Ah, Metro Manila. A stronghold of cities filled to the brim by 11 million people, busting through the seams with its everyday-is-Friday traffic. We all love to hate it, but there’s really nothing like your home city—teeming with promise, brimming with excitement. There’s certainly a lot going on, even for a city that houses the smallest of industries. And to coincide with the fifth issue of our print magazine—dubbed “identity”—we wanted to showcase what makes our beloved Manila so rich with potential: its restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs, galleries. We reckon that you haven’t lived in Manila if you haven’t wined and dined in its grittiest holes-in-the-wall, danced in the smallest of discos, and gargled in the tsunami of local art and talent, so here is a guide of places to see and be seen at. It’s not a best-of-the-best list—because let’s face it, we are far from the best—but rather a rundown of what makes this a city we truly love, even if we don’t want to admit it.—Ed
The amalgam of Jackie Bailon’s idea of a gallery and Jonathan Choi’s concept of a cafe bore a place wherein people of different backgrounds, ages, and personalities alike come to experience the love child of art and brewed blends. Hidden in the corners of Guijo Street in Makati, Restock is a gem of interest and inspiration waiting to be discovered.
The place, well-lit by Mother Nature, is cozy, quaint, and perfumed by the smell of freshly-brewed coffee. The walls, painted white, serve as a clean canvas to highlight the art that surrounds it. In its current display, however, one particular wall stands out from the rest, coated in a brush-lettered mural of Trina Paulus’ Hope for the Flowers, courtesy of Elle Battung. Apart from the framed artwork hung across the wall, the shop is an art form within itself. Ironically, there is harmony and balance in the way its furniture was mismatched, adding just the right amount of quirk to the already charming store. Because the shop’s interior is re-decorated seasonally, the food and coffee aren’t the only things you’ll keep coming back for. In every nook and cranny lies an Instagram-worthy shot waiting to be double-tapped.
Besides the eye-catching interior, one of the many notable things that make Restock a great hangout spot is its interactive environment. The store keeps a collection of vinyl records with a varied genre, as well as lifestyle reads such as Kinfolk, Cereal, and Mood. The place alone is already a good conversation starter, so catching up with old pals or meeting new people will be a lot less work. Then again, you can never go wrong with coffee, some games, and an awesome playlist at hand.
Home is where the art is
Currently, Restock houses the diverse artwork (such as drawings, paintings, and other handicraft products) of several Filipino artists coming from different regions of the country. The shop shows its support to local virtuosos by being a medium of enterprise, and also encourage their customers to do the same. Some of the proudly local brands available in the shop are Raw.tura, Body Food All Natural, and The Lost Nomad.
Apart from ready-made pieces, crafting tools and materials are also available in the shop to spark creativity within its customers. On several occasions, the shop even houses artistic workshops. While you’re at it, go and grab a nib, some paint, or any weapon of mass creation of your choice. Who knows, Restock just might be the place where you discover your next hobby.
Food for thought
Restock provides not only a feast for the eyes, but for the tummy as well. Pizzadillas, a cross of two preferably cheesy baked goodies, is something that should be a priority on your list of must try’s. The margherita, served with the house sauce, is a crowd favorite according to the staff. For meat lovers, the salami is the best choice. Meanwhile, for those who have a sweet tooth, the jumbo double chocolate cookie with sea salt is highly-recommended amongst other confections. With such serving and a taste so unique, you’re surely in for a treat.
Restock gives a new and interesting take on hanging out. Whether going solo or bringing friends, Restock is the perfect place to feed both your curious mind and curious taste buds.
Restock is located in 7635 Guijo Street, San Antonio Village, Makati, positioned beside 12/10 restaurant. It is open from 12 pm to 10 pm, Mondays to Saturdays.