Panda Peeks – Relik Tapas Bar and Lounge
With Metro Manila’s rapidly increasing working class population, we can never really have enough comfort food restaurants. And for as long as they provide variety to long existing options and offer a distinctive menu, there will always be a place for one in our hearts… or stomach!
As the whole BGC area undergo tremendous commercial growth, the influx of manpower also becomes a necessity to sustain its progress. This group of hardworking people, prone to high level of stress and corporate struggles, usually looks for a nice and cozy place to unwind after a long day at the office. Fortunately, BGC now has quite a number of options that people can choose from. One of the most prominent choices is Relik Tapas Bar and Lounge at 31st Street corner 4th Avenue.
The place was launched in 2011 with a Spanish Tapas Bar concept serving Spanish appetizer and snacks in the afternoon and then turns into a rave bar/club at night where it immediately gained a good number of loyal customers. Their profile and interests were then considered by the management in the improvement plans for the place so the rave bar became a restaurant and lounge. This was also when Relik Tapas Bar and Lounge started offering lunch specials in their menu. The latest innovation happened October of last year when the physical renovation gave the restaurant a more relaxed and laid back vibes.
I honestly couldn’t have found the place if not for the friendly security officers in the area who know Relik very well. It’s located on the 2nd floor, which looked a lot like a mezzanine to me, of a low rise structure at the heart of BGC. You’d have to drive up a steep parkway to get to their front door and, trust me, you’d know when you’re already there. From the outside, the place gives out a classy yet unintimidating vibes courtesy of the brown brick walls, dark colored furniture, and dramatic lighting. I was welcomed by a staff right away so I headed inside and booked a table for myself and a couple of friends. We were seated on a couch by the wall perpendicular to the make shift stage of the place. From that corner, I was able to appreciate more the vintage feels of the place, the antique pieces accentuating each well-lit wall, and the lighting is at a minimum and not “invasive”. People can be seen conveniently talking to each other while enjoying their food and cocktails.
While waiting for our order, we sang along with Skylight Band playing their own versions of today’s radio hits. We were told that on Tuesdays until Thursdays, different acoustic bands are playing for the guests and on Fridays, a full band set up takes care of the in house entertainment. The restaurant can hold a little over a hundred guests and has served as a venue for various occasions already like corporate events, birthdays and debuts, and other themed parties. On Saturdays until Tuesdays, they are offering unlimited draft beer from 5PM to 10PM for only 248PHP and on Mondays ‘til Saturdays, people can enjoy local beers for only 50PHP and select cocktails for just 60PHP.
Since I skipped lunch that day, I ordered almost half of their red meat dishes but I still took time to appreciate the starter best sellers. I was first served with their Mushroom Soup. You can tell a soup is good when you can taste the natural flavors of mushroom with the right herbs and not just powdered stuff. Relik’s Mushroom Soup is also creamy topped with strips of enoki mushroom.
And since I am no hardcore salad eater, I opted to have their Tex-Mex Salad Bowl. It looks so yummy even with just how it was presented. We were told that the huge taco chip which was used as the salad bowl is also hand made by the chef. It has ground beef, shredded crunchy lettuce, tomato salsa, corn, and olives finished with splashes of sour cream. You have to slowly crush the taco bowl and mix it with the rest of the ingredients before you eat it. I enjoyed the presentation as well as the fresh veggies in it.
Now, when I order food in any restaurant, I usually ask for their best seller and even before I finished my question, the staff suggested their Trio Platter. For only 799PHP, we got a bowl of Gambas, another bowl of Chorizig (Sisig Chorizo), and a bowl of Beef Salpicao! Had I known that the serving was going to be that huge, I would have skipped the starters and munched on the Trio Platter with my cocktails! My personal favorite was really the Beef Salpicao because the meat was so tender, it didn’t feel like eating beef at all. It was marinated and sautéed in spices and red wine and comes with a roasted garlic bulb. Most of you probably are not used to eating whole pieces of garlic cloves and so am I. One food hack for this item is you should eat at least a clove with the meat. The roasted garlic will melt in your mouth like heated chocolate and will blend with the beef. As for the chorizig, you can either have it with rice or with a bottle or two of beer. This one’s extra crispy yet still retains the original chorizo aftertaste. Mix it well with calamansi and/ or chilli if you like it spicy. While the bowl of Gambas is marinated in a chili concoction and roasted in butter and garlic.
For the main entrees, we had Roast Beef with Herb Butter and Honey Bourbon Baby Back Ribs, both part of their lunch specials. The Roast Beef is as tender as expected and the gravy complements the meat perfectly while the baby back ribs is glazed with special honey bourbon. The meat is sweet and sticky and falls off the bone with just a swing of your fork. It’s also served with Cajun corn and side salad.
I honestly didn’t want anything heavy for dessert because of what happened but curiosity got me with their S’mores Pizza. It’s basically the same as your favorite pizza, only better and more badass! Instead of tomato based pizza sauce, they used chocolate ganache and spread it on a crust. It’s sprinkled with delicious toasted mallows, crushed grahams, and chocolate syrup. And it’s only 188PHP!
When you check their menu, anything comfort food is actually there, from appetizers, to salads, to pizzas, to burgers, and pastas, they have everything! It was really such a delight spending my Tuesday night in Relik Tapas Bar and Lounge. I’d definitely come back with all my friends for more of their great food, cozy ambience, and good music.
Address: 2nd Floor, Commercenter Building, 31st Avenue corner 4th Street, BGC, Taguig, Metro Manila
Contact Number: +639175298333
Business Hours: 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM Lunch Specials
5:00 PM – 12:00 MN Dinner and cocktails