MANILA -- Tucked in the bustling neighborhood of Banawe in Sta. Mesa Heights is a home-turned-restaurant dishing out creative Filipino comfort food and affordable in-house craft beer.
Elias Wicked Ales and Spirits, one of the newest craft breweries to launch in Metro Manila, recently found its home at 13 Ubay Street Comfort Dining.
With its homey ambiance, this restaurant named after its address, has been a popular spot for family gatherings, barkada hangouts and dates since it opened in 2015. If it looks familiar, it’s because it was one of the filimg locations for ABS-CBN’s teleserye "Pangako Sa ’Yo," where Kathryn Bernardo’s character Yna Macaspac had her restaurant KusYna.
Formerly a family-owned printing press, the restaurant’s interiors are striking -- from the ornamental masks from the family’s travels adorning the stairway, as well as photos taken by chef-owner Zaza Sarmiento’s paternal grandfather Joe, one of the first “active tourism” photographers in the Philippines.
Aside from the main airy dining space, the restaurant also has an enclosed indoor garden area called Narda’s Private Dining for small, private events and meetings.
Beer lovers from Manila will be willing to brave the traffic for the beer and cider alone. Elias Wicked Ales and Spirits, the brainchild of head brewer Raoul Masangcay, specializes in craft beer, craft spirits and hard cider.
Their original lineup on tap includes Elias Pilyo IPA and Elias Bad Blonde. For those who prefer something a little sweeter, the Mango Hard Cider and Guyabano Hard Cider are must-tries.
The beverages pair well with the restaurant’s variety of international dishes highlighting Filipino flavors which take inspiration from family heirloom recipes.
Inventive appetizers include Mushroom Tempura (assorted mushrooms served with cucumber aioli dip), Spana Kopita with laing, and Sesar Salad (their take on the classic Caesar salad with queso de bola, grilled shrimp, quail eggs and bagoong isda).
For the mains, bestsellers include Shrimps in Aligue (sauteed shrimps served with chili garlic and crab fat paste), and Twice Cooked Ribs and Grilled Chicken Harissa (half chicken in African chili pepper paste served with braised beans) to name a few.
The restaurant also smokes and cures their own bacon. Lolo Joe’s bacon (which is also available for sale) is used in various dishes including a highly recommended Bacon Pizza, a thin-crust pizza topped with generous chunks of grilled bacon, tomato sauce, cheese and a sunny side up egg.
Even their ice homemade ice creams opt for local flavors like salted egg, tablea, ube and tres leches.
Elias Wicked ales and spirits are currently only available on tap with craft beers and ciders costing P120 per glass while a flight of four tasters is priced at P180. The microbrewery released a limited bottled edition as the craft beer vendor for the play, "Sa Wakas Pinoy Rock Musical," running from April 7 to May 27 at Power Mac Spotlight Theatre, Makati.
Guests can also enjoy cans and bottles of imported craft beer (ranging in price from P220 to P350 each) from brands such as Sierra Nevada, Chimay, Rogue, Stone, Anderson Valley and Delirium at the restaurant.
13 Ubay Street Comfort Dining is located on 13 Ubay Street, Barangay Sienna, Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City.