask and talk it out with the Barista. It’s worth getting the Coffee right and here you will, so long as you don’t settle for guessing.
To be honest, pretty much everything on the dessert menu is great with coffee, which include a messy, somewhat-crazy Fruity de Mare—Hops and Brews’ version of ‘Eton Mess’ or ‘English Trifle’. It had Butter Cake macerated in Amaretto syrup, and layers upon layers of seasonal fruits, whipped cream, and Creme Patisserie. You’ll love it or you’ll hate it — but you won’t forget it. (Tip: Try the Cheesecake. I repeat, Try the Cheesecake.)
I really can’t recall the last time I went out and had no critique about an establishment. Usually it’s the atmosphere, the food, the drinks… the list is infinite! Hops and Brews satisfied everything on my gripe list and then some. This was my first time coming here, actually; Although I must say the quality of their food and drinks instantly tells me there will be a return visit.
With Makati‘s culinary scene continuing to boom, it’s no surprise that restaurants have never been better. For a city that likes to eat and drink, it’s no surprise that Hops and Brews is quickly becoming a ‘Social Destination’ in their own right.