Three stops on the bar crawl, from left, Polilya, Lampara, and Khao Kai. Photograph by Jar Concengco
Food & Drink Recommended Bars

Chocolate makes this Poblacion bar crawl much more than just about the booze

If you love your cocktails and chocolate, this new bar crawl organized by Auro Chocolate may just become your new “5-thirsty” best friend
Cyrene de la Rosa | Jul 17 2019

What makes the Auro Chocolate Bar Crawl different from the rest? Unlike other bar crawls that focus on just the drinks, this one lets participants sample a whole variety of chocolate-infused savory dishes (rather than the usual desserts) paired with chocolate-themed boozy drinks.

 

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Auro is an international award-winning, proudly Filipino, bean-to-bar chocolate company that sustainably sources its cacao beans from local farmers. Auro decided to partner with five bars located in the now hip Poblacion district of Makati to create this first edition of its bar crawl, which is operated by Fat Girls Day Out.  

Auro chocolate products on display at Lampara.

Launched in late June, the Auro Chocolate Bar Crawl runs every Friday and Saturday for four months before the bar line-up is changed. I was able to join the first crawl that launched the event and was pleasantly surprised at the chocolate pairings served at the following five participating Poblacion bars.

 

First stop: Khao Khai

The bar crawl menu at Khao Khai.

This chill, casual food joint focuses on Issan Thai cuisine. We were served fresh cut green mangoes with 77% dark chocolate bagoong dip for a refreshing start. A punch-like drink spiked with rum and finished with a dash of Tabasco helped balance the mango’s tartness. It was also refreshing, subtly spicy, and sweet all in one go.

Bagoong dip flavored with 77% dark chocolate, and paired with fresh cut green mangoes.
Best way to enjoy this rum-based Bangkok Fire cocktail is to get some of the 64% dark chocolate off the rim with each sip.

 

Second stop: Lampara

Lampara’s covered patio perfect for lounging.

At this modern Filipino spot, we were treated to fried mantou buns topped with pork belly cooked sous vide for over 14 hours and topped with cacao nibs—an excellent play on soft and hard. Lampara’s take on the classic Boulevardier served as the perfect cocktail partner as it cut through the richness of the pork belly dish.

Each bite of this extremely tender pork belly contrasts perfectly with the cacao nibs on top.
The best cocktail of the crawl is this Jim Beam Boulevardier.

 

Third stop: Polilya

The Polilya bar

At Polilya, we tried deep fried Hainanese Chicken served with a 77% dark chocolate-infused rich mole sauce, with kesong puti and cilantro. For cocktails, we had 32% white chocolate-rimmed margarita shots, surprisingly one of the best pairings that night.

The different elements of this dish—Hainanese chicken, mole, kesong puti, cilantro—complement each other in one satisfying bite.
These shots of 32% White Chocolate Margarita were the best pairing of the night.

 

Fourth stop: Alamat Filipino Pub and Deli

The chocolate pairing menu at Alamat

This is where you can find locally crafted beers, native charcuterie, reinvented pulutan, and exotic comfort meals by Chef Niño Laus. Alamat served a finger licking good braised rib finger in burnt coconut and tablea, called Tiyula sa Itum, with ensaladang adlai at talong. The dish paired well with an Auro Plata cocktail made with gin, white rum, pandan, cacao liquor, and chocolate sauce.

Tiyula sa Itum or braised rib finger in burnt coconut and tablea, served with a salad of adlai and eggplant, with cacao nibs.
The Auro Plata cocktail with gin, white rum, pandan, cacao liquor, and chocolate sauce.

 

Fifth stop: Pedro Tap House

Pedro Tap House is known for its fresh-from-the tap craft beers.

Pedro Tap House is where we enjoyed chocolate-infused craft beer concoctions that were a refreshing way to end the night. We savored Pedro’s indulgent take on the chili dog using Auro’s 55% dark chocolate, featuring a toasted buttery brioche bun with cheese sausage inside, topped with chocolate-infused chili, and finished with a generous amount of melted cheese. This was paired with a creamy delicious Auro Midnight Stout designed so you get all the chocolate aroma while enjoying a sweet, boozy kick. Best is take a sip in between bites of the Chocolate Chili Dog for a great pairing experience.

Chocolate Chili Cheese Dogs topped with 55% dark chocolate chili.
The Auro Midnight Stout is Pedro Brewcrafters Space Out Coffee Stout poured into a glass with a splash of Bourbon, then topped with a mixture of whipped cream and melted 55% dark chocolate.

The bar crawl also offers vegetarian and non-alcoholic options per stop. You just have to indicate in your online registration form that you need the veg option at least 3 days before the crawl.

Alamat’s vegetarian option—Pinais or rice crisp, pinakbet salsa tossed in dark chocolate vinagrette, with laing—was delish!

 

For more details or to book your slot, visit http://aurochocolate.com

Photographs by Jar Concengco

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