Fort bus tour of restosBy Irene C. Perez
One can be a food tourist at Bonifacio Global City (BGC).
The BGC Eats campaign, a culinary tour organized by arts program manager Monica Llamas, lets people explore new dining joints at BGC.
BGC Eats offers dining options in the 240-ha commercial and residential complex.
BGC Eats is held every Saturday until July 20. Participants meet up at 3 p.m. on 9th Street, between Nike and Bo Concept, to board the BGC Hop On-Hop Off bus that takes them around BGC. A tour is limited to a group of 34.
To join, one can get two tickets to the tour in exchange for receipt/s worth P1,500 from purchases made between June 24 to July 20 in participating establishments. These include stores and restaurants at Bonifacio High Street, The Fort Entertainment Center, Crossroads, Bonifacio Stopover, One & Two Parkade, and The Mind Museum.
Only two tickets will be given a person per day. These may be claimed until July 20 at the Bonifacio High Street Central Concierge, C1 building, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The tour stops are a mix of restaurants, bars and cafés with different cuisines spread out from The Fort Strip to High Street. The itinerary was prepared by JJ Yulo, a food blogger and founder of Pinoy Eats World, a group that organizes tours and “guerrilla dinners.”
“We prioritize non-franchise establishments that started out or have only one branch in BGC,” said Llamas. “Earlier tours included stops at Wildflour, Nolita, 2nds, 100 Miles Café, Premio, Chuck’s Deli, Sonja’s Cupcakes.”
The third leg of BGC Eats included Kasbah, Urbn Bar & Kitchen, ’Cue Modern Barbecue and Gourmandise Patiserrie.
It was a rainy Saturday afternoon, but the almost-three hour tour on July 13 turned out to be a filling food party.
Yulo, our host, introduced the restaurants, cracking jokes, even holding contests on the bus.
Our first stop was Kasbah, a Moroccan restaurant that became popular in Boracay. Among its specialties are brochettes or kebabs, stews on tagine pots, couscous or steamed durum wheat that serves as rice substitute.
We were served flat bread with two dips: Baba Ganoush or roasted eggplant with tahini caviar; and Hummus Kalamata or chickpea and tahini puréed with chopped olives. These were paired with hot mint tea which we sipped while enjoying the colorful, bohemian vibe that reminded us of dining on the beach.
Next stop was Urbn Bar & Kitchen on the third level of Fort Pointe II Building.
Urbn is a club with high wooden tables at the center where guests chat over cocktails. It is every bit a party place, but it also serves real food—chef Benjo Tuason’s “modern comfort food” menu.
We loved the Homemade Potato Chips—thinly sliced, perfectly fried potato chips served in tin bucket with aioli and pesto dip. The Mini Blackbenny Angus Burgers is one of the best sliders we’ve tried. It has mild cheddar, bacon, onion-jam, aioli in Brioche bun, with hand-cut fries on the side (also comes as regular-size Angus burger).
A must-try at Urbn is the Manchego Soufflé topped with crispy Jamon Serrano and truffle cream sauce. It looked like an ensaymada, but it was nothing ordinary—soft, smooth, super-creamy cheese soufflé that melted in your mouth. The crispy bit of Jamon Serrano balanced off the texture and gave it a nice crunch. The Manchego Soufflé tasted like a million calories, but really, we didn’t mind.
Served next was the Mac and Choreese, chef Tuason’s take on the classic macaroni and cheese, this time with chorizo bits.
Bone marrow, steak tacos
’Cue Modern Barbecue owners Abba Nappa, Eliza Antonino and Jon Syjuco greeted us in the restaurant that serves grilled meats in homemade marinade and 6-oz beef burgers.
Nappa served the trademark ’Cue appetizer, Bone Marrow and Steak Tacos—halved beef shank with rich marrow and chopped steak, roasted corn, flour tortillas, and sweet and spicy salsa. To eat this, get a tortilla, put some steak, spread on some marrow, sauce it up, roll and enjoy.
A lighter, alternative item on the menu dubbed Make Your Own Fish Tacos was passed around by restaurant manager Glen Mayhew. It has panko-crusted white fish served with roasted corn salsa, flour tortillas and cilantro-lime tartar sauce.
We thought we did not have room for dessert until we got to Gourmandise Patisserie at Serendra.
Chef/owner Sunshine Pengson said her pastries were inspired by coffee shops found “in every corner of Paris.”
We lined up for the eclairs and cupcakes that came in Salted Caramel, Smores, Lemon, Raspberry Dulce de Leche, Coffee and Cinnamon flavors. There were even “minion” macarons on the display panel!
PHOTOS BY ALANAH TORRALBA