With its tree-lined streets, pocket parks and hip establishments, Legazpi Village is many things to different people
1. FOR THE COOL CREATIVE
Your Local (106 Esteban cor VA Rufino Sts, Legazpi Village, Makati; +63 2 8236206. Mon-Sat 6-10pm). That inverted ‘A’ on its logo should clue you in on this restaurant’s hip factor. While it may look like an old classroom from the outside, inside feels like walking into a Scandinavian interior magazine spread. Check out the tiles on the walls and the bar, which faces a small open kitchen.
Must-try: The beef rendang (PHP280) is sweet and savory and different. Make room for the smoked salmon donburi (PHP390) on a bed of brown rice with a dash of mushroom and corn. It’s so good!
2. FOR THE MBA STUDENT/YUPPIE IN A GUSOT-MAYAMAN BARONG
Plaza Café/ Exit Bar (G/F Corinthian Plaza, 121 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City; +63 2 5511283. Mon-Sat 9am-2am. Exit’s Operating hours: Monday-Saturday 530pm-onwards). This spare café has chosen not to cram its interiors with tables and chairs, and we like that. There’s free WiFi and a lot of space to move in. While the menu may be limited and their sandwiches a wee bit too expensive, it’s worth it. No one in Metro Manila can make proper sandwich the way these guys do. Feeling thirsty? Behind this café is a prohibition-style venue, named Exit Bar, which has got proper cocktail glasses, rock n’roll music at just the right volume, and very moody lighting.
Must-try: Get the new England Classic sandwich (PHP285). But if you don’t want apples with your turkey, then opt for the Turkey Brie (PHP295). Sandwiches come with pickles and awesome frips, which you can order if you want more (PHP50). Need a mid-day pick-upper? Plaza’s coffee is pretty strong (PHP100). Exit’s De Rigeur (PHP200), a refreshing drink made of bourbon, grapefruit and honey, is a good start to an inuman.
3. FOR LADIES WHO LUNCH
Stockton Place (227 Salcedo St, Legazpi Village, Makati; +63917 8561419. Mon-Sat 6pm-10:15pm). Named after a street in San Francisco where a restaurant of chef Daniel Humm (he is the owner’s idol) restaurant is located, Stockton Place pleases the eye with its chi-chi interiors. It also impresses the palate with its well-curated menu of Western dishes.
Must-try: The steak (PHP450/100g) is what people come here for, but if you’re in for something lighter, the seared scallops is it (PHP750).
4. FOR THE ADVENTUROUS PALATE
Swagat Indian Cuisine (119 FCC Building, Rada St, Legazpi Village, Makati; +63 2 7525669. Daily 11am-11pm). An old favorite, Swagat Indian Cuisine is proof that Indian food is actually quite accessible and not intimidating. It gives a new spin to the word “spicy”: as you get hints of the very many spices used in each dish.
Must-try: The samosas are filling. The malai kofta (PHP125) is hearty, while the mutton biryarni (PHP180) is an old favorite.
5. FOR THE PUB LOVER
Murphy’s Irish Pub (105 VA Rufino corner Esteban St, Legazpi Village, Makati; +63 2 8941884. Mon-Sat 9-am-1am). One of the pioneers of Quiz Night, Murphy’s is still at it, holding Quiz Nights along with occasional live music nights, featuring no less than Pinoy Rock himself.
Must-try: Murphy’s Gutbuster (PHP570) stands true to its name. And because you’re in a pub, might as well do the duet of fish and chips (PHP425) with a bottle of Guinness (PHP325). Pricey, we know.
6. FOR THE UNDERCOVER DRINKER
The Curator (134 Legazpi cor Carlos Palanca St, Legazpi Village, Makati; +63 917 5859005. Mon-Sat 7pm-2am). Behind Cyrano Wine shop is this speakeasy-type bar that serves good coffee and good, though expensive, cocktails.
Must-try: We deemed its Old Fashioned the best in Manila, and rightly so: equal parts everything!
7. FOR THE THIRD WAVER
Yardstick Coffee (G/F 106 Esteban St, Legazpi Village, Makati; +63 2 8450073. Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat & Sun 8am-3pm). Right next door to Your Local is this third-wave coffee favorite. Yardbird is spacious with very many hip folk coming here for meetings, to work, and most importantly, for its outstanding coffee.
Must-try: The 12-hour cold brew (PHP160) is a refreshing caffeine kick, pretty good for the sweltering summer.
8. FOR THOSE WAITING FOR THE NEXT PAYCHECK
Spring by Ha Yuan (G/F BSA Mansion Benavidez St, Legazpi Village, Makati; +63 2 4031508. Daily 11am-9pm). This unassuming hole-in-the-wall serves Chinese food you’ll keep coming back for. And people have, with recruits in tow that the 30-seater (at most!) is almost always packed with happy diners munching on Chinese food.
Must-try: The lumpia (starts PHP70), any of its dumplings (starts at PHP80), and of its pao, though we still feel an affinity for the classic hong ba cua pao (PHP70).
9. FOR THE PALENGKE AVERSE
Legazpi Sunday Market (Legazpi cor Rufino Sts, Legazpi Village, Makati. Sun 7am-2pm). Don’t use up all your cheat-weekend calories on Saturday at Salcedo. Save some for Legazpi’s Sunday market, where though some sellers will be familiar from yesterday’s Salcedo, more options abound. We especially love Adam’s ice cream milkshakes (PHP120) and Mr. Delicious’ bacon (PHP475/500grams) among the many cuisines on offer. Come here, too for some dry goods shopping—some clothes here are so cool it hurts.
10. FOR THOSE WHO NEED TO ‘MUNI-MUNI’
Washington Sycip Park (between Gamboa, Legaspi, Rada sts, and Corinthian Plaza Parking lot. Daily 6am-10pm). This park has been providing a green escape from weary commercialism, from corporate stress, and from domestic naggery for the last eight years. Apart from Jurassic-like greenery, there are gazebos, a koi pond, music playing from speakers, and sculptures. It is named after Washington SyCip, the Filipino accountant and super thinker, and this is what he got from the Ayalas when he turned 85.
11. FOR THOSE WHO NEED TO BURN SOME CALORIES
Legazpi Active Park. Across Washington SyCip park is this active park where on any given afternoon or evening, you’ll see residents jogging, walking, stretching—anything that promotes a healthier and more active lifestyle. Some days you’ll see students practicing what we assume to be their dance routines for PE class. If you don’t feel like tying your laces on, you can sit on one of the benches under a tree and watch everyone do their thang. Can be mildly entertaining.
12. FOR THOSE WHO NEED TO GET WORK DONE
United Church Library (Basement, Rada cor Legaspi Sts, Legaspi Village, Makati; +63 2 8126062. Mon-Tue & Sat 9am-4pm, Wed 9am-6pm). The library isn’t just for United Church goers nor does it only have religious material. It’s open to everyone who wants a little peace and quiet, some space to read or think, and some place to borrow books from.
13. FOR THE PRACTICAL CHIKA
Archives d’homme et femme (Gamboa St, Legaspi Village, Makati. +63 2 8362740. Daily 12pm-9pm). Right in front of Washington SyCip park is this outlet store where brands like Fred Perry Comme des Garcons, Jill Sanders and those carried by Homme et Femme stores (Univers) are sold at pretty good discounted prices. The first floor are for women while the second floor is reserved for men.