To us who live in Makati, it’s a chore to go to Eastwood City when restaurants, bars, and pubs of every theme is already within the city or nearby at The Fort. I was actually a little reluctant to attend the launch of PUBLIKO Eat + Drink, but curiosity got the better of me. Besides, how long had it been since I’ve gone to Eastwood City anyway? Read more…
This new talked-about gastropub stands right at the heart of Eastwood Citywalk. Those familiar with the place would know that it’s in the same building where the club called Mansion used to be. But the partners who brought us Draft, Opus, and Beso Cucina Vinoteka really did invest in the place to give new life into it.
PUBLIKO Eat + Drink isn’t just a play on the name. Talking to Lord Luke Polintan, managing partner, their new gastropub was named such because it really is for the public—where friends and families can go as they are, even without reservations. But of course, their gastropub has gotten much buzz already that he admits they have their peak times.
He continues to tell us that while they serve alcohol, they want to establish PUBLIKO Eat + Drink more for its gastronomy—where even families can come together and dine during Sunday lunch. And yes, they are open for lunch everyday.
As it was formerly a club after all, PUBLIKO Eat + Drink is spacious, and replacing the strobe lights are warm, ambient lamps that make it relaxing and perfect for after-work hangouts. Wooden tables and booths boost the classiness of the place, and the quirky décor they’ve installed are a visual delight. At one end of the gastropub, meanwhile, is a DJ booth that plays music at the right volume, so conversations can still be heard.
Anyway, the time came for us to try out the food. The starters were rolled out continuously, but my favorite was the PUBLIKO Nachos. Crunchy tortilla chips were laid under a hefty layer of US Angus chili con carne, pico de gallo, jalapeño, and cheddar. The slivers of jalapeno that I loved gave it a nice spice kick, and the US Angus chili con carne was tasty.
Afterwards, the PUBLIKO Supreme from their pizza line arrived. The menu vaguely stated that it’s got “everything but the kitchen sink,” yet the combination of toppings was so good that I didn’t bother knowing what was on it anymore.
First among the entrees that came was the Chicken and Mushroom Rice Bake. Under the delicious chicken and mushroom cream, corn and carrots, garlic, mozzarella, and cheddar was an unforgettable sticky rice that was great by itself.
The Fish and Chips we had consisted of beer-battered cream dory fish and crispy fries served with a wedge of lemon and tartar sauce. Their take on the classic was spot on.
The last among the entrees was the most memorable to me—Mom’s Meatloaf, an adaptation of the signature dish of Chef Carlo Miguel’s mother. Their meatloaf is gloriously wrapped in bacon and smothered with onion-mushroom gravy, while on the side are buttered corn and carrots, and mashed potatoes. It’s definitely recommended.
For dessert, we had a huge slice of Bread and Butter Pudding that sat on caramel sauce and came with vanilla ice cream. It was filling, so I only had a few bites after our big meal.
Their beverage selection is something to surely note, but they take pride with the draft beers they serve. Unfortunately, I am allergic to alcohol, so I wasn’t able to sip any of them. What I know though is that they serve draft Paulaner Munchen, Beck’s, Hoegaarden, and Stella Artois for as little as 110 PHP for a 330mL mug or 150 PHP for a pint.
To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised at how good the food were and how they exceeded expectations. I mean, PUBLIKO Eat + Drink does set itself well apart from other places that serve mediocre bar chow just for the sake of having food to go with drinks. It does help also that the place looks classy but still relaxed, and almost everything in the menu is affordable. I guess I have one new reason to visit Eastwood City more.
PUBLIKO EAT + DRINK
Eastwood Citywalk 1, E. Rodriguez Ave. (C5), Libis, Quezon City
Hours: 11:00 AM-2:00 AM daily
Contact: +63 922 817 4301
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Notes: Accepts major credit and debit cards. Serves alcohol.